The harassment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in prison in Russia, should be stopped and he should be given access to real medical care. This is what 170 doctors from Russia insist on in an open letter to President Vladimir Putin.
The letter was published by the independent Russian website “Medusa”, quoted by “Boulevard Bulgaria”. The subscription is open and the number of supporters in the first hours was growing.
The medics are worried about the way the prisoner looks in published photos. His lawyer, Vadim Kobsev, wrote on Twitter that his client had fallen ill and had a high temperature, fever and cough, but so far he had not been able to supply him with medicine. Navalny is in poor health, says Kobsev. The oppositionist most recently he was back in solitary confinement at the prison – according to his account, relayed by his political team – because he washed his face earlier than intended. The punishment was 15 days long and included New Year’s Eve.
The doctors letter says that the conditions of detention and the appearance of Alexei Navalny cause great concern for his life and health. “The refusal of representatives of the Federal Service for the execution of punishments of Russia to hand over the necessary medicines to the imprisoned oppositionist represents a direct threat to the life of the Russian citizen,” they wrote.
The doctors insist that civilian doctors be admitted to Navalny, and if it is judged that there is a need – be admitted to a normal hospital for examination and treatment. Most supporters of the signature to Vladimir Putin are from Moscow and St. Petersburg. Doctors have stood behind their position with names.
Alexei Navalny was arrested in January 2021 – the moment he returned to Russia from Germany, where he was being treated after poisoning with “novichok”. The formal reason for his detention was that while he was fighting for his life in a hospital abroad, he did not appear before the Russian authorities to sign a suspended sentence previously imposed on him. In March of the same year, the oppositionist and critic of Putin was sentenced to 9 years in prison for “theft of foreign property on a particularly large scale by fraud” in a political trial.