“As we write, Alexei Navalny is being held in a penal colony that many lawyers and human rights activists consider to be one of the harshest in Russia,” the letter said. “Alexei Navalny is exhibiting symptoms of a severe neurological disorder — constant back pain and the loss of sensation in his legs and hands. In addition, he is suffering from a severe cough and fever. As a Russian citizen, he has the lawful right to be examined and treated by a doctor of his choice.”
The open letter was published in Le Monde newspaper in France, The Economist, La Repubblica in Italy and Der Spiegel. Navalny, who is Putin’s most vocal opponent, survived a poisoning attack with the nerve agent Novichok last August. He was arrested in January of this year after returning to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for the poisoning. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on prior embezzlement charges. His case has since become a sticking point for proponents of democratic values and human rights in Russia.
On Monday, Navalny’s aides said that prison officials were threatening to force-feed him as he conducts his hunger strike. He also said that authorities at the penal colony where he is being held had refused him proper treatment for acute back pain. Source
“We call on you, Mr. President, to ensure that Alexei Navalny is immediately given the medical treatment and care that he urgently requires — and is entitled to under Russian law. As someone who has sworn to uphold the law, you have only to do so,” the letter said. Putin ‘must keep the law’
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