Prison officials declare Navalny’s health satisfactory, but his wife says otherwise
Two weeks after the start of his prison hunger strike, Alexey Navalny’s health is “satisfactory,” according to Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) officials in Russia’s Vladimir region.
“On the issue of the health of the convict A. Navalny, we inform you that on April 6, specialist doctors carried out a full medical examination, [and] clinical laboratory and diagnostic tests, including for the new coronavirus infection and tuberculosis,” the FSIN informed the Russian state news agency TASS on Tuesday April 13.
The FSIN added that Navalny’s coronavirus and tuberculosis tests came back negative, and that a “panel of doctors assessed the state of the convict’s health as satisfactory.” The prison officials also noted that Navalny was in the prison colony’s medical ward from April 5–9.
After visiting Navalny in prison on Tuesday and speaking to him over the phone through a glass screen, his wife Yulia Navalnaya wrote in an Instagram post that he “speaks with difficulty and puts down the receiver from time to time, and lies down on the table to rest.” According to her, Navalny has lost a lot of weight.
Navalny has been in custody in Penal Colony No. 2 in Pokrov (Vladimir region) since mid-March. The opposition politician has complained about his health deteriorating in prison, and about being denied medical treatment for pain in his back and numbness in his legs. On March 31, he declared a hunger strike, seeking access to a trusted doctor. According to his associates, Navalny has already lost 33 pounds (15 kilograms) while in prison.