Jailed Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin sent to solitary confinement days before family visit — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Jailed Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin sent to solitary confinement days before family visit

Jailed Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin said on Wednesday that he had been sent to solitary confinement three days before a scheduled prison visit by his parents was due to take place.

Prison guards told Yashin that he was being sent to an isolation cell for 15 days as punishment for being three minutes late for roll call, though Yashin said he believed the intent behind the move was to prevent a scheduled visit from his family taking place and “increase pressure” on him “for political reasons”.

He also noted that prison guards at the IK-3 penal colony in western Russia’s Smolensk region had only told him to contact his lawyer to relay the news to his family on Friday evening, when it was already too late to do so, something he condemned as a “dirty trick” that had been aimed at “bullying” and “punishing” his loved ones.

“What does my mum have to do with this?” Yashin asked in his post. “She is not a politician, not an opposition figure. Why are you mocking her? To bring to tears a woman who came to prison to see her son? Shame on you.”

Yashin ended by pledging that he would continue to “resist tyranny” and to condemn the “murderer” Putin and the war crimes being committed in Ukraine.

Yashin was handed an eight-and-a-half-year sentence in December 2022 for spreading “false information” about the Russian army after he published reports about the mass murder of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha in March 2022.

“What does my mum have to do with this?” Yashin asked in his post. “She is not a politician, not an opposition figure. Why are you mocking her? To bring to tears a woman who came to prison to see her son? Shame on you.”

Before his death in February, Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was repeatedly forced to endure long stints in punishment cells, the harsh conditions of which are widely believed to have contributed to his death.

Concerns for the wellbeing of other jailed opposition figures such as Yashin and Vladimir Kara-Murza, whose health deteriorated over several spells in solitary confinement last year, have only increased since Navalny’s death in prison.

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