|The United States accuses Russian authorities of violating the rights of Moscow opposition leader|
"The United States is deeply concerned by the increasing arbitrary interference of the Russian government with the rights of Aleksey Navalny," the US State Department said in a statement late Friday. The US said prison authorities had interfered with Navalny's access to his team of lawyers by monitoring their meetings and delaying the exchange of documents and communications between them.
The United States on Friday accused Russian authorities of violating the rights of jailed Moscow opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Russia is said to have restricted Navalny's contact with lawyers and repeatedly put him in solitary confinement. VOA reported, Saturday (10/9). Navalny, Russia's most vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, is serving a nine-year prison sentence on a series of charges he says are politically motivated. "This harassment, together with his repeated diversion into solitary confinement for alleged petty offences, is further evidence of politically motivated abuse," the statement continued.
In addition to describing Navalny's arrest as "quite disgraceful," the US State Department also said that Moscow's "continual insistence on harassing him [Navalny] only highlights their insecurity and fear of people telling the truth." In recent weeks, the 46-year-old opposition leader, who is imprisoned near the city of Vladimir, about 200 kilometers outside Moscow, has said he was placed in solitary confinement on several occasions as a form of punishment, including for trying to form a union at the prison where he is being held.
His acolytes had increased their vigilance. They say the new communication procedures prevent them from knowing what happened to him. Photos of the father-of-two published last week by independent Russian media showed his emaciated and exhausted figure.