Guards at prison where Navalny died allegedly tortured inmate to death in 2022

Russian independent media outlet Holod alleged on Friday that guards at IK-3, the prison in the Russian Arctic where Alexey Navalny died a week ago, tortured a prisoner to death in July 2022 and then attempted to pass it off as a suicide.

Holod reported that Bakhrombek Sharifov suffocated after he was put in a straightjacket, rolled onto a mattress, and bound with tape, and that the prison administration had subsequently attempted to cover the incident up, burning evidence and reporting that Sharifov had hanged himself.

When an autopsy ruled that his death had not been a suicide, five prison guards were charged with grievous bodily harm, abuse of authority, and lethal negligence. One of the five has already been convicted, though his sentence has not been made public. Four others are currently awaiting trial, Holod said.

In the same report, Holod also detailed two cases in which the families of deceased prisoners were not informed how their relative died. In one case, the mother of one deceased prisoner was told she had 24 hours to get to the remote town of Kharp, in Russia’s far north, to collect her son’s body. As she was unable to reach the penal colony before the deadline, her son was reportedly buried without a tombstone.

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