Jailed Putin critic Navalny moved, probably to prison camp: lawyer, activist

FILE PHOTO: A still image taken from video footage shows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is accused of flouting the terms of a suspended sentence for embezzlement, inside a defendant dock during the announcement of a court verdict in Moscow, Russia February 2, 2021. Press service of Simonovsky District Court/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been moved to an undisclosed detention centre outside Moscow that may be a prison camp, his lawyer and a member of a rights organisation said on Thursday.

Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, was jailed this month over alleged parole violations related to an embezzlement case he said was trumped up for political reasons, something the authorities deny.

He is due to spend a little over 2-1/2 years behind bars, according to his lawyers, one of whom, Vadim Kobzev said on Twitter he had been moved from his Moscow jail.

Kobzev later said Navalny could have been taken to a prison camp.

Kobzev said such a move was against the law, adding that Navalny's relatives had not been informed of his whereabouts.

Eva Merkacheva, a member of Moscow's public monitoring committee for human rights, said Navalny was sent to a standard penal colony, the location of which should be disclosed when he arrived there, RIA news agency reported.

Navalny, 44, was arrested in January upon returning from Germany following treatment for poisoning with what many Western countries say was a military-grade nerve agent.

His detention has fuelled political tensions between Moscow and Western nations, which are preparing additional sanctions against Russian officials.

(Reporting by Anton Zverev and Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Andrew Osborn and John Stonestreet)

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