Putin critic punished in prison as hobo with hygiene problem put in his cell

A jailed Vladimir Putin critic has said prison bosses have put a prisoner with severe personal hygiene issues in his cell as a means of " imposing psychological pressure on him".

In a series of Twitter posts today, December 12, jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny said via someone on the outside that "an inmate who has a big problem with personal hygiene" was put within arm's reach of him.

They "put a hobo in his cell" because officials failed to break him with punitive confinement, something Navalny said officials tried several times since mid-August.

READ MORE: Putin critic Navalny moved to Russian ‘torture prison’ notorious for sexual violence

"A prisoner with problems in this sense will instantly make your life unbearable. But everything is according to the law. This is what the administration reports with joyful and happy smiles in response to my indignation," he said in a message then shared on Twitter.

Navalny also claimed his new cellmate wrote an application for transfer to another cell but the administration of the penal colony refused him.

The politician had to use "threats, screams and appeals to conscience" to convince his cellmate to wash himself, Svoboda reported.

"I feel like some strange teacher in a kindergarten, where instead of children there are homeless people living on a heating main," he said.

In March, Navalny – who nearly lost his life when he was poisoned with novichok in 2020 – was sentenced to nine years of strict regime prison for 'fraud and insulting the court’.

The judge had been promoted by Vladimir Putin ahead of the sentence.

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In June, Navalny was moved to the strict regime colony in Melekhovo, where torture is reportedly "rampant" and there are reports of violent rape, too.

Independent media outlet Mediazona last year revealed allegations of systematic torture and sexual violence at the facility known as Correctional Colony No. 6.

It is in the same Vladimir region as his previous Pokrovskaya general regime colony, a two-hour drive away.

The fact both jails are in a region with the same name as Putin is seen as reflecting the Kremlin leader’s "sense of humour".

Navalny has said he wants to replace Putin, and believes he would win an election if the system were not rigged in the Kremlin leader’s favour.

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