Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition politician and staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin, said he was given a cellmate who would not stop screaming to keep him entertained.
Navalny, who is currently imprisoned in a penal colony outside the town of Vladimir, said his cellmate was transferred to his cell in December. The man, who Navalny calls a “psycho,” had been serving a 24-year sentence in another colony, as quoted by the Telegram channel Siren.
“Navalny calls his neighbor a ‘psycho,'” the Telegram post read, as translated via Google Translate. “There are a lot of videos on the network about those who believe that they have been possessed by demons and devils. It’s very similar — a growling uterine scream periodically turns on and does not turn off for hours. He yells for 14 hours during the day and 3 hours at night.”
Navalny said he has attempted to have his cellmate transferred. However, prison officials rejected this request, telling him that the prisoner was transferred specifically so he “would not get bored.”
“I have to admit that the idea works: I don’t get bored or sleep well. It’s especially cool to get sick: during the day you toil in a cell with a temperature and dream about the night when the bunk will be unfastened, and at night you listen to the cheerful barking of your neighbor,” Navalny added.
Navalny was first arrested in early 2021 when he returned to Russia after recovering from an assassination attempt just five months earlier. He was initially sentenced to two and a half years in prison for violating earlier parole.
In March 2022, the Russian government resentenced him to nine years in a high-security prison on claims that he embezzled donations from his supporters. Being placed in a high-security prison meant it was more difficult for Navalny’s lawyers and family to visit him.
Navalny’s health began deteriorating during his imprisonment. In late December, he accused Russian officials of intentionally endangering his health and refusing to provide him with his medical records.
Shortly after, Nalavny said he was placed in solitary for washing his face 36 minutes earlier than he was authorized to do so.