Navalny accuses prison of censoring newspapers
Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny is accusing government officials of censoring the newspapers delivered to him in prison as he serves a more than two-year sentence imposed earlier this year over parole violations.
In a lawsuit filed this week, Navalny accused prison guards of cutting out articles from newspapers that were to be delivered to him in addition to waking him up at night and denying him access to the Quran, which he has said he needs for religious study, Reuters reported.
The news service reported that Navalny told a court Wednesday that he would drop the lawsuit if he started receiving the newspapers in full.
“Imagine my surprise when I open the newspapers and see that whole articles have been cut out,” Navalny said, adding that he didn’t mind the prison officials reading his correspondence.
“But why do they cut out articles from newspapers? No one can understand that,” he said.
Navalny is serving a sentence ordered by a judge in February over violation of a parole order that was granted after his 2014 embezzlement conviction, which international human rights groups have said was trumped up and politically motivated.
His parole violation stems from a flight to Germany last year for emergency treatment after suffering poisoning by Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. Navalny spent several months recovering in a German hospital while he and numerous foreign governments, including the U.S., accused Russia of involvement in the poisoning. Moscow has denied the allegations.
In February, President Biden said during remarks at the State Department that he had informed Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country’s days of “poisoning its citizens” were over. The Biden administration has pursued a number of sanctions against Russian entities over Moscow’s treatment of Navalny.
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