Alexei Navalny's body handed over to his mother, spokesperson says

Salekhard, Russia - Russian authorities have handed over the body of late opposition figure Alexei Navalny to his mother, his spokesperson Kira Yarmish said on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday.

Lyudmila Navalnaya, the mother of late Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, and his lawyer Alexei Tsvetkov walk out of an office of the Investigative Committee's regional department in the city of Salekhard in the Yamal-Nenets Region, Russia.
Lyudmila Navalnaya, the mother of late Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, and his lawyer Alexei Tsvetkov walk out of an office of the Investigative Committee's regional department in the city of Salekhard in the Yamal-Nenets Region, Russia.  © REUTERS

Navalny's relatives and his team had been pleading with the authorities for days to release his body after the dissident died in a Siberian penal colony aged 47 last week under unclear circumstances.

"Alexey's body was handed over to his mother. Many thanks to all those who demanded this with us," Yarmish said.

Navalny's mother, who had traveled to the prison in Russia's far north where her son had been held after learning of his death, was still in the nearby town of Salekhard, the spokesperson added.

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"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."

Biden blames Putin for Navalny's death

It has been more than a week since Russia's best-known activist died in prison, sparking international outrage from leaders who regarded him as a political prisoner.

Western leaders including President Joe Biden have blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for Navalny's death after years of what they say was unwarranted jail time.

Russia holds a presidential election next month, with Putin expected to win easily.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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