Alexei Navalnythe jailed Russian opposition leader, said Sunday that he was in good spirits on his third birthday behind bars, despite tougher prison conditions and a new season in solitary confinement.
The birthday of the archenemy of the Russian president, Vladimir Putincoincides with a new wave of repression against the opposition: this Sunday the Russian police arrested at least 45 people who were participating in demonstrations in favor of Navalny throughout the country, according to the specialized NGO OVD-Info.
Navalny said he woke up in a punishment cell on his 47th birthday, adding in a message posted on social media that it was his 16th confinement of this type.
“On the morning of your birthday you have to be honest with yourself, so I ask myself: am I really in a good mood, or am I forcing myself to feel that way?
“My answer is: i really am. Let’s face it, of course I would like to not have to wake up in this hell and instead have breakfast with my family, receive kisses on the cheek from my children, unwrap presents… But life works in such a way that the social progress and a better futurer can only be achieved if a a certain number of people are willing to pay the price of their right to have convictions. The more people like that there are, the less is the price to pay for everyone”.
In your message, Navalny He said he believes that “the day will come when telling the truth and advocating for justice will become commonplace and not dangerous in Russia.”
Navalny’s team claims he has been harassed in prison and kept in a “punishment cell” for minor transgressions. His supporters say the authorities are trying to undermine their morale.
protests and repression
The authorities are taking the suppression of freedoms in Russia to new levels following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, with independent media outlets shut down and most key opposition figures behind bars or in exile.
In this framework, the Russian police today arrested dozens of activists who were demanding the release of the imprisoned opposition leader.
As reported by the OVD-Info organization, in Pushkin Square in the capital Moscow A dozen activists have already been arrested with banners such as “You are not alone, Freedom for Navalny”.
A woman with a balloon that said “Happy Birthday”, a man handing out leaflets, an activist in a T-shirt with the wordss “Take care of Russia” and a man in a jacket with the acronym SHIZÓwhich means punishment cell.
law enforcement too they arrested journalists covering the protest at the foot of the Alexander Pushkin monument, in the center of Moscow, where numerous riot police have been deployed.
Around the square, the traditional meeting place for the opposition to the Kremlin, several buses are parked, inside which is the National Guardas well as trucks and police vans.
This morning he was also arrested at the Red Square an activist carrying a banner –”Freedom for the kangaroo. Putin, spider”-, alluding to Navalny’s request in the prison he is in to send him a kangaroo to keep him company in the punishment cell.
OVD-Info also reported several detainees in other Russian cities, from the European side, such as St. Petersburgto the Urals and Siberia.
Protest actions around the world
Protest actions take place today in more than 120 cities in the worldincluding London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Sydney, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Mexico and Sao Paulo, according to the Telegram channel of Navalny’s team.
The opposition called two weeks ago this world day in support of its leaderwho has spent nearly 900 days behind bars, of which almost 200 have been spent in punishment cells in a prison in the Vladimir region, less than 200 kilometers from Moscow.
Navalnywhich used to mobilize massive protests against the Kremlin, fulfills a nine year sentence jail for embezzlement and other charges.
He rose to world fame after barely surviving poisoning with novichoka Soviet-designed nerve agent, which the opposition politician blames on the Kremlin.
He was arrested in January 2021 upon his return from Germany after recovering from poisoning.
He is imprisoned near the city of Vladimirsome 200 kilometers from Moscow, and has been communicating with the public and sending messages through his legal team.
Navalny will be tried shortly by a new case of “extremism”and faces 35 more years in prison.
He thinks the authorities are trying to keep him in the jail for life
Navalny’s collaborators, who are all in exile abroad, have also accused the prison authorities of try to poison him in prison.
Punishment cells, without natural light and forced to listen to recordings of Putin: how Navalny and other political prisoners live in Russian prisons
The new accusation of the Russian justice intends to imprison Alexei Navalny, Putin’s greatest opponent, for 35 years