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PACE rapporteur expresses concern over Alexei Navalny’s conditions of detention

Sunna Ævarsdóttir (Iceland, SOC), PACE’s rapporteur for follow-up on the implementation of Resolution 2446 (2022) on “Reported cases of political prisoners in the Russian Federation”, today reacted to news about Alexei Navalny’s indefinite solitary confinement in the penal colony where he is serving his sentence.

“According to Mr Navalny and his chief of staff, he is now permanently detained in solitary confinement. He has no access to family visits and his lawyers can only talk to him through an opaque glass, without being able to assess his state of health. His communication with the outside world is therefore extremely limited and his health is at risk,” she said.

“PACE has repeatedly called for Mr Navalny’s release. In the meantime, the Russian authorities should ensure that his health and well-being are adequately protected, and that he has effective access to his lawyers, in accordance with international human rights standards. Solitary confinement for a prolonged period of time has clear negative effects on the physical and mental condition of a prisoner and may amount to inhuman or degrading treatment. Such a measure should under no circumstances be used as a form of punishment for Mr Navalny’s opposition to the Russian Government and its war of aggression against Ukraine.”