Home World Navalny’s body should be handed over to his family ‘immediately,’ Navalny spokesperson says

Navalny’s body should be handed over to his family ‘immediately,’ Navalny spokesperson says

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The body of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny should be handed over to his family “immediately,” his spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said Saturday, adding his mother has been officially notified of his death.

“Alexey Navalny was murdered. His death occurred on February 16 at 2:17 p.m. local time, according to the official message to Alexey’s mother,” Yarmysh said in a post on social media.

“An employee of the colony said that the body of Navalny is now in Salekhard. It was picked up by investigators from the IC [Investigative Committee]. Now they are conducting ‘investigations’ with him,” she said.

“We demand that Alexey Navalny’s body be handed over to his family immediately,” Yarmysh said.

The death of Navalny, 47, was announced on Friday by the Russian prison service but Yarmysh’s comments mark the first confirmation from his team.

The Russian prison service on Friday said Navalny “felt unwell after a walk” and “almost immediately” lost consciousness. It said it was investigating his “sudden death.”

Navalny posed one of the most serious threats to Putin during his rule, which has spanned more than two decades. He organized anti-government street protests and used his blog and social media to expose alleged corruption in the Kremlin and in Russian business.

He was jailed after returning to Russia in 2021 from Germany, where he had been treated after being poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. On arrival, Navalnvy was swiftly arrested on charges he dismissed as politically motivated.

Navalny has been incarcerated ever since, with longstanding concerns for his welfare growing more intense after he was transferred to a penal colony north of the Arctic Circle.

Western condemnation of the Kremlin was swift and fierce following news of his death on Friday. US President Joe Biden laid the blame for Navalny’s death at Putin’s feet, while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia has “serious questions” to answer.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

This post appeared first on cnn.com

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