Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a penal colony where he is to serve more than two years, the head of Russia’s prison service told news agencies Friday.

“He has been transferred to where he is supposed to be under the court ruling,” state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Alexander Kalashnikov, the head of the Federal Prison Service, as saying.

“He has been transferred to where he is supposed to be under the court ruling,” state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Alexander Kalashnikov, the head of the Federal Prison Service, as saying.

Kalashnikov did not disclose the name of the prison but insisted that Navalny would serve his sentence in “absolutely normal conditions.”

“I guarantee that there exists no threat to his life and health,” he added.

Last week the European Court of Human Rights had ordered Russia to release Navalny, saying his life was in danger in prison, but Moscow swiftly rejected the call.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Prison Service said she could not provide further details and was not at liberty to release personal data about convicts.

Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev told AFP on Friday he was still unaware of his client’s whereabouts.

On Thursday afternoon the opposition politician’s defence team said Navalny had been transferred from a Moscow jail to an unknown location, possibly to a penal colony.

Navalny spent months recovering in Germany from the poisoning with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok that saw him fall ill on a flight in Siberia in August.

Russia has denied involvement but Navalny has said it was ordered by Putin.

Navalny was immediately arrested on return to Moscow in mid-January, and Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience.

AFP