Thursday , July 29 2021

Alexey Navalny announces he is going on hunger strike

“I have the right to call a doctor and get medications. They give me neither one nor the other. The back pain has moved to the leg. Parts of my right leg and now of my left leg have lost sensitivity. Jokes aside, but this is already annoying,” Navalny said.

Navalny informed the head of penal colony No.2 in Pokrov that he was going on a hunger strike in a handwritten letter. Images of the letter were shared by his team on Instagram.

“I announce a hunger strike with a demand for the law to be obeyed and that I’m seen by a doctor from outside. So I’m hungry, but so far I still have two legs,” Navalny said in the Instagram post.

One of Navalny’s lawyers said last week the Russian opposition figure had been suffering from acute back pain that had affected his ability to walk, and his condition was being exacerbated by alleged “torture by sleep deprivation.”

Navalny echoed these sentiments on Wednesday saying he is being tortured. “Instead of medical assistance, I am tortured with sleep deprivation (they wake me up 8 times a night), and the administration persuading the activist convicts (aka “goats”) to intimidate ordinary convicts so that they do not clean around my bed,” Navalny said.

A group of Russian doctors started an online petition recently calling for prison authorities to allow Navalny to be treated by a doctor from outside of the prison.

The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) said last week that Navalny and other prisoners in the Vladimir region had received medical examinations at the inmates’ request, according to state media outlet TASS. Navalny is “in generally good and stable health,” the FSIN statement said.

Kremlin critic

An outspoken government critic and anti-corruption crusader, Navalny has long been a thorn in President Vladimir Putin’s side, prompting concerns for his safety in the country. The activist nearly died after he was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent last August.

A joint investigation by CNN and the group Bellingcat implicated the Russian Security Service (FSB) in Navalny’s poisoning. Russia denies involvement, but several Western officials and Navalny himself have openly blamed the Kremlin. Navalny returned to Russia in January from a five-month stay in Germany, where he had been recovering.

Navalny was jailed earlier this year for violating the probation terms of a 2014 case in which he received a suspended sentence of three and a half years.

A Moscow court took into account the 11 months Navalny had already spent under house arrest as part of the decision and replaced the remainder of the suspended sentence with a prison term last month.

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