Alexei Navalny Moved To Medical Unit In Prison, Lawyer Says He Is ‘Seriously Ill’
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 23: Some 2500 supporters of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny marched in protest demand for his release from prison in Moscow on January 23, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. The protesters marched from the federal chancellery through the Russian embassy to Brandenburg Gate in part also heeding a call by Navalny to protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Navalny, who was arrested earlier this week upon his return to Moscow from Germany, has called for protests against Putin across Russia, though Russian authorities have refused to allow them and deemed the protests illegal. Berlin is home to a large expatriate Russian community. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
Omer Messinger/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was moved to the infirmary of a penal colony in Russia following reports that his health is rapidly deteriorating.

Navalny was sentenced to the colony after he returned to Russia following his recovery in Germany after being poisoned by a nerve agent. He holds the Kremlin responsible for the poisoning and claims the incident was an attempt to kill him, but the Kremlin denies any such allegations.

United States intelligence officials have “concluded with high confidence that Navalny was poisoned last year with a banned nerve agent called Novichok by the Russian security services,” according to Politico.

Last month, Navalny released writings saying that his medical condition was getting worse while in prison and that he has been a victim of sleep deprivation.

The Daily Wire reported:

AP reports, “Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service said earlier Thursday that Navalny had undergone medical check-ups the previous day, describing his condition as ‘stable and satisfactory.’”

However, Olga Mikhailova, Navalny’s lawyer, said after she visited him in prison that “his right leg is in terrible shape.”

His lawyers published two official complaints that Navalny filed in Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service.
“We’re seeing a classic picture of the development of an illness connected with a pinched nerve in the absence of appropriate treatment,” Navalny wrote, according to ABC News.

Navalny and his lawyers are demanding that he be given medical care immediately with his own doctor and that the sleep deprivation methods end, the outlet reports.

“I’m not demanding that the administration of Correctional Colony No. 2 bake me a cake,” Navalny wrote. “I am demanding to realize in full measure my right to receive medical care.”

Navalny later announced that he was beginning a hunger strike because of the treatment and his lack of ability to see his own medical doctor. His team posted an image of a letter written by Navalny 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 wrote in the post.

The prison service where Navalny is being held has denied that the Putin critic is being treated any differently from other inmates.

However, on Tuesday, reports came out that said Navalny had been taken to a medical unit and was suffering from “acute respiratory infections,” according to the Izvestia newspaper.

The Guardian reported:

The Kremlin critic said in a note published on Monday that he was coughing and had a temperature of 38.1C (100.6F). Several prisoners from his ward had already been treated in hospital for tuberculosis, Navalny wrote. Hours later, the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia reported he had been moved to a sick ward and tested for coronavirus, among other diseases. 

On Tuesday, Navalny supporters were arrested at the prison after they arrived there to ask for him to get medical treatment. The outlet reported, “Anastasia Vasilyeva, the head of the Russian Doctors’ Alliance, along with three other members of the renegade medical union were arrested. Reporters for CNN and for Belsat, a Russian-language television channel based in Poland, were also briefly detained.”

According to one of his lawyers, a member of Navalny’s legal team saw him on Tuesday and said that he was “in rather bad condition,” as reported by The Guardian.

“He has lost a lot of weight, plus he has a strong cough and a temperature of 38.1C,” Olga Mikhailova, the lawyer, stated on the Echo of Moscow radio station. “This man is seriously ill. It’s a complete outrage that the IK-2 [prison] has driven him to this condition.”

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