MOSCOW (AP) – Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been on hunger strike since March 31, on Friday described threats to force-feed him using a “jacket for other pleasures”.
In an Instagram post, Navalny said that the official told him that the blood test showed that his health was deteriorating and threatened to force-feed him if he continued to refuse to eat.
“And then he detailed the joys of forcing me to eat. “A tight jacket – other pleasures,” said the politician, adding that he urged officials not to do so, “pointing to the rule of law.”
Navalny, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, has demanded a visit to his doctor after developing severe back pain and numbness in his legs in prison.
The 44-year-old opposition leader was arrested in January on his way back from Germany, where he had been recovering for five months from a nerve agent poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin. The accusations, which were denied by Russian officials. Navalny’s arrest sparked a wave of protests across Russia, the biggest humiliation in recent years.
Immediately after his arrest, the court sentenced Navalny to 2 1/2 years in prison in the 2014 kidnapping verdict, which he said was fabricated. Last month, the politician was transferred to a penitentiary colony east of Moscow known for its harsh conditions.
Navalny complained of back pain and said he was losing consciousness in his legs. His demands for a doctor’s visit were denied by prison officials, and the Russian State Prison Service said he was receiving all the medical care he needed. In response, Navalny went on a hunger strike.
The opposition leader on Friday accused prison officials of refusing to let his doctor in because “they fear the loss of limb sensation could be due to poisoning,” and reiterated that he “has a very guaranteed right to be examined independently.” by a civilian doctor. ”
Describing his state after more than two weeks of hunger strike, Navalny said his head was “spinning a lot” but that he was “still walking”.
Earlier this week, Navalny’s wife, Yulia, who visited him in prison, said the politician was “hilarious” but had trouble speaking and lost weight.