In Prison: Navalny's Health is Deteriorating

Published March 25th, 2021 - 11:54 GMT
Alexei Navalny's health is questioned behind bars
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands inside a glass cell during a court hearing at the Babushkinsky district court in Moscow. Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP
Lawyers for the opposition figure sounded the alarm over his health in jail

Russia's opposition figure Alexei Navalny is in 'satisfactory' condition, Russia's prison service said yesterday, after allies described his health as deteriorating.  

Lawyers to Navalny demanded immediate access to their client on Wednesday, saying that he had complained of back pain and leg numbness. 

Navalny is in one of Russia's most notorious prisons, where his lawyers are rarely able to speak to him. 

However, the prison service told Russian news agencies that medics had carried out a check on Navalny and that 'according to the results of the examination, his state of health was assessed as stable and satisfactory.'

Navalny was jailed in February for two-and-a-half years on old embezzlement charges in a move his allies said was a pretext to silence his criticism of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

He has since been moved from a Moscow prison to 'Penal Colony No. 2' in the village of Prkrov, though Russian authorities have still not officially said where he is. 

Penal Colony No. 2, or IK-2, has been described as 'a breaking camp', by Pyotr Kuryanov, a lawyer with the NGO Fund for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights. 

The prison is known to be unusually harsh and a place where prisoners are subjected to intense psychological pressure, former inmates have said. 

In a letter dated 15 March, Navalny compared the prison to George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. 

He said that he hasn't seen 'even a hint at violence' there but faced overwhelming controls and security. 

Navalny made headlines in last year when he was nearly killed by a poison attack during an internal flight, allegedly the work of Russian authorities. 

He was then arrested in January on his return to Russia from Germany where he had been recovering from exposure to the Soviet-designed nerve toxin Novichok. 

Navalny's allies this week launched a campaign seeking his release and announced plans to stage what they said would be 'modern Russia's biggest protest','

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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