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Here wilson, this is the oppression you fear

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Noah Sombrero

Feb 19, 2024, 10:41:39 AMFeb 19

From Globe & Mail

Confined to cold, concrete cells and often alone with his books,
Alexey Navalny sought solace in letters. To one acquaintance, he wrote
in July that no one could understand Russian prison life “without
having been here,” adding in his deadpan humour: “But there’s no need
to be here.”

“If they’re told to feed you caviar tomorrow, they’ll feed you
caviar,” Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, wrote to the same
acquaintance, Ilia Krasilshchik, in August. “If they’re told to
strangle you in your cell, they’ll strangle you.”

Many details about his last months – as well as the circumstances of
his death, which the Russian authorities announced on Friday – remain
unknown; even the whereabouts of his body are unclear.

Navalny’s aides have said little as they process the loss. But his
final months of life are detailed in previous statements from him and
his aides, his appearances in court, interviews with people close to
him and excerpts from private letters that several friends, including
Krasilshchik, shared with The New York Times.

The letters reveal the depth of the ambition, resolve and curiosity of
a leader who galvanized the opposition to President Vladimir Putin and
who, supporters hope, will live on as a unifying symbol of their
resistance. They also show how Navalny – with a healthy ego and
incessant confidence that what he was doing was right – struggled to
stay connected to the outside world.

Even as brutal prison conditions took their toll on his body – he was
often denied medical and dental treatment – there was no hint that
Navalny had lost his clarity of mind, his writings show.

He boasted of reading 44 books in English in a year and was
methodically preparing for the future: refining his agenda, studying
political memoirs, arguing with journalists, dispensing career advice
to friends and opining on viral social media posts that his team sent

In his public messages, Navalny, who was 47 when he died, called his
jailing since January 2021 his “space voyage.” By last fall, he was
more alone than ever, forced to spend much of his time in solitary
confinement and left without three of his lawyers, who were arrested
for participation in an “extremist group.”

Still, he kept up with current events. To a friend, Russian
photographer Evgeny Feldman, Navalny confided that the electoral
agenda of former U.S. President Donald Trump looked “really scary.”

“Trump will become president” should President Joe Biden’s health
suffer, Navalny wrote from his high-security prison cell. “Doesn’t
this obvious thing concern the Democrats?”

A public life
Navalny was able to send hundreds of handwritten letters, thanks to
the curious digitalization of the Russian prison system, a relic of a
brief burst of liberal reform in the middle of Putin’s 24-year rule.
Through a website, people could write to him for 40 cents a page and
receive scans of his responses, typically a week or two after he sent
them, and after they passed through a censor.

Navalny also communicated with the outside world through his lawyers,
who held up documents against the window separating them after they
were barred from passing papers. At one point, Navalny reported in
2022, prison officials covered the window in foil.

Then there were his frequent court hearings on new criminal cases
brought by the state to extend his imprisonment, or on complaints that
Navalny filed about his treatment. Navalny told Krasilshchik, a media
entrepreneur now in exile in Berlin, that he enjoyed those hearings,
despite the rubber-stamp nature of Russia’s judicial system.

“They distract you and help the time pass faster,” he wrote. “In
addition, they provide excitement and a sense of struggle and

The court appearances also provided him an opportunity to show his
contempt for the system. In July, at the conclusion of a trial that
resulted in another 19-year sentence, Navalny told the judge and
officers in the courtroom they were “crazy.”

“You have one, God-given life, and this is what you choose to spend it
on?” he said, according to text of the speech published by his team.

In one of his last hearings, by video link in January, Navalny argued
for the right to longer meal breaks to consume the “two mugs of
boiling water and two pieces of disgusting bread” to which he was

The appeal was rejected; indeed, throughout his imprisonment, Navalny
seemed to savour food vicariously through others, according to
interviews. He told Krasilshchik that he preferred doner kebabs to
falafel in Berlin and took an interest in the Indian food that Feldman
tried in New York.

The court also dismissed his complaint about his prison’s solitary
“punishment” cells, in which Navalny spent some 300 days.

The cells were usually cold, damp and poorly ventilated
7-feet-by-10-feet concrete spaces. But Navalny was protesting
something different: Inmates ordered to spend time in those cells were
allowed only one book.

“I want to have 10 books in my cell,” he told the court.

Books appeared to be at the centre of Navalny’s prison life, all the
way until his death.

In a letter in April 2023 to Krasilshchik, Navalny explained that he
preferred to be reading 10 books simultaneously and “switch between
them.” He said he came to love memoirs: “For some reason I always
despised them. But they’re actually amazing.”

