Prison officials describe Alexey Navalny’s health as ‘stable and satisfactory.’ His lawyers say he’s in ‘severe pain.’
According to the results of a medical examination, opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s health has been deemed satisfactory, Interfax reported on Thursday, March 25, citing spokespeople for the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) in the Vladimir region.
“On March 24, medical examinations were carried out in the institutions under the FSIN directorate for the Vladimir region at the request of the convicts, the convict A.A. Navalny was also examined. According to the results of the examination, his state of health is assessed as stable and satisfactory.”
Update. After meeting with Navalny, his lawyer Olga Mikhailova told TV Rain, “He’s experiencing severe pain in his back and in his right leg. His shin is numb, his leg is incapacitated, that is, one of his legs practically isn’t working, namely, he can’t [put weight] on it, nothing. His right leg is in a terrible state, in fact.” According to Mikhailova, Navalny had an MRI scan, but has yet to receive a diagnosis.
On Wednesday, Navalny’s lawyers reported that his health has deteriorated significantly. According to his attorney Olga Mikhailova, Navalny has been experiencing numbness in his leg, as well as back pain. In terms of treatment, he has only been given two ibuprofen pills, his lawyers said.
Navalny’s lawyers were unable to visit him on Wednesday. On Thursday, Mikhailova told Meduza that Navalny’s legal team was being denied entry into the prison colony once again. According to the lawyer, they had been waiting in a car outside the entrance to the penal colony for more than three hours.
On Twitter, Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov wrote that the prison staff weren’t allowing Navalny’s lawyers entry because it was “lunchtime.” Volkov added that the regional FSIN branch was refusing to intervene in the situation, claiming that the decision rests with the head of the prison.
Volkov later reported that Navalny’s lawyers Olga Mikhailova and Vadim Kobzev had been allowed onto the prison’s property after 3.5 hours of waiting. “This doesn’t mean they will meet with Alexey,” he added. “We’ll wait for news from them.”
Update. According to Navalny’s website, the opposition politician has filed two petitions through his lawyers. The first states that he is exhibiting a “classic picture of the development of an illness associated with a pinched nerve,” and that he was denied proper medical care. Navalny is demanding that he be examined in the prison colony by a specialist, and that he be given the necessary medicines. The second petition lodges a complaint in connection with Navalny being registered as “liable to escape.” As a consequence, prison staff wake him up every hour, in other words, eight times a night. Navalny recalls that convicts are guaranteed “eight hours of uninterrupted sleep” and, as such, demands that they put a stop to the “illegal torture measures.”
On February 2, a Moscow court incarcerated Navalny under a reinstated sentence for violating his probation in the Yves Rocher case while in Germany, where he spent five months recovering from chemical nerve agent poisoning following an apparent attempt on his life in August 2020. Navalny is now serving a 2.5 years sentence in Penal Colony No. 2 (IK-2) in the city of Pokrov in the Vladimir Region.
On March 25, a group of more than 150 public figures, journalist, lawyers, and cultural figures signed an open letter addressed to FSIN Director Alexander Kalashnikov, Russia’s Attorney General Igor Krasnov, and Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova, protesting the conditions of Navalny’s detention.