Hunger strike Navalny protesting prison treatment


Moscow — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was imprisoned, said Wednesday that he had launched a hunger strike to protest that authorities did not provide appropriate treatment for back and leg pain.

In a statement posted on Instagram, Navalny complained that prison officials gave him the proper medicine and refused to allow his doctor to visit him behind the bar.

He also protested the hourly checks that guards made against him at night, stating that they corresponded to torture of sleep deprivation.

44-year-old Navalny, a frank opponent of President Vladimir Putin, was arrested in January when he returned from Germany and spent five months recovering from the nerve agent addiction that accused the Kremlin. Russian authorities have rejected the accusation.

Navalny’s poisoning and conviction further strained Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union. The European Union sank to post-Cold War lows after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, interfering with the 2016 US presidential election, taking attacks and other actions.

His arrest fueled a series of protests that attracted tens of thousands of people across Russia. Authorities detained approximately 11,000 people, many of whom were fined or imprisoned for up to two weeks.

Navalny said the August poisoning wondered what caused the current illness. He said he had to start a hunger strike because his back pain had spread to his right leg, his left leg was numb, and he was feeling ill.

“What else can I do?” He wrote. “I have declared a hunger strike that requires the law to allow visits by invited doctors. So I’m lying here, hungry, but still on both feet.”

Last month, Navalny was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for violating probationary conditions during the recovery period in Germany. The ruling came from a 2014 conviction of embezzlement that Navalny rejected as forged, and the European Commission on Human Rights found it illegal.

Navalny was moved from a Moscow prison this month to a Pokrov penal colony in the Vladimir region, 85 km (53 miles) east of the Russian capital. The facility, called IK-2, stands out among Russian prisons, especially in the strict daily lives of prisoners, with hours of attention.

Navalny’s Instagram also included a photo of a letter announcing a hunger strike to the prison director on Wednesday.

“Every prisoner has the right to invite an expert to check and consult,” he writes. “So I ask the doctor to look at me and declare a hunger strike until that happens.”

In an ironic reference to nerve agent poisoning accusing Russia’s highest security agency, FSB, Navalny wrote to the prison director: As a “metabolic problem,” I am plagued by vague questions about the cause of my illness and the prospects for recovery. “

A Russian prison said last week that Navalny had a medical examination and said his condition was “stable and satisfying.” In a statement following the Hunger Strike Declaration, Navalny claimed to have “all the medical assistance needed according to his current health indicators.”

However, Navalny refused to accept the doctor’s previously prescribed medication or share the diagnosis from his test, as authorities gave him basic painkillers and ointments on his back and legs. I am complaining.

In a memo earlier this month, Navalny described his prison as a “friendly concentration camp.” He had never seen “even signs of violence” there, but said he lived under control compared to what was explained in George Orwell’s novel “1984.”

Alexei Navalny
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was escorted on January 18, 2021 from a police station in Khimki, a suburb of Moscow, following a court ruling ordering him to be imprisoned for 30 days. (Alexander Nemenov via Getty Images / AFP)

Earlier this week, he woke up 10 minutes before the wake-up call and already had six reprimands (leading to cell captivity) for crimes such as refusing to watch a video lecture he called “ridiculous.” He said he had received a possible warning).

Navalny, previously marked as a flight risk by prison authorities, was subject to special scrutiny, including guards waking him up every night and filming him to show that he was where he needed it. Said that.

“Instead of medical assistance, I’m tortured for sleep deprivation and wake up eight times each night,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

Prisons claimed that Navalny was treated in strict compliance with the law and that night checks were part of the normal routine of “not disturbing prisoners’ rest.”

In a video call with Putin on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will protect Nawarny’s health and respect his rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights, according to Macron’s office. He emphasized the need for Russia.

The Kremlin said in a telephone reading that Putin provided an “objective explanation” in response to the question Merkel and Macron asked about Navalny.

Russian officials have denied US and EU demands to release Navalny and suspend police crackdowns on his supporters. Moscow also rejected the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in support of his release as “unacceptable” to interfere with Russia’s internal affairs.

Navalny’s companions urged the Russians to sign up for the next protest demanding his release, promising to date demonstrations when the number of people willing to participate reaches at least 500,000 nationwide. did.

Since the dedicated site was opened on March 23, more than 360,000 people have registered.

Vladimir Isachenkov

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