Alexey Navalny’s body returned to his family

Alexey Navalny’s body has been released by the Russian authorities in the Arctic city of Salekhard and given to his mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, the late opposition politician’s team said on Saturday afternoon.

“Alexey’s body was handed over to his mother. Many thanks to all those who demanded this with us,” wrote Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh on X, referring to a concerted campaign by prominent Russians asking the Kremlin to release Navalny over a week since he died suddenly in prison.

“The funeral is still pending. We do not know if the authorities will interfere to carry it out as the family wants and as Alexey deserves. We will inform you as soon as there is news,” Yarmysh added.

On Friday, the Investigative Committee reportedly issued Lyudmila Navalnaya with an ultimatum, demanding she either agree to have her son buried in secret or he would be buried in the penal colony where he was killed.

"She refused to negotiate with the Investigative Committee because they have no authority to decide how and where she should bury her son,” Yarmysh said, adding: “She demanded that they comply with the law, which obliges investigators to hand over the body within two days of establishing the causes of death.”

“According to the medical documents she signed, those two days expire tomorrow. She insisted that the authorities let the funeral and memorial service be held with traditional rites."

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