Russia: Alexei Navalny’s mother barred from mortuary, authorities say probe not complete

Navalny's wife Yulia Navalnaya blames Putin for his death

Russia Alexei Navalny death Lyudmila Navalnaya, the mother of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and lawyer Vasily Dubkov arrive at the regional department of Russia's Investigative Committee in the town of Salekhard in the Yamal-Nenets Region | Reuters

The Russian opposition leader and President Vladimir Putin's foe Alexei Navalny's mother and his lawyers were not allowed into the morgue, where his body is reportedly kept. Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, along with his lawyer travelled to the notorious "Polar Wolf" IK-3 penal colony in Russia, where he has been held since last year.

They had arrived at the morgue in the Russian town of Salekhard, near the prison where authorities said he died.

Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh wrote on X that one of the lawyers was literally pushed out.

“Alexey’s mother and his lawyers arrived at the morgue early in the morning. They were not allowed to go in. One of the lawyers was literally pushed out. When the staff was asked if Alexey’s body was there, they did not answer,” said Yarmysh.

The cause of death remains "unknown" they said, she dded.

However, in a video, Navalny's wife Yulia Navalnaya has vowed to continue her husband's work.

"I call on you to stand alongside me...I also ask you to share the fury and hate for those who dared to kill our future. I speak to you in the words of Alexei, in which I believe truly. There is no shame in doing little," she said.

"What we need is a free, peaceful and happy Russia. The wonderful Russia of the future my husband so dreamed of. That’s what we need," she added.

"I am not afraid. Don't you be afraid," Yulia Navalnaya added.

She also blamed Putin for "killing" her husband.

Meanwhile, Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europe reported that Navalny’s body was found in a hospital in the Arctic with "signs of bruises on his head and chest".

"Usually the bodies of people who die in prison are taken straight to the Bureau of Forensic Medicine on Glazkova Street, but in this case, it was taken to the clinical hospital for some reason,” the newspaper quoted the paramedic as saying.

Navalny has been behind bards since returning from Germany in January 2021.

Navalny's mother was told on Saturday that he had died from "sudden death syndrome". The Russian authorities had told that Navalny's body will be handed over to the family only after investigation. However, they informed the mother, who arrived to see her son, that they had extended the investigation and the body will handed only after completing it.

Protests took place across Russia demanding his body. Russian court has sentenced at least 90 people in Moscow and St Petersburg following the protests in Alexei Navalny's name over the weekend, said human rights organisation OVD-Info.

In Moscow, 20 people were sentenced, while 63 in St Petersburg to various amounts of prison time even upto nine days. Some people were also fined 10,000 rubles, while the others were assigned 40 hours of compulsory labour. 

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