He was frequently soliciting reading recommendations, but also
dispensed them. Describing prison life to Krasilshchik in a July
letter, he recommended nine books on the subject, including a
1,012-page, three-volume set by Soviet dissident Anatoly Marchenko.

Navalny added in that letter that he had reread “One Day in the Life
of Ivan Denisovich,” the searing Alexander Solzhenitsyn novel about
Josef Stalin’s gulag. Having survived a hunger strike and gone months
“in the state of ‘I want to eat,’” Navalny said he only now started to
grasp the depravity of the Soviet-era labour camps.

“You start to realize the degree of horror,” he wrote.

Around the same time, Navalny was also reading about modern Russia.
Mikhail Fishman, a liberal Russian journalist and television host now
working in exile from Amsterdam, heard from a Navalny aide that the
opposition leader had read his new book about the assassinated
opposition figure Boris Nemtsov.

Fishman said he was told that Navalny liked the book, but that he
viewed it as too favourable to Boris Yeltsin, the former Russian

Fishman wrote to Navalny to push back, arguing, among other things,
that Yeltsin hated the KGB, the feared Soviet secret police that
quashed dissent. Navalny responded that he was “particularly outraged”
by that claim.

“Prison, investigation and trial are the same now as in the books” of
Soviet dissidents, Navalny wrote, insisting that Putin’s predecessor
had failed to change the Soviet system. “This is what I cannot forgive
Yeltsin for.”

But Navalny also thanked Fishman for offering some details about his
life in Amsterdam.

“Everyone usually thinks that I really need pathetic and heartbreaking
words,” he wrote in an excerpt that Fishman shared with the Times.
“But I really miss the daily grind – news about life, food, salaries,

Kerry Kennedy, a human-rights activist and the daughter of Democratic
politician Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968, also
exchanged letters with Navalny. He told her that he had cried “two or
three times” while reading a book about her father recommended by a
friend, according to a copy of a letter, handwritten in English, that
Kennedy posted on Instagram after Navalny died.

Navalny thanked Kennedy for sending him a poster with a quote from her
father’s speech about how a “ripple of hope,” multiplied a million
times, “can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and

“I hope one day I’ll be able to hang it on the wall of my office,”
Navalny wrote.

Noah Sombrero


Feb 19, 2024, 3:39:39 PMFeb 19
Yes, Putin definitely oppresses his political rivals. Especially the
ones being funded and supported by the US.

Prisons in that part of the world are very bad. Russia has always been
that way but they are not the only country to have that sort of thing
happen. Have you heard about Gonzalo Lira?


Feb 19, 2024, 4:13:13 PMFeb 19
On 2/19/2024 3:39 PM, Wilson wrote:
> On 2/19/2024 10:41 AM, Noah Sombrero wrote:
>>  From Globe & Mail
>> Confined to cold, concrete cells and often alone with his books,
>> Alexey Navalny sought solace in letters. To one acquaintance, he wrote
>> in July that no one could understand Russian prison life “without
>> having been here,” adding in his deadpan humour: “But there’s no need
>> to be here.”
> Yes, Putin definitely oppresses his political rivals. Especially the
> ones being funded and supported by the US.
> Prisons in that part of the world are very bad. Russia has always been
> that way but they are not the only country to have that sort of thing
> happen.  Have you heard about Gonzalo Lira?

Not only in the east, journalists in the West are also under real threat.

Julian Assange has been in a UK prison for 4-1/2 years. He is facing
extradition to the US where if he is found guilty, faces 175 years
behind bars. For reporting a story the US government did not like.

Why he should be released:

Noah Sombrero

Feb 19, 2024, 4:27:39 PMFeb 19
That accusation will have to hang unsupported in the air. From here
it looks like anybody who disagrees with him is in big trouble. The
most likely result is that the person involved will die of all kinds
of possible causes, but they will all die, each and every one.
Including the mercenary leader who thought putin's troops were
ineffective and sought to demonstrate that. Not that he didn't have a
long history of being putin's pal, and not that he wasn't able to
illustrate his a point.

>Prisons in that part of the world are very bad. Russia has always been
>that way but they are not the only country to have that sort of thing

Sure. When I was a young guy in the military in tx, the word among
the troops was that you *really* really did not want to get stuck in a
mexican jail, for anything.

>Have you heard about Gonzalo Lira?

The description doesn't really compare, I think.

