Russian opponent Alexei Navalny is “very weak”, his lawyers worry

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The Russian activist Alexe├» Navalny, deprived of care, appeared very weakened to his lawyers who were able to visit him on Tuesday. The latter demanded his transfer “to a civilian hospital” in Moscow. Supporters of the opponent called for demonstrations on Wednesday across Russia.

Russian opponent Alexei Navalny is still deprived of treatment in a hospital for tuberculosis prisoners. His lawyers, who were able to visit him, were alarmed to find him extremely weakened on Tuesday, April 20.

The opponent of the Kremlin, who stopped eating three weeks ago to protest against his conditions of detention, has been since Sunday evening in a hospital prison unit in Vladimir, north-east of the Russian capital. His relatives say he could die at any moment.

In an Instagram post, uploaded after his advisers visited, Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic described himself as “a walking skeleton in a cell”.

“He is very weak, he finds it difficult to sit up and speak,” his lawyer, Olga Mikhailova, told reporters, assuring that he “is not receiving appropriate medical help”. She called for her immediate transfer “to a civilian hospital” in Moscow “to prevent her from dying”.

His doctors deprived of seeing him

A few hours earlier, several doctors supporting the opponent were turned away from the hospital without being able to meet him, as they have always done since his imprisonment in early March.

In statements to Agence France Presse (AFP), the personal doctor of Alexei Navalny and leader of an opposition union, Anastassia Vassilieva, denounced a “very disrespectful attitude”, evoking her “medical duty to help a patient”.

Western pressure on Moscow remains significant but without effect. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “extremely concerned” on Tuesday and said she was working to ensure he received proper care.

The United States, for their part, urged the same day, through the voice of the State Department, Russia to authorize “independent” doctors to see “immediately” Alexei Navalny and again warned that it would face “consequences” if anything were to happen to him while in custody.

The interested party thanked on Instagram “the enormous support” that he receives “from Russia and from all over the world”. He was arrested in January, as soon as he returned to Russia after five months of convalescence in Germany for a poisoning of which he accuses Vladimir Putin in person. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for an old case of fraud which he considers political.

A demonstration expected on Wednesday

The opponent’s supporters called for demonstrations across Russia on Wednesday, the day of Vladimir Putin’s annual speech. According to them, mobilizations will take place in at least 106 cities despite the bans of the authorities.

Searches were also carried out in the offices of Navalny’s organization in Krasnoyarsk (Siberia) and at the movement’s coordinator in Belgorod (south of Moscow). Other cadres were imprisoned in several other cities.

The Ministry of the Interior immediately warned that it would take “the necessary measures” against unauthorized demonstrations.

With AFP


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