Russia claims Navalny's health is 'stable' after his lawyers said his condition was deteriorating


Alexei Navalny is in ‘great pain’ inside notorious Russian jail and believes guards are torturing him by preventing him from sleeping, his lawyers claim after prison officials insisted his health was ‘stable’

  • Alexei Navalny has been sent to one of Russia’s most notorious prisons 
  • Lawyers for the opposition figure sounded the alarm over his health in jail
  • They say he is being prevented from sleeping by prison guards
  • Navalny is only one month into a two-and-a-half year sentence 

Russia’s opposition figure Alexei Navalny is in ‘great pain’ as prison guards prevent him from sleeping. 

In a statement passed to his lawyers today, the Kremlin critic says he requested a visit from a civilian doctor after experiencing serious pain but had been refused. 

Earlier, Russia’s prison service said he was in ‘satisfactory’ condition. 

After an examination, prison medics said ‘his state of health was assessed as stable and satisfactory.’

But one of his lawyers said Navalny had been experiencing health problems for several weeks in jail.

Lawyers to Navalny demanded immediate access to their client on Wednesday, saying that he had complained of back pain and leg numbness. 

Navalny is in one of Russia’s most notorious prisons, where his lawyers are rarely able to speak to him. 

Alexei Navalny before standing trial over embezzlement charges

A screenshot of an Instagram post published on March 15 showing Navalny after being sentenced

Before and after: Alexei Navalny (L) stands trial on embezzlement charges. Right: an Instagram post shows Navalny after being sentenced

Navalny was jailed in February for two-and-a-half years on old embezzlement charges in a move his allies said was a pretext to silence his criticism of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

He has since been moved from a Moscow prison to ‘Penal Colony No. 2’ in the village of Prkrov, though Russian authorities have still not officially said where he is. 

Penal Colony No. 2, or IK-2, has been described as ‘a breaking camp’, by Pyotr Kuryanov, a lawyer with the NGO Fund for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights. 

The prison is known to be unusually harsh and a place where prisoners are subjected to intense psychological pressure, former inmates have said. 

In a letter dated 15 March, Navalny compared the prison to George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. 

He said that he hasn’t seen ‘even a hint at violence’ there but faced overwhelming controls and security. 

Penal Colony No. 2 or IK-2 stands out among Russian penitentiary facilities for its particularly strict regime. One lawyer described it as a 'breaking camp'

Penal Colony No. 2 or IK-2 stands out among Russian penitentiary facilities for its particularly strict regime. One lawyer described it as a ‘breaking camp’

The prison is known to be unusually harsh and a place where prisoners are subjected to intense psychological pressure, former inmates have said

The prison is known to be unusually harsh and a place where prisoners are subjected to intense psychological pressure, former inmates have said 

Its location is in in Pokrov in the Vladimir region, 53 miles east of Moscow where temperatures regularly drop below freezing

Its location is in in Pokrov in the Vladimir region, 53 miles east of Moscow where temperatures regularly drop below freezing 

In a letter dated 15 March, Navalny compared the prison to George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. He said that he hasn't seen 'even a hint at violence' there but faced overwhelming controls and security

In a letter dated 15 March, Navalny compared the prison to George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. He said that he hasn’t seen ‘even a hint at violence’ there but faced overwhelming controls and security

Navalny made headlines in last year when he was nearly killed by a poison attack during an internal flight, allegedly the work of Russian authorities. 

He was then arrested in January on his return to Russia from Germany where he had been recovering from exposure to the Soviet-designed nerve toxin Novichok.  

Navalny’s allies this week launched a campaign seeking his release and announced plans to stage what they said would be ‘modern Russia’s biggest protest’.

An image from the website free.navalny.com shows the number of people involved in protests to free Alexei Navalny across Russia

An image from the website free.navalny.com shows the number of people involved in protests to free Alexei Navalny across Russia

Navalny's allies this week launched a campaign seeking his release and announced plans to stage what they said would be 'modern Russia's biggest protest'

Navalny’s allies this week launched a campaign seeking his release and announced plans to stage what they said would be ‘modern Russia’s biggest protest’

Any protests are likely to be confronted by a heavy police presence as they were in February, the month Navalny stood trial on embezzlement charges

Any protests are likely to be confronted by a heavy police presence as they were in February, the month Navalny stood trial on embezzlement charges

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