Incarcerated Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny announces hunger strike | News from Russia

In a statement posted on his Instagram account, Navalny says he has declared a hunger strike for lack of medical care.

Incarcerated Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has declared a hunger strike to protest the inability of prison officials to provide him with medical treatment for what he described as severe pain in his back and both legs.

In his statement posted on his Instagram account on Wednesday, Navalny complained about the prison authorities’ refusal to give him the right medication and to allow his doctor to visit him behind bars.

“What else can I do?” he wrote. “I have declared a hunger strike demanding that they allow a visit by a visiting doctor. So I’m lying here, hungry, but still with two legs.

He also protested the time checks a guard gave him at night, saying they amounted to sleep deprivation torture.

The IK-2 correctional penal colony located 100 km east of Moscow did not immediately comment. Prison officials, after examining Navalny last week, said his condition was stable and satisfactory. The Kremlin declined to comment on his state of health.

Medical professionals on Sunday issued an open letter demanding that the 44-year-old opposition politician receive proper care.

“We fear the worst. Leaving a patient in this condition… can lead to serious consequences, including irreversible, total or partial loss of lower limb functions, ”the letter said.

Navalny, 44, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken opponent, was arrested on January 17 upon his return from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from poisoning with a nerve agent he he attributes to the Kremlin. Russian authorities have dismissed the accusation.

The West, including the European Court of Human Rights, has demanded that Russia release Navalny. Moscow called the calls for interference in its internal affairs unacceptable.

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