MOSCOW (AP) – Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny has began a starvation strike in jail to protest the authorities’ incapacity to deal with his again and leg ache.
In a press release posted on Instagram on Wednesday, Navalny complained in regards to the jail authorities’ refusal to offer him the suitable treatment and to permit his physician to go to him behind bars.
He additionally protested the time checks a guard gave him at night time, saying they amounted to sleep deprivation torture.
Navalny, 44, who’s President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken opponent, was arrested in January on his return from Germany, the place he spent 5 months recovering from poisoning with a nerve agent he attributes to the Kremlin. Russian authorities have dismissed the accusation.
Navalny mentioned the August poisoning triggered him to query the reason for his present illnesses. He mentioned he had no selection however to protest with a starvation strike as a result of his bodily situation worsened, with again ache spreading to his proper leg and numbness in his. left leg.
“What else can I do?” he wrote. “I’ve declared a starvation strike demanding that they permit a go to by a visiting physician in response to the regulation. So I am mendacity right here, hungry, however nonetheless with two legs.
Final month, Navalny was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for violating his probation phrases whereas recovering in Germany. The sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that Navalny dismissed as fabricated – and which the European Court docket of Human Rights dominated unlawful.
Navalny was transferred this month from a Moscow jail to a penal colony in Pokrov, Vladimir area, 85 kilometers east of the Russian capital. The ability often known as IK-2 stands out amongst Russian penitentiaries for its significantly strict detention habits, which embrace standing at consideration for hours.
Navalny’s Instagram additionally had a photograph of a letter to the jail chief, dated Wednesday, by which he declared the starvation strike.
“Every convict has the suitable to ask a specialist for a check-up and a session,” he wrote. “So I ask a health care provider to see me and declare a starvation strike till this occurs.”
In a sarcastic reference to the nerve agent poisoning he blamed on Russia’s high safety company, the FSB, Navalny wrote to the top of the jail that “given a current try by FSB brokers to kill me with chemical weapons, which state-controlled medics have mentioned. as a “metaboli drawback” I’m haunted by imprecise doubts about the reason for my sickness and the prospects for restoration. “
The Russian jail service mentioned final week that Navalny had undergone medical examinations and described his situation as “secure and passable”.
However Navalny complained that authorities solely gave him fundamental ache relievers and a again and leg ointment whereas refusing to just accept medicines prescribed earlier by his physician or share the prognosis from his examination.
In a be aware earlier this month, Navalny described his jail as a “pleasant focus camp.” He mentioned he did not see “even a touch of violence” there, however lived underneath controls which he in comparison with George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-4”.
Earlier this week, he mentioned he had already obtained six reprimands – warnings that might result in solitary confinement – for offenses equivalent to getting up 10 minutes earlier than waking up and refusing to look at a video convention he gave. known as an “fool”.
Navalny, who jail authorities beforehand described as a danger of absconding, mentioned he was underneath significantly shut surveillance, together with a guard waking him up each hour at night time and filming him to show that he was within the hospital. location required.
“As a substitute of medical help, I’m subjected to the torture of sleep deprivation, being woke up eight occasions an evening,” he mentioned in a press release on Wednesday.
In a video name with Putin on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron burdened the necessity for Russia to guard Navalny’s well being and respect his rights in accordance with the European Conference on Human Rights , in response to Macron’s workplace.
The Kremlin mentioned in its studying of the enchantment that Putin supplied an “goal clarification” in response to questions requested by Merkel and Macron about Navalny.
The poisoning and conviction of Navalny additional strained Russia’s ties with america and the European Union, which sank to post-Chilly Battle lows after Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian Crimea in 2014, his interference within the 2016 US presidential election, hacking assaults and different actions.
Russian officers have rejected US and EU calls for to launch Navalny and cease a police crackdown on his supporters. Moscow additionally rejected a choice by the European Court docket of Human Rights in favor of his launch as “inadmissible” interference in Russia’s inside affairs.
Navalny’s arrest fueled a sequence of protests that drew tens of hundreds of individuals to the streets of Russia. Authorities arrested round 11,000 folks, a lot of whom have been fined or jailed for as much as two weeks.
Navalny’s associates urged Russians to register for the subsequent protest to demand his launch, promising to set a date for the protest when the variety of folks prepared to take part reaches at the very least 500,000 nationwide.
Greater than 359,000 folks have registered because the opening of a devoted web site on March 23.