UK sanctions officials at Russian penal colony where Alexei Navalny died

The UK government imposed sanctions on Wednesday on six top officials at the Arctic penal colony where Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny died last week, saying they were responsible for the brutal treatment he suffered in the final months of his life.

The six officials, targeted under UK human rights laws, include Colonel Vadim Konstantinovich Kalinin, who oversees the prison camp where Navalny was held in solitary confinement for up to two weeks at a time.

Navalny, a 47-year-old anti-corruption campaigner and former presidential candidate, was also denied medical treatment and forced to walk outdoors in temperatures dropping to minus 32 degrees Celsius, said the UK Foreign Office.

“It’s clear that the Russian authorities saw Navalny as a threat and they tried repeatedly to silence him,” Foreign Secretary David Cameron declared in a statement.

The six prison officials will be barred from traveling to Britain, and any assets they may have in the country will be frozen.

Britain also called on Russian authorities to release Navalny’s body to his family and urged a “full and transparent” investigation into his death on Friday.

While Navalny’s death is still officially unexplained, many Western leaders have said they hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible.

Navalny returned to Moscow in January 2021 after recuperating in Germany from a nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin. He was immediately arrested and received three prison terms that he described as obviously politically motivated.

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