Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny on Wednesday, the 10th January, threw jokes left and right at his first court hearing via video since being transferred to the Arctic colony Polar Wolf from Melekhov prison last month, but the judge rejected his latest complaint about his treatment in prison, reports Reuters.
He made the judge laugh when he asked if there was a party at the Melekhov colony to celebrate his departure and if there was karaoke.
He further asked whether the prison department also organised the “naked party”,
referring to the recent scandal in Moscow, which shows that Navalny keeps in touch with the outside world and finds humour even in the most difficult circumstances.
First photos of Alexei @navalny from his maximum security colony in Russia’s Far North. Navalny appeared in court today, via video. He is suing the prison administration, protesting against disciplinary penalties and harsh conditions.
Photo: Alexandra Astakhova / Mediazona pic.twitter.com/FtNXILQK7i
— Mediazona English (@mediazona_en) January 10, 2024
At Wednesday’s court hearing, documented by the independent Russian news website Mediazona, Alexei Navalny argued unsuccessfully that the authorities acted illegally when they put him in solitary confinement in October for insulting a guard.
Navalny admitted that he had “exaggerated” by calling the guard a devil, a fool and a monster after he took away his pen, even though he had the right to keep writing tools.
He claimed that at the time of the incident he should have already been transferred from Melekhov to another prison after being sentenced to 19 years in August.
According to Reuters, the judge rejected Navalny’s appeal.
The “Polar Wolf” colony, located about 1 900 km north-east of Moscow,
is known as one of Russia’s harshest penal institutions, according to Reuters.
On social media, Navalny’s lawyers circulated a post in which he humorously mentioned that the temperature in the prison had not yet dropped below -32°C.
He also said at Wednesday’s court hearing that the food in prison was good but he had not yet received any letters, excusing this by saying that he was too far away.
The frequent court hearings have given Alexei Navalny the opportunity to continue his attacks on President Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine, as well as to challenge and ridicule the prison system.
Navalny, 47, is currently serving a sentence of more than 30 years in prison on several charges that he says were fabricated to silence him, writes Reuters.
Also read: Navalny’s camp plans to disrupt Putin’s path to becoming President
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