Kremlin hands over Alexei Navalny’s body to family

Kremlin hands over Alexei Navalny’s body to family

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The body of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was handed over to his mother a week after his death, according to El Pais and CNN, citing Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh.

“Alexei’s body was handed over to his mother. Thank you very much to all those who demanded this from us”, posted this Saturday Kira Yarmysh on social media.

The Russian opponent’s spokeswoman said that Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, is still in Salekhard, the Arctic city where her son’s body was being held by Russian authorities.

The dissident’s mother recovered the body after refusing, for days, that her son’s funeral be held in secret, as Russian authorities suggested.

Navalny died on February 16 in prison. The Russian prison service stated that he “felt unwell after a walk” and lost consciousness “almost immediately”.

Navalny’s family and colleagues have blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for Navalny’s death, which occurred before presidential elections scheduled for March and in which Putin is running without significant opposition and is expected to win for the fifth time. .

Funeral plans still unknown

Funeral plans have not yet been made, KIra Yarmysh said. “We don’t know if the authorities will interfere so that everything is done as the family wants and as Alexei deserves. We will inform you as soon as there is news,” she added.

Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, accused Putin of ordering the body to be withheld to hide the cause of Navalny’s death and out of fear that his funeral would draw large crowds.

The Kremlin denied the accusations. Navalny’s family appealed for several days to the Russian authorities to release his body.

On Tuesday, Navalny’s team released a video in which Navalnaya was filmed, outside the prison where Navalny was being held, begging Putin to release the body.

The Putin opponent’s mother later said she could see her son, but that investigators threatened to let the body “decompose” unless she agreed to their demand for a secret funeral.

Kira Yarmysh said on Friday that Navalnaya was given an ultimatum to agree to a secret funeral or see her son buried in the Arctic prison facility where he died.

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