Alexei Navalny ‘loses all feeling in both hands’ as he continues hunger strike in prison, lawyers claim
- Alexei Navalny, 44, has vowed to continue the hunger strike he started last week
- Vladimir Putin’s opponent is out for embezzlement for two and a half years
- Lawyers who visited him say he is ‘no good’ and has numbness on his hands
- Kremlin officials say he will not be taken to a hospital or receive ‘special treatment’
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s health is deteriorating as he continues his hunger strike in prison, with a new numbness on his hands, his lawyers said today.
Last week, President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent, who is serving two and a half years for embezzlement, launched a hunger strike to demand appropriate medical treatment for severe back pain and numbness in his legs.
Members of Navalny’s defense team, who visited him on Wednesday at his penal colony in the city of Pokrov, 60 miles east of Moscow, said he was still refusing food and was coughing.
“He looks bad, he doesn’t feel well,” attorney Olga Mikhailova told AFP, adding that Navalny now weighs “about 176 pounds.”
Lawyers who visited Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in his penal colony outside Moscow say he is ‘no good’ and has numbness on his hands as he continues on a week-long hunger strike
Navalny, who is over six feet tall, weighed 205 pounds when he arrived at his penal colony last month.
“No one will treat him,” Mikhailova added.
Navalny’s lawyers and allies are demanding that he be transferred to a ‘normal’ hospital, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said Navalny is not entitled to any special treatment.
Another member of the opposition politician’s team, Vadim Kobzev, said 44-year-old Navalny was losing “a kilo a day.”
On Twitter, Kobzev said that Navalny felt pain while walking and now also felt numbness in his hands, in addition to back pain and a loss of sensation in his legs.
“Clearly his illness is getting worse,” Kobzev wrote.
Navalny is serving two and a half years for embezzlement in penal colony in Pokrov city, 60 miles east of Moscow
Earlier this week, Navalny said he had a cough and fever and three members of his prison ward had been hospitalized with tuberculosis.
Navalny was arrested in January after returning from Germany, where he recovered for months from a poisoning attack with the Novichok nerve agent that he blames on the Kremlin.
He is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for violating the parole of a suspended sentence for old fraud.
Rights activists say the Pokrov Penal Colony is known for its particularly harsh conditions, and Navalny has called it a ‘concentration camp’ herself.