Alexéi Navalni, the main political adversary of the Kremlin, has already been in Penitentiary Colony number 2 (IK-2) of the Vladimir region near Moscow, in the town of Pokrov, where he will have to spend the next two years and five months.
In a message published on his Instagram account, illustrated with his photograph with his head shaved, Navalni tells his first impressions of the prison where he is confined and draws special attention to the fact that, at night, an official told him He films every hour to verify that he is still in the cell and has not escaped. Such action, which includes the employee’s words indicating the exact time of the recording, wakes him up, although he assures that he is able to fall asleep afterwards.
Although without any reason to justify it, Navalni has been classified as a prisoner with a tendency to escape, hence so much prevention. His lawyers claim that such typecasting has been done especially to limit his movements within the prison and justify the imposition of numerous restrictions. He never tried to escape during the times he was arrested or during the numerous minor prison sentences that were imposed on him for calling protest demonstrations.
“There are three things that never cease to amaze me: the starry sky above us, the categorical imperative within us and the incredible sensation of running our hand over your freshly shaved skull,” Navalni points out at the beginning of his letter. “Greetings from Reinforced Control Sector A,” he continues.
In his words, “The Russian prison system has managed to surprise me. I had no idea that it was possible to organize a real concentration camp 100 kilometers from Moscow. The opposition leader acknowledges that “I have not seen any type of violence here, not even a hint of it.” However, he says he notices a “tense” attitude among the prisoners. “They are even afraid to turn their heads back (…) which makes me trust the many stories told of the IK-2 Pokrov, when not long ago inmates were beaten almost to death with wooden hammers ».
Navalni says that “now the methods have changed and, to be honest, I don’t even remember a place where everyone speaks with such courtesy and, in a sense, friendliness.” He also writes that “this is what I call my new home, our friendly concentration camp.”
She says that it is forbidden to swear, something that seems “terrible” to her, and that “there are surveillance cameras everywhere (…) at the slightest infraction you are denounced. I think someone upstairs read Orwell’s 1984 and said, Yeah, great. Let’s do it. Education through dehumanization ». But if you approach situations with humor, you can live. I’m doing well in general, “he says.
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