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Alexei Navalny's mother Lyudmila Navalnaya with her lawyer


Maxim Shemetov / REUTERS

Much is still unclear about the circumstances of Alexei Navalny's death. His mother now wants to file a lawsuit to have the body returned - but the responsible court in the Siberian city of Salekhard does not want to deal with this for around a week and a half. The hearing on Lyudmila Navalnaya's application has been scheduled for March 4 and will take place behind closed doors, reported the Russian state news agency Tass. According to his team, the authorities had previously told Navalny's relatives that the body would remain under lock and key for another two weeks due to "chemical tests."

Russian authorities announced Navalny's death last Friday. Apparently he collapsed while walking in the prison camp north of the Arctic Circle. Attempts by prison officers to resuscitate him were in vain. Despite international protests, the authorities are denying relatives access to Navalny's body. His team, which accuses the Russian power apparatus of murder, sees this as an attempted cover-up.

In Russia, more than 70,000 people have already signed a call for the body to be returned to relatives. Navalny's mother Lyudmila personally asked Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a video on Tuesday to see and bury her son as quickly as possible. So far there has been no reaction from the Kremlin.

“Polarwolf” leader is no longer allowed to come to Great Britain

Meanwhile, Great Britain imposed sanctions on the head of the Russian prison camp IK-3, where Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny died. The head of the camp beyond the Arctic Circle known as the “Polar Wolf,” Vadim Kalinin, and five other officers are no longer allowed to enter the United Kingdom. Any property in Great Britain will be frozen, the Foreign Office in London announced on Wednesday. "Those responsible for Navalny's brutal treatment should have no illusions: we will hold them accountable," said British Foreign Minister David Cameron.

The authorities emphasized that Navalny was “imprisoned and killed” in the camp. Kalinin ran the "brutal" prison camp in which Navalny was held in solitary confinement for up to two weeks at a time. The opposition politician's condition steadily worsened during his three years in prison. Navalny suffered from being denied medical treatment. He was also forced to walk in the yard at temperatures of minus 32 degrees Celsius.

Britain called on Russia to immediately return Navalny's body to his relatives. Cameron said he would address Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov directly about Russia's aggression and its global impact at the G20 foreign ministers' meeting scheduled for the same day in Brazil.