Navalny’s Mother Says Officials Pressuring Her Into ‘Secret’ Burial

The mother of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chief opponent, Alexei Navalny, who died in an Arctic prison last week, said Thursday that officials are forcing her to arrange a “secret” burial for her son.

Lyudmila Navalnaya said she was finally permitted to see the body in the morgue in Salekhard, the nearest town to the distant prison, after being prevented from doing so for several days.

“Yesterday evening they secretly took me to the morgue where they showed me Alexei,” she said in a video released on social media by Navalny’s team.

But she said of the burial: “They want it to be done secretly without a chance to say goodbye.”

“They are blackmailing me, they put conditions for where, when and how Alexei should be buried. This is illegal,” she said.

“They want to take me to the edge of a cemetery to a fresh grave and say: Here is where your son lies. I am against that.

“I want that for those of you for whom Alexei is dear, for everyone for whom his death became a personal tragedy, to have the possibility to say goodbye to him.”

She said she recorded the video because investigators were “threatening” her.

“Looking me in the eye, they said that if I do not agree to a secret funeral they’ll do something with my son’s body… I ask for my son’s body to be given to me immediately,” she said.


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