Russian Opposition Lawyer Briefly Detained in Moscow, Hindering Efforts to Release Alexei Navalny’s Body

MOSCOW (AP) — A lawyer assisting the late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s mother in her efforts to secure his body from authorities was briefly detained on Tuesday, according to Russian news media. Vasily Dubkov, the lawyer, confirmed that he was released after the incident but did not provide details about the reason for his detention. Dubkov’s detention, however, was seen as an obstruction to his work as a lawyer.

Dubkov’s assistance played a crucial role in helping Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, in obtaining the release of her son’s body. Navalny died unexpectedly in an Arctic penal colony, and his mother had accused investigators of attempting to blackmail her by withholding his body unless she accepted a private burial, which she adamantly refused.

Addressing these accusations, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson dismissed them as absurd and denied any Kremlin involvement in the arrangements concerning Navalny. Meanwhile, Navalny’s team has encountered obstacles in finding a suitable venue for people to pay their respects to him, according to his spokeswoman. Some funeral halls have refused to work with them, claiming they are prohibited from doing so.

Navalny, who had been serving a sentence of more than three decades on fraud and extremism charges he deemed politically motivated, was subject to serious allegations by his family and supporters who believe he was assassinated. The Kremlin, however, has vehemently denied these claims.

Last October, three of Navalny’s lawyers were arrested on suspicion of belonging to an “extremist group,” and two others are now on a wanted list.

The circumstances surrounding Navalny’s death and the subsequent actions of Russian authorities have raised concerns internationally, with countries and human rights organizations calling for transparent investigations into the matter. The detention of Navalny’s lawyer, while alarming, highlights the ongoing challenges facing those seeking justice and answers in this case. The pressure continues to mount on the Russian government to address these concerns and ensure a fair and impartial resolution.