The Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny was forcibly removed from his cell by law enforcement officers on Monday after he had refused to leave it to protest a decision by prison authorities to take away his writing tools, his political allies said.
Mr. Navalny, 47, was scheduled to appear in court via a video link from the penal colony where he’s been held since June 2022 for a hearing in the latest in a series of lawsuits he has filed against his prison’s authorities. But the screen in the courtroom remained dark and Kira Yarmysh, his spokeswoman, later said that Mr. Navalny refused to leave his cell because his writing instruments had been confiscated.
“After that, several individuals forcibly entered the cell and physically escorted him to the investigator’s office,” Ms. Yarmysh wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. Reached for comment later, she said she had no new information about what occurred.
Mr. Navalny, who had been sentenced by Russian courts to 19 years in prison overall on charges of fraud, embezzlement, contempt of court and extremism, has been able to maintain a significant presence in Russian social and political life by filing lawsuits against government establishments, speaking up during court hearings and publishing statements on social media.
In recent weeks, Russian authorities appeared to try to limit his ability to speak out to the wider public. On Oct. 13, three of his lawyers were arrested and charged with taking part in an “extremist group.” Mr. Navalny’s lawyers have acted as conduits between him and the outside world.
The decision to deprive him of his writing tools can be a step to further isolate him.
Sota Vision, a Russian news outlet, reported that Artyom Krylov, a representative of the Russian prison service, said that Mr. Navalny “refused to get into the room where video link had been organized.”
As a result, the court hearing was adjourned until Nov. 2, Sota Vision, a non-state news outlet, reported.