Kremlin Critic Navalny Threatens Hunger Strike Over Lack of Medical Care
By VOA News March 31, 2021
A week after his lawyers claimed he was in poor health, jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny says he will go on a hunger strike until he is given proper medical care, according to a post on his Instagram account.
"I have declared a hunger strike demanding that the law be upheld and a doctor of my choice allowed to visit me," Navalny wrote.
He also posted his intentions on Twitter.
In another Instagram post earlier this week, Navalny said he could be placed in solitary confinement for minor infractions of prison rules such as getting out of bed a few minutes early.
"You get two reprimands, and you go to punitive isolation confinement, which is an unpleasant place, conditions there are close to torture," Navalny wrote.
Last week, Navalny's lawyers said he was suffering back pain and has virtually lost the use of one of his legs.
One lawyer, Olga Mikhailova, said he'd been given an MRI, but that the results had not been shared with him. She added that pleas for medicine were ignored for four weeks.
At the time, Russian authorities said Navalny was in "satisfactory" condition.
Navalny survived a near-fatal poisoning last year and was arrested when he returned to Moscow in January following lifesaving treatment in Germany. He blames Russia for the poisoning, but the Kremlin denies any role in it.
Navalny was sentenced to two-and-a half-years in prison in February for violating the terms of his probation in embezzlement case while convalescing in Germany.
He is being held at the Pokrov correctional colony, roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Moscow, which he described as "a real concentration camp."
The United States and other countries have sanctioned Kremlin officials over the poisoning, and many are calling for Navalny's release.
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