In a letter from Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the well-known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin is claiming that his health is worsening in prison, and he is not receiving adequate medical care.
In a letter published on Thursday, The Associated Press reports that Navalny said his physical state is getting worse in prison and that it is difficult for him to walk. The letters were reportedly sent to officials in the prison system and a prosecutor in Russia. Copies of the writings were posted to Navalny’s website.
AP reports, “Navalny blamed his health problems on prison officials failing to provide the right medicines and refusing to allow his doctor to visit him behind bars. He also complained in a second letter that the hourly checks a guard makes on him at night amounted to sleep deprivation torture.”
“My condition has worsened. I feel acute pain in my right leg, and I feel numbness in its lower part,” Navalny said in the letter. “I have trouble walking.”
He also said that officials have given him pills and topical treatment for his pain, but will not accept medication that was prescribed by his doctor beforehand.
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 returned to Russia after recovering from a chemical attack poisoning for which he holds Russian authorities responsible. The U.S. intelligence community has also “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.
Navalny’s original sentence was put forth on February 2, as reported by The Daily Wire:
A Moscow court on Tuesday ordered Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to prison for more than 2 1/2 years on charges that he violated the terms of his probation — while he was in a coma from nerve-agent poisoning he says was perpetrated by the Russian Security Service.
Navalny, 44, was detained two weeks ago after he returned to Moscow from Berlin. In court, a judge ruled Navalny violated his term of five years of probation, ordered a former 3.5-year suspended sentence to be replaced with a prison term, then took off 11 months Navalny already spent under house arrest.
The Daily Wire reports, “A Russian court recently rejected an appeal by Navalny, clearing the way for the opposition leader to potentially be moved to Russia’s penal colony system.”
Navalny’s lawyers and his wife, Yulia Navalny, said that up until now, the opposition leader did not want them to speak openly about his back pain because he did not want to come across as if he were complaining.
“Everyone who knows Alexey knows that he won’t complain to the bitter end. He will put up with it, try to get by himself and to make jokes,” Yulia Navalny wrote on Instagram.
But, ABC News reports, she is now requesting that he get medical care from doctors who he can trust. Putin himself should release Navalny, she said.
“I demand the immediate freeing of my husband, Alexey Navalny, who he has locked in prison illegally. Locked him up because he’s afraid of political competition,” she wrote.