Russian priests sign open letter calling for Navalny’s body to be released to family

Russian Orthodox priests and members of the church have appealed in writing to the Russian authorities for the body of murdered political prisoner Alexey Navalny to be given to his family for burial.

The letter, signed by over 800 people, says Navalny was “a man of faith, an Orthodox Christian”, whose family deserved the chance to give him a proper burial.

Refusing to hand over Navalny’s body would be seen as an “act of ruthlessness and inhumanity”, the letter’s authors wrote, adding that such a decision could lead to “even more tension within society”.

“Even Pontius Pilate, who decided to execute Christ for fear of disloyalty to the emperor … did not prevent the release of the Saviour’s body and his burial. Do not be crueller than Pilate,” the letter concluded.

Alexey Navalny, whose death was reported on Friday by Russia’s prison authorities, was one of Russia’s leading opposition politicians. Navalny’s mother Lyudmila filed a lawsuit on Tuesday contesting officials’ refusal to hand over her son’s body, which is not due to be heard until 4 March.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.