Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who is currently imprisoned in a labour camp outside of Moscow, has gone on hunger strike to protest a lack of medical care.
“I declared hunger strike with the demand to respect the law and to let the invited doctor see me,” Navalny said in a statement published on Instagram on Wednesday.
The Kremlin critic is reportedly suffering from back pain that is radiating into his right leg, where it is causing paralysis. Doctors and his lawyers fear that he could lose his leg.
“I now lie hungry, but still with both legs,” Navalny wrote.
“Instead of being given medical help, I’m being tortured with lack of sleep (they wake me eight times per night),” he said, adding that going on hunger strike was the only means left to him.
Dozens of Russian doctors had launched an appeal on Monday for Navalny to receive medical attention quickly, after reports surfaced of his back problems.
In a video and open letter to the head of the prison authority, the doctors called for appropriate treatment to avert “the danger to his life and health.”
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Navalny was sentenced to imprisonment at the penal camp in early February for violating parole requirements from an earlier sentence while he was recovering in Germany from the poison attack.
The dissident has blamed his poisoning on Russian President Vladimir Putin and said his imprisonment was a personal act of vengeance for surviving the attack.
Germany, the European Union and the United States have repeatedly called for Navalny’s release and have imposed sanctions on Russia.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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