Aides to jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Friday they were deeply concerned about his health. Moreover, they couldn’t contact him for three days.
Navalny, 47, is imprisoned in a penal colony east of Moscow. He was sentenced to a total of more than 30 years on charges he said were trumped up to silence his criticism of President Vladimir Putin.
Aides said Navalny’s lawyers stood all day outside the colony. But they were forbidden to see him. Navalny also did not appear at a scheduled judicial hearing regarding his case.
“We have learned that last week he had serious health-related problems. Navalny’s life is at great risk. He is in total isolation at the moment,” Maria Pevchikh, head of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, posted on social media platform X.
Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said prison staff gave him an IV drip last week after he complained of dizziness and lay on the floor of his cell in what she said looked like a “starvation faint.”
“Now it’s the third day that we don’t know where he is. Previously, there were at least occasional letters from him, even though they were censored, but all week there were no letters,” he wrote in X.
Navalny has long-term health problems, having survived nerve agent poisoning in Siberia in 2020. The Kremlin denies trying to kill him and refuses to comment on his case, saying he is being treated like any other prisoner. (ah/ft)