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Jailed pro-Navalny protester hospitalized in intensive care following hunger strike

Extinction Rebellion activist Konstantin Fokin, who was serving 28 days in jail following his arrest at a pro-Navalny rally on January 23, has been hospitalized in intensive care after spending 18 days on hunger strike, municipal deputy Elena Filina told Novaya Gazeta. 

“After the trial on January 25, Konstantin went on a wet hunger strike, he drank water and [consumed] nothing else. Today he fell ill and was sent to the hospital. Now he’s in intensive care and is coming off his hunger strike,” she said.

According to the Telegram channel RusNews, the activist was admitted to City Clinical Hospital Number 79 in Moscow.

Fokin was arrested on Trubnaya Square in Moscow on January 23 — he was in the middle of being interviewed by journalists at the time. He was serving out his administrative arrest sentence in a special detention center in Moscow’s Khoroshevo-Mnevniki district. 

He explained his decision to go on hunger strike as follows: “We have many reasons for protest. The very right to (peaceful) protest is one of them. It’s very important. Perhaps the most important. Like other rights, it won’t fall from the sky on its own, you have to fight for it. The best way to fight [for it] is to continue to protest peacefully. In any available form. Under arrest, the choice of such forms is limited.”

Novaya Gazeta

In response to the protests in support of imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny on January 23 and 31, as well as February 2, the Russian authorities arrested more than 10,000 people. Many of them were sentenced to fines or jail time for administrative violations. Law enforcement agencies also launched 90 criminal investigations in the wake of the demonstrations.