Alexei Navalny’s body has been handed over to his mother, his aide says

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 16: People light candles during a vigil for Alexiei Navalny in front of the Russian Consulate General on February 16, 2024 in Munich, Germany. The death of Russian opposition politician, Alexi Navalny, 47, was announced this morning by the Russian Prison Service. Alexei Anatolievich Navalny was a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, anti-corruption activist and political prisoner. Born in Butyn' in 1976, he refounded the Russia of the Future party in 2018 and organised anti-government demonstrations. He was an advocate against corruption in Russia, and against President Vladimir Putin and his government. Navalny was hospitalised in 2020 for poisoning by a novichok agent and accused President Putin of being responsible. An investigation implicated agents from the Federal Security Service. In 2022 he was jailed for nine years after a trial for embezzlement which was labelled a sham by Amnesty International. He is survived by his wife, Yulia Navalnaya and two children. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

An aide for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Saturday that his body has been handed over to his mother.

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The director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, Ivan Zhdanov, made the announcement on his Telegram account, according to The Associated Press.

Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh on X, formerly known as Twitter, confirmed that his body was handed over and that she is unsure if officials will let the family have a funeral that would be held “the way the family wants and the way Alexei deserves,” according to Reuters.

Russia’s prison service announced on Feb. 16 that Navalny died, according to the AP. Yarmysh said that Navalny was “murdered” at a remote penal colony near the Arctic Circle.

Navalny, 47, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most visible critics, was serving a 19-year sentence in an Arctic penal colony, considered one of the world’s toughest jails.

Navalny was imprisoned in 2021 after he returned to Russia from Germany. In Germany, he was given treatment after he was poisoned by Novichok, according to CNN. Novichok is a Soviet-era nerve agent. When Navalny made it to Russia, he was arrested and then taken to a penal colony located just north of the Arctic Circle.