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Yulia Navalnaya: Putin took the body “hostage”.

The widow of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of taking the body of her husband, who died in custody, as a “hostage”. Putin wanted to “force Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, to agree to a secret funeral,” Yulia Navalnaya said in an online video today. Putin gave the orders that said: “Don't hand him over, pressure the mother, break her, tell her that her son's body has decomposed.”

“You tortured him while he was alive, now you are torturing him after his death,” Yulia Navalnaya added.

Investigators threaten a secret funeral

Lyudmila Navalnaya has been trying to gain access to her son's body for more than a week. According to Navalny's spokeswoman, Kira Jarmisch, Russian investigators threatened to bury Navalny's body in the penal colony where she died if her family did not agree to a secret burial.

According to observers, the Kremlin fears that a funeral could become a public event. Presidential elections are scheduled for mid-March in Russia. Putin's renewed electoral victory is almost certain, as he has no serious competition.

The death of Navalny, who had been imprisoned in Russia for years, was announced on Friday last week. He died in a penal camp in the Arctic Circle at the age of 47. His death caused international consternation. Numerous Western politicians, as well as Navalny's widow, have blamed the Russian leadership and President Putin for his death. Moscow rejected the accusations.