Navalny Imprisoned Near Moscow
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Russian authorities were much too lenient in sentencing Navalny to 2.8 years imprisonment.
It was for multiple breaches of his suspended sentence.
He was convicted of embezzling millions of dollars for personal self-enrichment.
Along with grand theft, he's guilty of sedition and serving as an unregistered US foreign agent, a nation militantly hostile to Russian sovereign independence.
According to Tass on Sunday, he "arrived in penal colony number 2 in Pokrov, in central Russia's Vladimir Region."
It's about 120 miles east of Moscow. Tass quoted human rights activist Ruslan Vakhapov, saying the following:
"According to my information, Navalny has been recently taken to IK-2 in Pokrov."
"The reports about his arrival in this correctional facility were circulated among the penal colony's inmates."
Moscow's Public Oversight Commission's Yeva Merkacheva confirmed the location.
It's unclear if Navalny will serve his full term in IK-2 prison or be transferred to another one in the weeks or months ahead.
The Moscow Times suggested that he'll serve his entire sentenced at IK-2 prison, adding:
According to former inmates it cited, it's "one of Russia's toughest prisons."
Konstantin Kotov spent two years there.
"This is, by any measure, an extremely strict prison. They try to control your every step, your every thought," he said."
He explained that Russia has four types of prisons. Where Navalny is held is an "ordinary regime," he said.
Yet "strict regime" policies are enforced, he added.
Prisoners are housed in barracks with up to 150 beds.
"Inmates who have spent time in different prisons across Russia told me this was the toughest one they have been in."
"It definitely felt like a high-security prison for hard criminals," he said.
Defense of Prisoners' Rights Foundation attorney Pyotr Kuryanov described the prison as follows:
"It's completely lawless there. They will break you. Bad things have been going on there for a long time."
Former inmate at the facility Vladimir Pereverzin said Navalny faces a "tough time," adding:
"The conditions were certainly grim there. The prison is next to a swamp, it is cold and wet with bad food. It was a violent place back then."
Former inmate Dmitry Demushkin said conditions there are "like torture," adding:
For months, he "was forbidden to talk to other inmates. They were forbidden to look at me."
"My hands were always behind my back when I was out of my cell."
"It was forbidden to attend the local prison church, to do any sporting activities."
Pereverzin and Kotov said they faced no violence from guards, yet heard stories of it used on other inmates.
Russian broadsheet Novaya Gazeta reported about harshness in some Russian prisons, at times amounting to torture.
Former IK-2 inmate Alexey — not wanting his full name revealed — said he was beaten by guards and other inmates at the facility, adding:
"There is a whole system in place that permits daily violence and humiliation."
Navalny will be quarantined during his first two weeks of imprisonment.
He'll then be assigned to a barracks, won't be allowed to receive emails, just letters.
According to Kotov, it can takes weeks or months to receive what arrives. Incoming mail is read and processed before inmates get to see what's sent them.
Navalny may be isolated from other prisoners. Kotov said guards "forbid other inmates to talk to you."
"They want to make you feel alone. All of this is meant to wear you down psychologically."
Demushkin said "(w)e were not allowed to talk about politics or religion," adding:
Television viewing was restricted to state-controlled Channel 1.
Public Oversight Commission's Yeva Merkacheva said IK-2 inmates usually do manual labor.
Russian Prison Service head Alexander Kalashnikov said Navalny faces "no threat (to his) health or life" where he's held.
A Final Comment
Russia's IK-2 prison appears to resemble Britain's Belmarsh incarceration were Julian Assange is held and brutally mistreated.
US prisons are notoriously harsh.
An earlier documentary titled "Torture, Inc., America's Brutal Prisons" highlighted horrors inmates face.
It includes attack dogs used against them, brutal shocking with cattle prods, harm inflicted by toxic chemicals, stun guns, beatings, and other abusive mistreatment — at times when stripped naked.
An earlier UK Channel 4 report documented "wholesale torture taking place inside the US prison system," what a four-month investigation learned.
Imprisonment in the West and elsewhere is called hard time for good reason.
It's what Navalny faces for the next 2.8 years.
As the saying goes, he made his bed and now must sleep in it.
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