'Cold torture': Calls for independent probe into Navalny's murder grow louder

By
Web Desk
Alexei Navalny in his last video appearance in court (left) and with his wife (right) in these photos.—Reuters
Alexei Navalny in his last video appearance in court (left) and with his wife (right) in these photos.—Reuters

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was allegedly subjected to "cold torture" in the Polar Wolf penal colony before his death, as claimed by the humanitarian group gulagu.net, which focuses on exposing prison abuses. 

The group is now urging an independent examination of the Putin critic's body and has requested Navalny's family to ensure samples are examined abroad.

Russian authorities are being called upon to permit an independent probe, considering their assertion of Navalny's death from "sudden death syndrome" while serving a 19-year prison sentence at the Arctic colony. Navalny's wife, Yulia, accused Vladimir Putin of ordering her husband's murder and had previously criticised the delay in releasing his body to the family.

Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine's GUR military intelligence service, suggested the possibility of natural causes, citing a "blood clot" as the cause of Navalny's death. Gulagu.net emphasises Navalny's body as crucial evidence, alleging manipulation to conceal a crime committed to please Putin.

The group appeals to the US and EU for support in exposing this "political murder" and calls for the evacuation of the body for a comprehensive post-mortem examination—gulagu.net pledges to publish a list of Russian jail officials involved in Navalny's alleged murder.

Russian media speculates a potential funeral in Moscow on February 29, coinciding with Putin's significant speech. Concerns are raised about potential obstruction by authorities to prevent a people's funeral, drawing parallels to past instances of suppressing public gatherings during notable funerals in Russian history.