Russian ombudsman probes into high-profile prisoners’ complaints

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – November 17, 2015)

Russian Commissioner for Human Rights Ella Pamfilova has sent an official letter to the Russian prison authorities asking them to provide urgent medical help to the brother of prominent opposition activist Aleksey Navalnyy – Oleg Navalnyy, who is serving his prison sentence after being convicted for embezzlement, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax news agency reported on 17 November.

“The commissioner for human rights has sent an official letter to the Director of the Federal Penal Service Gennadiy Korniyenko about the need to provide urgent medical assistance to Oleg Navalnyy,” Pamfilova’s press service told Interfax.

According to the press service, on doctors’ recommendations, Oleg Navalnyy needs an urgent surgery.

Pamfilova also appealed to the prosecutor’s office to thoroughly investigate whether Oleg Navalnyy had been disciplined and placed in a punishment cell on legitimate grounds.

In October 2013, Aleksey and Oleg Navalnyy were charged with the theft of thousands of dollars from the Russian division of the French cosmetics brand Yves Rocher. In December 2014, Navalnyy was given a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence; and Oleg was sentenced to a real prison term for the same period and fined R500,000.

According to the press service, in addition to Oleg Navalnyy’s complaint, in late October and November the commissioner for human rights checked complaints from other high-profile prisoners – opposition activists Leonid Razvozzhayev and Sergey Udaltsov.

[featured image is file photo]