The Russian prison service defends the way in which opposition leader Alexei Navalny is treated in the prison camp where he is imprisoned. The politician went on a hunger strike this week because he would be denied medical care and guards would wake him up every hour at night. According to the authorities, everything is going according to the rules.
President Vladimir Putin’s well-known critic is being held in a prison camp some 100 kilometers from Moscow. He says back and leg complaints and not getting proper medical attention. Navalny demands access to a doctor of his choice and also laments him to guards wake up every hour at night.
The regional prison service calls the criticism unjustified. All prisoners are entitled to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, the service emphasizes. He adds that guards patrol at night and then also carry out checks on prisoners. That shouldn’t get in the way of their sleep. According to the authorities, Navalny is also treated no differently from his fellow inmates.
The opposition leader’s lawyers are said to have already arranged a doctor. Doctor Alexey Barinov said he was ready to go to prison. “We are waiting for a decision from the prison service.”
Lost 8 pounds
Navalny’s team later in the day reported that he has lost 8 pounds before he on hunger strike went on, again expressing concerns about his health. The Kremlin critic, who is 1.89 meters tall, is now said to weigh 85 kilos. The weight loss is said to be due to the lack of sleep. A doctor is still not admitted, the team said.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin said it saw no reason to intervene in the hunger strike. “This is not an issue on the head of state’s agenda,” Putin’s spokesman said, according to Interfax news agency.
The Baltic states have Russia called on to arrange medical care for the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny (44). He is incarcerated in a prison camp and, according to his allies, is facing serious health problems. EU members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania call the reports ‘very worrying’ and ask the international community to speak out.