Navalny says suing prison for not giving him winter boots

The 46-year-old Russian opposition leader is serving a nine-year sentence outside Vladimir, a town around 230km east of Moscow, where temperatures dip -6 degrees Celsius on Monday



Opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a screen set up at a courtroom of the Moscow City Court via a video link from his prison colony during a hearing of an appeal against his nine-year prison sentence he was handed in March after being found guilty of embezzlement and contempt of court in Moscow. — AFP  file
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a screen set up at a courtroom of the Moscow City Court via a video link from his prison colony during a hearing of an appeal against his nine-year prison sentence he was handed in March after being found guilty of embezzlement and contempt of court in Moscow. — AFP file

By AFP

Published: Mon 21 Nov 2022, 8:12 PM

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Monday that he is suing his maximum security prison for not giving him winter boots, as temperatures in Russia drop below freezing.

"I am suing my colony and demanding to be issued winter boots," Navalny said on Twitter.

The 46-year-old is serving a nine-year sentence outside Vladimir, a town around 230 kilometres (143 miles) east of Moscow, where temperatures Monday dipped to -6 degrees Celsius (21.2 Fahrenheit).

Navalny said the prison had already switched to winter clothes for "weeks", but guards had refused to give him boots.

"My evil prison guards are brazenly not giving me my winter boots," he said.

Navalny said a lack of winter clothing meant choosing between not going outside at all or getting sick, which is "strongly discouraged" in prison.

The anti-corruption campaigner, who survived an attack with Novichok in 2021, added that he had previously fallen ill there.

"My exercise yard is an ice-covered concrete well smaller than my cell. See if you can walk in it in fall boots," he said.

"But you have to walk. It's the only 1.5 hours of fresh air you can get."

Navalny has denounced President Vladimir Putin's Ukraine offensive from prison.

He said Monday that he had recently received "a lot of letters lately about depression, gloom and apathy." He called on Russians to "cheer up."

"Finish your pumpkin latte and go do something to bring Russia closer to freedom," he wrote, in his usual tongue-in-cheek style.

Navalny, whose name Putin refuses to publicly pronounce, has been the only opposition politician in Russia able to galvanise nationwide protests in recent years.

He recently said prison authorities had kept him in and out of solitary confinement.

Navalny was arrested last year when he returned to Russia from Germany, where he recovered from the poisoning attack.


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