Navalny’s mother says Russian authorities want to bury him in secret

Alexey Navalny’s mother has accused the Russian authorities of threatening her and forcing her to agree to a secret burial for her son.

In a video posted to the Navalny Live YouTube channel on Thursday, Lyudmila Navalnaya said that she had been taken to see Alexey’s body in the morgue in Salekhard on Wednesday evening and had signed his death certificate, which, according to Navalny’s press secretary Kira Yarmysh, said Navalny had died “of natural causes”.

“By law, they had to hand Alexey’s body over to me after that, but they haven’t done that,” Lyudmila said, adding that instead, the authorities are trying to blackmail her and set conditions regarding the time and location of Navalny’s burial.

Navalnaya said she had decided to record this video as she was receiving threats from the authorities, who told her “they will do something to Alexey’s body” if she doesn’t agree to a secret funeral.

“They want the funeral to be held in secret without a memorial service. They want to take me to a freshly dug grave on the edge of a cemetery. I did not agree to that,” Navalnaya said, adding that one investigator had told her: “Time is not on your side, corpses decompose quickly.”

The family of Alexey Navalny, whose death was reported on Friday by Russian prison authorities, has repeatedly called on the Russian authorities to release Navalny’s body and let them hold a funeral service.

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