Russia: Navalny’s team says his relatives were denied access to his body for the 3rd day

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7:16 p.m., February 19, 2024

Relatives of the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny have been denied access to his body for three days, his team said on Monday, specifying that his mother was “not authorized” to enter a morgue where he could be preserved.

“Alexei’s mother and her lawyers arrived at the morgue early this morning. They were not allowed in. One of the lawyers was literally pushed out. When the staff was asked if the “Alexei’s body was there, he didn’t respond,” Kira Iarmich, Navalny’s spokesperson, said on social media. The Russian opponent and number one adversary of President Vladimir Putin died Friday at the age of 47 in the Arctic prison, in the Yamal region, where he was serving a 19-year sentence.

Authorities extend investigation

He had been imprisoned since his return to Russia in early 2021 and his health had deteriorated for months. His mother Lyoudmila Navalnaïa went to this remote penal colony on Saturday, with a lawyer. According to the Russian Prison Service (FSIN), Alexeï Navalny died on Friday after having a sudden malaise “after a walk”. Vladimir Putin made no comment on the death of Alexeï Navalny which comes a month before the presidential election, which should see the Russian president remain in power for a new six-year term.

Separately, investigators have informed the mother of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his lawyers that the investigation into his death in prison had been “prolonged,” Navalny’s spokeswoman said Monday. “We don’t know how long this will last. The cause of death is still ‘undetermined’. They are lying, playing for time and not even hiding it,” spokesperson Kira Iarmich said on X.

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