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Navalny's body is handed over to his mother

2024-02-24 17:59:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Navalny's body is handed over to his mother

The body of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny - who died suddenly and unexpectedly in prison last week - has been handed over to his mother, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh announced on Saturday.

Yarmysh said he does not know if Russian authorities will allow his funeral to be held "in the way the family wants and in the way Alexei deserves."

Navalny's body was handed over to his mother Lyudmila Navalnaya shortly after she was asked to agree to his "secret burial", or he would be buried in the prison where he died.

Yarmysh thanked all those who had requested the return of his body to his family. Navalny's mother spent the past week in the town near the prison where he died, first trying to locate his body and then demanding his body be handed over to her.

After signing a death certificate stating that he died of natural causes, she was given three hours to agree to bury her son "secretly".

If he did not agree, his body would be buried in the prison yard where he died, his mother was told, according to Yarmysh.

But Lyudmila refused to negotiate with the authorities. Earlier on Saturday, Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of holding her husband's body "hostage" and demanded he release it unconditionally.

She again accused the Russian president of being responsible for her husband's death.

The Kremlin has denied the accusations, while the West's reactions to his death have been described as "hysterical". Navalny died on February 16 in a Russian prison in the Arctic. Navalny has been the biggest critic of the Russian leader for years.

In August 2020, Navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok, and he blamed the state apparatus, led by Putin, for that decision.

Navalny had recovered in Germany after the poisoning, and on the day of his return to Russia, was sent to prison.

Attempts to commemorate his death have been suppressed by the Russian authorities, who have removed improvised memorials in his honor in several Russian cities, as well as arrested hundreds of people./ Rel

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