Wiki sez

"Gonzalo Ángel Quintilio Lira López ([?on'salo 'a?xel kin'tiljo 'lira
'lopes], February 29, 1968 – January 12, 2024) was a Chilean-American
novelist,[2] filmmaker,[3] commentator[4][5] and self-styled dating
coach.[6] He was involved in the manosphere,[7] posting anti-feminist
content under the name Coach Red Pill. As a resident of Kharkiv,
Ukraine, he vlogged about the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and was
described as spreading Russian disinformation and propaganda.[8][9]

In April 2022, Lira briefly disappeared and claimed to have been
detained by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).[10][11] In May 2023
Lira was arrested and charged with producing and publishing material
that attempted to justify the ongoing Russian invasion, which is
illegal under Ukrainian law.[6][12] Lira was released on bail, but
attempted to flee the country. He was arrested again for violating his
bail conditions, and died of pneumonia in custody on January 12,

But sure enough the guy was a trouble maker, and it isn't smart to
make trouble in your own nest.

Regardless, I don't see a pattern of people of various sorts all dying
for criticizing v, which is not the same thing as praising Putin in
Noah Sombrero

Noah Sombrero

Feb 19, 2024, 4:34:39 PMFeb 19
Lots of stories about all kinds of things. Actually he was not a
reporter or a writer, he simply published what he was sent.

>Why he should be released:
Agreed. People like him need to be able to speak.

Notice that it looks like your preferred news sources are not
suffering such persecutions. Somebody up there must think they are
Noah Sombrero

Noah Sombrero

Feb 19, 2024, 7:17:18 PMFeb 19
On Mon, 19 Feb 2024 16:34:35 -0500, Noah Sombrero <>
Because, the record is clear. Telling the truth can get you in
trouble. But lies and propaganda? Nope, not in the us anyway.
Noah Sombrero


Feb 20, 2024, 8:42:38 AMFeb 20
UK latest news

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing begins

Julian Assange was being prosecuted for “ordinary journalistic
practice”, his barrister said, as the latest legal battle to avoid
Assange’s extradition to America began.

The WikiLeaks founder was described as being too unwell to attend the
start of the two-day hearing that drew a crowd of supporters at the
Royal Courts of Justice in central London.

Assange, 52, is wanted in the US on 17 charges of espionage and one
charge of computer hacking following the publication of leaked documents
and diplomatic cables in 2010 and 2011 relating to the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq.

He has been in Belmarsh jail in southeast London since April 2019
following his expulsion from the Ecuadorian embassy, where he lived as a
fugitive for seven years to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex assault
charges, which he denied.

Edward Fitzgerald KC, representing Assange, told the court: “He is being
prosecuted for engaging in the ordinary journalistic practice of
obtaining and publishing classified information, information that is
both true and of obvious and important public interest.” Fitzgerald said
there was a “real risk” that Assange would suffer “a flagrant denial of

A key part of Assange’s case is the extradition treaty between the UK
and the US, which does not apply if the alleged wrongdoing is political.
“It is an abuse of process to seek extradition for a political offence,”
Fitzgerald said.

He added that since Assange’s original extradition hearing in 2021 there
had been “active US political interference with any domestic judge who
sought to investigate or prosecute those matters Mr Assange helped expose.”

Fitzgerald said there was also evidence that the US covertly infiltrated
the Ecuadorian embassy to carry out surveillance on Assange’s lawyers
and that contractors discussed plans to “kidnap Mr Assange, and ‘poison’

He said that for “reasons which were never disclosed or explained by the
US government” Donald Trump’s administration decided to initiate a
criminal prosecution, after Barack Obama’s decided not to.

James Lewis KC, representing the US government, said the appeal was an
attempt to “reargue the findings of fact” made by a district judge who
heard the extradition case.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked Assange’s extradition in 2021
after ruling it was not possible for the US authorities “to prevent
suicide where a prisoner is determined to go through with this”.

The decision was overturned by the High Court after the US authorities
gave assurances that Assange would not be held in a high-security jail
and would be allowed to serve any prison sentence in Australia. The
Supreme Court rejected his appeal.

Assange’s wife last week described the hearing as a “life or death”
decision. Stella Assange, 42, said: “His health is deteriorating,
mentally and physically. His life is at risk every single day he stays
in prison. If he is extradited he will die.”

If Assange loses the case, he could ask the European Court of Human
Rights to issue a Rule 39 injunction, which was controversially used to
halt the UK government’s plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

David Brown
Tuesday February 20 2024, 12.30pm, The Times

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