Russia’s leading opposition figure has been sentenced to an additional 19 years’ jail on ‘extremism’ charges.
Alexei Navalny was already serving a nine-year sentence for fraud and contempt of court – charges which are widely seen as politically motivated.
He will now be moved from his high-security jail, where he has reportedly been subjected to abuse by guards and long stints in solitary, to a ‘special regime colony’.
It’s not known which colony he will be sent to, but facilities of this kind are known to have the harshest conditions in Russia’s correctional system.
They are usually reserved for ‘particularly dangerous repeat offenders’, housing only around 7,000 inmates out of Russia’s overall prison population of 433,000.
More than 90% of these are convicted of murder, rape, drug trafficking, theft or robbery, according to figures from Russia’s Supreme Court.
Navalny is expected to face additional ‘strict conditions’ imposed on prisoners convicted of ‘premeditated’ crimes.
A former state investigator told Russian independent media outlet Meduza these inmates are only allowed three visits and one parcel a year, and exercise is limited to 1.5 hours of walking per day.
Other conditions can include banning inmates from talking to cellmates, placing additional bars on cell windows and permanently depriving them of sunlight.
Prisoners have also been known to be forced into moving around the facility in a bent-over position with handcuffs behind their backs.
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