ALEXEI NAVALNY's mother says Russian authorities have shown her son's body but are pressuring her into holding secret burial

Friday, February 23, 2024
 – Late Russian opposition figure, Alexey Navalny's mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, says she has been shown her son's body in the Russian town of Salekhard.

Navalny, who was the Russian opposition's most significant leader for the last decade, had been serving a 19-year sentence on charges many viewed as politically motivated.

The Russian prison service said he died at the IK-3 Arctic penal colony, nicknamed "Polar Wolf", on Friday after taking a walk and suddenly collapsing.

Navalny's team alleges he was murdered on the orders of President Putin.

Speaking on Navalny's YouTube channel on Thursday, February 22, Navalnaya said Russian authorities claimed they knew his cause of death and had "all the medical and legal documents."

She said that she was taken to the morgue to see his body on Wednesday and had signed his death certificate.

Navalnaya also claimed in the video that investigators were "threatening" her into agreeing to a secret funeral for her son, or "they will do something with my son’s body."

“They are blackmailing me, setting me the conditions of where, when and how Alexey should be buried," she said.

Navalnaya said that the Russian Investigative Committee investigating her son's death would like to bury his body "secretly without saying goodbye."

Navalny's mother says she does not want "special conditions," but simply wants her son to be treated "according to the law."

"I demand that my son's body be returned to me immediately," she said.

Some context: Navalny died in a Russian penal colony on Friday. His mother and wife, Yulia Navalnaya, had been previously denied access to his body after his death.

Navalny's mother and his lawyer travelled to Salekhard on Saturday, where prison authorities had said the body of the opposition leader would be examined — but when they arrived at the morgue, they were told the body wasn't there, Navalny's team said.

Alexey Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, on Thursday reiterated that she believes Russian President Vladimir Putin killed her husband and urged the media not to be diverted by Russian government narratives.

Addressing journalists on Twitter, she wrote, "Write that Putin killed Alexey. Write every day. As long as you have enough strength."

The comments were part of a response to remarks made by the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, who suggested that she was "smiling" and eagerly anticipating the start of her "political life" following the death of her husband.

Dismissing Medvedev, who formerly was president and prime minister of Russia, as a "waste of space," Navalnaya urged others not to be diverted by him, saying that he serves as a deliberate distraction.

"Putin killed Alexey Navalny," Navalnaya added.

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