Navalny's mother filed a lawsuit to the court in Salekhard to have her son's body returned to her

The mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has filed a lawsuit in a court in the Arctic city of Salekhard challenging officials' refusal to hand over her son's body, Russian state news agency Tass reported.

A closed-door hearing is scheduled for March 4, the report said.

Lyudmila Navalny has been trying to retrieve her son's body since Saturday, following his death in a penal colony in Russia's far north a day earlier.

On Tuesday, she appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to release her son's remains so he could be buried with dignity.

Russian authorities have said Navalny's cause of death is still unknown and have refused to release his body for the next two weeks until all tests are done to determine the cause of his death.

The family accused the government of trying to cover up the evidence.

On Monday, Navalny's widow, Yulia, released a video accusing Putin of killing her husband.

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