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Navalny continues his hunger strike despite high temperature and bad cough


Navalny went on a hunger strike last week to protest the refusal of prison officials to give him access to proper medical care. He suffered from acute back pain that affected his ability to walk and his condition was made worse by alleged “sleep deprivation torture,” one of his lawyers said last month.

Navalny said the prison did not have the food and nutrients needed to keep inmates healthy, adding that his temperature had been recorded at 38.1 degrees Celsius (100.6 Fahrenheit) and he had a cough severe.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Navalny would not receive any special conditions or treatment while in prison.

In Monday’s post, Navalny also said there was an outbreak of tuberculosis among his cellmates, with three of the group’s 15 prisoners recently hospitalized with the disease.

“And what? Do you think there is a state of emergency, the ambulance sirens are sounding? Nobody cares, the bosses only care how to hide the statistics,” Navalny said in the post.

A major opposition-linked doctors’ union, the Doctors Alliance, has scheduled a demonstration in support of Navalny on Tuesday outside Pokrov Prison Colony No.2, where the Kremlin critic is being held. The group is led by an ally of Navalny who said the protesters would demand appropriate medical treatment for the opposition figure.

Russian newspaper Izvestia quoted the Russian Prison Service (FSIN) on Monday as saying Navalny had been transferred to a “medical unit with acute respiratory infections” and had been tested for coronavirus. The FSIN did not respond to a request for comment from CNN.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was aware of information that Navalny was in a medical unit, but did not give further details.

Peskov said Navalny’s treatment was the responsibility of the prison service and that he would not receive any special treatment.

“All the necessary activities are carried out there. And of course, one cannot speak of special conditions for one of the condemned. There are certain rules, including rules for the treatment of sick prisoners. Therefore, if we are really talking about an illness, then the treatment will be provided at the prescribed level, ”the Kremlin spokesman said on Tuesday in a conference call with reporters.

“ Practically exemplary ” penal colony

In the message shared on Monday, Navalny also criticized recent Russian state media coverage of conditions inside the penal colony.

Last week, a film crew from state-controlled Russian TV station RT visited the prison with Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights enthusiast turned TV personality who now works for the network. The report said the prison was “practically exemplary”.

Butina was convicted of conspiracy to act as a foreign state agent in the United States and spent over 15 months behind bars in Florida. She pleaded guilty to trying to infiltrate conservative political circles and promote Russian interests before and after the 2016 presidential election.

Navalny postponed RT’s assessment of the conditions.

“This is what our ‘ideal and exemplary colony’ looks like. Every prisoner prays to God not to come here, but inside there are unsanitary conditions, tuberculosis, lack of medicine. Looking at the horrible plates they put our porridge on, I’m generally surprised that there isn’t an Ebola virus here yet, ”Navalny said in the Instagram post on Monday.

Navalny continues his hunger strike despite high temperature and bad cough

“I have the legally guaranteed right to invite a specialist doctor at my own expense. I will not give up, prison doctors can be trusted as much as public television,” he added.

Navalny, a longtime critic of President Vladimir Putin, was jailed earlier this year for violating probation terms in a 2014 case in which he was given a three-and-a-half-year suspended prison sentence. A Moscow court took into account the 11 months Navalny had already spent under house arrest as part of the ruling and replaced the remainder of the suspended sentence with a prison term last month.

CNN’s Darya Tarasova contributed reporting.

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