Doctors denied access to Navalny prison hospital

A file photo of Alexei Navalny

A team of medics including ailing Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s personal doctor were denied access Tuesday to a penal colony where he is being treated at a prison hospital.

Navalny, 44, launched a hunger strike on March 31 and his medical team over the weekend warned that his health was failing so rapidly he could die at “any minute”. 

Russia’s prison service, which has repeatedly prevented Navalny’s doctors from visiting him, on Monday moved him from his penal colony in the Vladimir region some 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Moscow to a medical facility at another colony in the same region.

A team of physicians including his personal doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva has made multiple attempts to see him but been rejected each time. 

On Tuesday morning the team was once again barred from seeing him, but was told to try again later in the day. 

“This is super disrespectful to people who came to fulfil their human duty, a medical duty to help a patient,” Vasilyeva told AFP outside the colony.

“We are talking now only about health and life.”

Navalny’s lawyers also arrived at the penal colony on Tuesday and were allowed in, an AFP journalist at the scene reported.

Navalny is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for violating parole terms on old fraud charges he says are politically motivated. 

The opposition politician was arrested on his return to Russia in January from Germany, where he had spent months recovering from a poisoning attack with the Novichok nerve agent. 

Navalny blames the attack on President Vladimir Putin, a claim the Kremlin has repeatedly denied. 

The European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on Russia over the poisoning, and on Monday threatened Moscow with further penalties in the event of Navalny’s death. 

The opposition figure launched his hunger strike last month demanding proper medical treatment over severe back pain and numbness in his limbs. 

His team over the weekend said a blood test had shown showed high potassium levels and elevated creatinine, indicating Navalny could be suffering from impaired kidney function and risked cardiac arrest.

Russia’s prison service on Monday insisted his condition was “satisfactory”, despite moving him to the medical facility, and said he was taking vitamin supplements as part of medical treatment.

Navalny’s team has called on supporters to take to the streets on Wednesday — when Putin is due to deliver his annual state of the nation address — to protest how he is being treated.




4 responses to “Doctors denied access to Navalny prison hospital”

  1. On Wednesday, April 21, at 19:00, an Israeli rally in support of Alexei Navalny will begin on Rabin Square in Tel Aviv and demand that a civilian doctor be allowed to the oppositionist
    The rally has been approved by the police. Recall that at public events, even in the open air, you should wear masks and observe social distance.
    The organizers of the rally, which is a private initiative, explained to that they want to demonstrate their solidarity with the Russian opposition and draw the attention of the Israeli public to what is happening in Russia
    “It is very painful for us to see and hear that some Israelis, completely unaware of what Putin and his dictatorship are, sincerely believe that Putin is “good for the Jews”, said Zoya Barzakh, a resident of Jerusalem, one of the organizers of the event…
    Therefore, this time, according to Zoya, the slogans will be not only in Russian, but also in Hebrew. In addition to appeals to admit a doctor to Navalny and release the oppositionist, the organizers intend to address the Israelis with such slogans as “Israelis, Putin is not your friend” and “A fascist cannot be good for Jews.”
    The rally in Tel Aviv will take place simultaneously with rallies in support of Navalny in Russian cities. On the eve of the politician’s supporters announced that it was no longer possible to postpone the rally in defense of the opposition leader and urged the Russians to come out on April 21 at 19:00 to the central squares of cities. In Moscow, the gathering has been announced at Manezhnaya Square. In St. Petersburg – on Dvortsovaya Street
    Earlier, doctors, based on the results of Navalny’s blood tests, said that the oppositionist “could die at any moment.” After that, Navalny was transferred to IK-3 in Vladimir. There is a hospital for convicts on the territory of this colony.
    The politician has been on a hunger strike since the end of March, demanding that doctors be allowed to see him. He previously stated that the deterioration in health may be a consequence of poisoning. At the same time, the prison authorities call his condition satisfactory, threatening to force-feed him
    Recall that after returning to Moscow and the arrest of Alexei Navalny, Russian-speaking Israelis also went to support rallies at the same time as the Russian opposition. Mass rallies, which were attended by several thousand people, were held in Haifa and Tel Aviv

  2. Vladimir Kobzev, the lawyer of Alexei Navalny, in his “Twitter” told about the treatment that the opposition politician is receiving in the “hospital” of the maximum security colony in Vladimir.

    Kobzev writes that Alexei Navalny is in solitary confinement at a tuberculosis hospital. On the first evening, on the third try, he was given a glucose drip.

    “Last night, three nurses made six attempts to get another drip, but they could not get into the vein. Now only all hands are punctured and bruised,” says the lawyer.

    “This was the end of the” medical procedures “of the Federal Penitentiary Service. There was nothing else, and do not believe any of their words,” he adds.

    It should be noted that earlier the press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Kremlin “does not have the opportunity” to comment on the situation around “this convict”, since it does not receive the relevant information. According to him, all questions must be addressed to the Federal Penitentiary Service

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