Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s team has announced it has located him in a Siberian penal colony after a week-long search.
“We have found Alexei Navalny,” spokeswoman Kira Jarmis announced on Christmas Day, the BBC reported. Yarmysh added that Navalny’s lawyer was able to meet with him.
Yarmysh announced the update on Telegram, where she said Navalny, 47, had been transferred to the IK-3 penal colony, also known as the “Polar Wolf”, in Harp, in the Yamalo-Nenets region of Northern Russia.
Russian authorities had previously held him at a facility about 145 miles east of Moscow. Navalny’s team lost contact with him on December 5 after he failed to appear in court via video link for a hearing, launching a desperate investigation.
JOURNALIST EVAN GERSKOVITZ’S IMPRISONMENT IN RUSSIA A ‘BODY BLOW’ AS WALL STREET JOURNAL, WORKING TO FREE HIM
Yarmysh at the time said that prison officials had blamed electrical problems and that lawyers had been unable to meet with their client for nearly a week. Officials eventually admitted to the lawyer that Navalny was no longer among the detainees and “refused to say” where he had gone.
Navalny has been the most prominent opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent years, leading to an assassination attempt in 2020 when Navalny was poisoned by a suspected Novichok nerve agent. He remained in a coma for several weeks while doctors in Germany fought to keep him alive.
RUSSIAN ANTI-WAR CANDIDATE RULED FROM TACKLING PUTIN IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
Navalny returned to Russia in 2021, when authorities immediately arrested him and later sentenced him to 19 years in prison on charges of extremism. His team has repeatedly raised concerns about his treatment since his return.
Ivan Zhadov, an aide to the opposition leader and head of his anti-corruption foundation, criticized the Russian government for putting Navalny in “the most remote colonies” to “isolate and suppress him,” the New York Times reported.
US VETERAN PAUL WHELAN FEELS ‘Abandoned’ AS HE REMAINS PRISONED IN RUSSIA. “A SERIOUS BETRAYAL”
“Alexei’s situation is a clear example of how the system treats political prisoners,” Zadov said in a post on X. He added that although Navalny had spoken with his lawyer, officials had tried to delay the meeting.
CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Zadov also claimed that government officials had likely decided months ago to transfer Navalny to IK-3.
“Thanks to those who continue to write and spread information about Alexei and other political prisoners, we continue the fight,” Zadov wrote. “Thank you. Freedom for Navalny.”
Stephen Sorace of Fox News Digital and The Associated Press contributed to this report.