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Fears for Putin’s enemy Alexei Navalny as he’s moved to horror penal colony notorious for rape and torture of inmates

JAILED Kremlin arch-critic Alexei Navalny has been sent to a “torture” correctional prison known for the rampant sexual abuse of male inmates.

The strict regime maximum security colony at Melekhovo is also notorious for the brutal beating of inmates.

The Melekhovo colony is a particularly violent prison

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The Melekhovo colony is a particularly violent prisonCredit: East2West
Navalny has described stories of inmates having their fingernails ripped out

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Navalny has described stories of inmates having their fingernails ripped outCredit: East2West
Navalny, pictured in his previous penal colony, now faces a long prison sentence, and will have few family visits

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Navalny, pictured in his previous penal colony, now faces a long prison sentence, and will have few family visitsCredit: East2West
Alexei Navalny filmed at the IK-2 corrective penal colony in Pokrov

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Alexei Navalny filmed at the IK-2 corrective penal colony in PokrovCredit: AP

Last month, Navalny described hearing of of convicts getting “their fingernails ripped out there”.

The move to Melekhovo is linked to the start of Navalny’s nine-year sentence in a case that opposition supporters and the West have described as politically motivated.

The 45-year-old has been described as the critic Vladimir Putin “fears the most” by the Washington Post.

The Putin foe had vanished from a prison camp east of Moscow on Tuesday where he was serving a jail sentence after guards moved him to an unknown location.

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His spokesperson Kira Yarmyshearlier confirmed the mysterious disappearance, saying: “Alexei Navalny was taken away from IK-2” corrective penal labour colony in Pokrov, 60 miles east of Russia‘s capital Moscow.

“The lawyer who came to see him was kept at the checkpoint until 2 pm, and then [the officers] said: “There is no such convict”.”

She added: “We don’t know where Alexei is now and to what camp he is being taken.”

Independent media outlet Mediazona last year revealed allegations of  systematic torture and sexual violence at the facility known as correctional colony No. 6.

It is in the same Vladimir region as his previous Pokrovskaya general regime colony, a two hour drive away.

The fact both jails are in a region with the same name as Putin is seen as reflecting the Kremlin leader’s sense of humour. 

Former convict Ivan Fomin, then 29, claimed that the governor of the colony, Roman Sahakyan, had forced him to refuse a lawyer with threats.

He was told that if he did not cooperate “they would rape me, and tie my legs and hands from behind.

“I would lie down, and they would beat my heels and a**. 

“After that, if I did not confess, they would  [rape] me with a [spade] handle, and then put this in my mouth.”

He witnessed another inmate being punched in the stomach and beaten with piping on his heels and bottom. 

The prisoners was then “raped” with the piping, which was later forced into his mouth, he said.

Navalny is a fierce critic of Putin's regime

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Navalny is a fierce critic of Putin’s regimeCredit: Reuters

Navalny has said that he wants to replace Putin, and believes  he would win an election if it was not rigged in the Kremlin leader’s favour. 

The defiant activist, lawyer, and leader of the Russian opposition Progress Party, was left seriously ill following a suspected poisoning in August 2020.

He was poisoned with the nerve agent novichok in an attack allegedly ordered by the Kremlin. Russia denies responsibility.

The critic received a three-and-a-half year sentence for breaking his bail conditions when he was taken to Germany for medical treatment.

On 22 March this year, Navalny was handed a nine-year sentence after being found guilty of trumped up charges of contempt of court and fraud.

His new sentence – which was condemned by the West and Amnesty International – replaced his earlier term, and means he’ll serve around seven years in a much more remote “strict regime penal colony“.

Last month, Navalny lost his legal battle to appeal the long sentence that he described as politically motivated.

This means that he was expected to be transferred to a strict-regime penal colony with harsher conditions, including few family visits.

His move comes amid growing speculation about Putin’s health and that he may be seriously ill – with conditions such as cancer and Parkinsons.

These claims however have been been denied by his authorities, where in March the Kremlin was forced to insist publicly that Putin’s mental state was ‘normal’.

But today, video footage emerged of the tyrant visibly shaking during an award ceremony on Sunday.

During the ceremony Putin appeared shaky on his legs as he listened to Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov accept a prize rewarding his work in the arts.

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The footage shows Putin standing just off the podium, his arms straight by his side while struggling to stand still, evidently swaying back and forth in an undulating motion.

He can also be seen shaking his legs in what appear to be side-to-side movements.

Experts say that Navalny's long prison sentence seeks to silence remaining government critics

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Experts say that Navalny’s long prison sentence seeks to silence remaining government criticsCredit: Reuters
Vladimir Putin views Navalny as his arch-critic

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Vladimir Putin views Navalny as his arch-criticCredit: AP




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