(NEW YORK) — The team of Russia’s top opposition leader, Alexey Navalny, is a sounding the alarm that his health is seriously deteriorating in prison and that an ambulance was called for him last Friday night because of “acute stomach pain.”
Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokeswoman, tweeted that Navalny had lost 8 kilograms — about 18 pounds — in just 16 days while in solitary confinement. She said he is not receiving any treatment.
“When Alexey asks what he is ill with, the prison doctor mockingly answers that it is ‘just spring and everyone has exacerbations,"” Yarmysh wrote.
She wrote that they cannot rule out that he may have been poisoned again to make his health slowly deteriorate.
He has been repeatedly put in solitary confinement for two-week stints for months, she said. The most recent stint was the 13th time he was placed in solitary confinement, according to Yarmysh.
“On Friday he was released from the punishment cell, but on Monday he was sent back there for the 13th time,” she wrote. “One of the prison officers told Navalny that a provocation was being prepared against him.”
She also pleaded for international attention on the situation.
Navalny’s lawyers made similar claims in the spring of 2021, saying he was in grave condition.
Navalny, who barely survived a poisoning in August 2020, was sentenced to another nine years in prison in March 2022 on charges of embezzlement and contempt of court. He had been serving 2 1/2 years in prison.
The charges have been condemned as politically motivated by the United States and many other Western countries.
“We condemn Russian authorities’ politically-motivated conviction and sentencing of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny on additional spurious charges to nine more years in a high security prison,” Ned Price, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said in a statement in March 2022. “This outlandish prison term is a continuation of the Kremlin’s years-long assault on Navalny and on his movement for government transparency and accountability.
He continued, “Of course, Navalny’s true crime in the eyes of the Kremlin is his work as an anti-corruption activist and opposition politician, for which he and his associates have been branded ‘extremists’ by Russian authorities.”
Navalny, a documentary about the Vladimir Putin critic, won the Oscar for best documentary feature last month.
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