The commotion within the prison colony that followed the first moments of the news of the death of Alexei Nalvani, as well as the reaction of the prison officials, is described by a fellow inmate in a publication by Novaya Europe.

Communicating with prisoners at the IK-3 penal colony in the Russian Arctic has never been easy, even at the best of times, due to the strict detention regime and geographical isolation.

Inevitably, this communication with anyone held at IK-3 has become even more difficult without the intervention of the Federal Penitentiary Service, following the announcement of the death of Alexei Nalvani on Friday. According to a prisoner Novaya Europe was able to contact, there had been a “mysterious disturbance” in the prison before it was leaked that Nalwani was dead the night before.

“It all started when they were really speeding up our afternoon forecourt. This usually happens on holidays when the guards rush off to celebrate, but that day was not a holiday. Then they closed us down, prohibited us from moving between barracks and increased security measures.

We heard cars entering the prison grounds late at night, but we couldn’t see from our cell windows what it was,” the prisoner told Novaya Europe.

He then reports that guards conducted a thorough search of the prisoners’ cells the next morning, confiscating phones, decks of cards, and even coil heaters they had previously allowed informally. The whole situation looked as if an external inspection was about to take place in the prisons.

“Usually both the administration and the inmates learn about such audits about a month in advance and prepare because neither the guards nor the inmates want the auditors to find violations. And so we were waiting for an inspection out of the blue! Something must have happened.”

Around 10 a.m. on Friday, news of Navalny’s death spread to the inmates.

“The area of ​​the punishment cell where Navalny was incarcerated is kind of on the side of the barracks, but we would have seen an ambulance drive up there. But there was no ambulance in the colony that morning, it appeared only after the news of Navalny’s death broke. So I think he died much earlier than officially announced, the night before, probably. Why else would they have locked us out completely the day before and searched us so thoroughly?’

However, the detainee tells Novaya Europe that he believed the administration seemed unfair about the accusations about the circumstances of Navalny’s death, as? As he describes both the captain and the head of operations of the penal colony looked upset immediately after the news was announced.

The prisoners were informed that inspectors from the main office of the Federal Penitentiary Service were coming to IK-3 around the same time they learned of Navalny’s death, which proves that Navalny died much earlier than reported.

However, there is widespread certainty among prisoners that neither warden Vadim Kalinin nor his subordinates had anything to do with Navalny’s death, although the possibility that they were ordered to do something they didn’t want to do is not completely ruled out.

“The first autopsy will determine the exact time of death based on body temperature, stiffness and contents of internal organs,” pathologist Irina Sitnova told Novaya Europe. “Because the family doubts the cause of death given by the authorities, they will insist on an independent autopsy. If Navalny did indeed die of a thromboembolism, as authorities claim, the autopsy will clearly show that, and a second autopsy will confirm it. But an autopsy will be unlikely to determine the exact time of death.”

Knowing the exact time of death is not only important for ascertaining its cause, but also for understanding the chain of events that preceded it, coroner Igor S. told Novaya Europe.

“There is a great danger that the last hours of Alexei Navalny’s life will forever remain a mystery to both his family and the public.”

In the case of a possible thromboembolism, the blood clot could have formed on its own, but it could also have been triggered by a blow to the site where the blood clot formed.

This is exactly the kind of information that an initial autopsy would normally provide.

“After the first autopsy, the state of his internal organs will not be in a condition to draw accurate conclusions,” said Igor S.. “If his relatives fail to convince independent experts to participate in the first autopsy, it will be difficult to challenge the official time of death and understand the sequence of events leading up to Navalny’s death.”