Alexei Navalny’s health deteriorates in prison | The world | DW
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s health has deteriorated since he was imprisoned, his assistant Leonid Volkov said Wednesday (03/24/2021).
Volkov said on his Telegram channel: “Since the end of last week, he has been in severe pain in his back. He told us that his leg was numb and that he could not step on it.”
Exiled abroad, Volkov said that the prison doctor in the Vladimir region had prescribed only two ibuprofen pills.
“The sudden deterioration in his health condition can only cause deep concern,” he said.
In turn, he denounced the prison authorities’ failure to allow lawyers, for the first time, to meet the opposition politician.
“We do not understand where Alexei Navalny is and why they are hiding him from the lawyers. We assume that he can now be found in the prison hospital,” Volkov said.
Navalny, who entered a prison in Pokrov on 12 March, described the place where he will be serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence as a “concentration camp”.
He said, “I must admit that the Russian prison system succeeded in my surprise. I did not imagine that it would be possible to establish a real concentration camp a hundred kilometers from Moscow.”
And recently, the head of the Russian Prisons Service, Alexander Kalashnikov, ensured the safety of the opponent.
However, his co-religionists fear for his life, as there are thousands of annual complaints of prisoner abuse in Russian prisons, according to the Ombudsman’s Office.
Russian authorities confirm Navalny’s condition is “satisfactory”
For its part, the Russian Federal Prison Service (FSIN, for short in Russian) stated that the health of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny is “satisfactory”.
“On March 24, medical examinations were carried out at FSIN centers in the Vladimir region at the request of the convicts. The convict A. Navalny was also examined. As a result of the examination, his health condition was assessed as stable, sick,” the press office of the Regional Prisons Authority reported.
Campaign to demand the release of Navalny
Pokrov City Prison is notorious for numerous reports of ill-treatment and torture, including beatings and sleep deprivation, by masked and unauthorized members of special units.
“It is one of the worst prisons in Russia. It is sad news for Navalny,” activist Ruslan Vagabov told the EFE news agency.
Without mentioning his identity, he shared the testimony of a former prison inmate, who told him about the brutal beatings that his tenants had been subjected to.
“Out of their fear, they don’t dare to speak even when they are in line,” he says. “You only have to look at the statistics, and few of Vladimir have been released on parole.”
Opposition allies launched a virtual campaign this week to gather half a million people ready to take to the streets to demand the politician’s release.
Navalny has been sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison in an old case related to fraud and money laundering, but he will only serve two and a half years, as the ten months he spent in house arrest and the period he spent in pretrial detention are deducted since his arrest on January 17 upon his return from Germany.
The conviction of Navalny, who nearly died in August after being poisoned during a trip to Siberia, sparked mass protests across the country at the end of January, during which thousands of people were arrested.
Navalny accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his assassination to the Federal Security Service (FSB, ex-KGB).
Mg (efe, dpa)