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Russian Human Rights Council chairman refuses to visit Navalny in prison

Source: Interfax

The chairman of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeev, says that he doesn’t plan to visit the penal colony in the Vladimir region where opposition politician Alexey Navalny is on hunger strike.

“I’ll arrive, see a sick, unhealthy, emaciated person and what? This smells like cheap PR. We’re already imagining what’s happening there. So far we aren’t planning [to go there] at all,” Fadeev said in conversation with journalists in Nizhny Novgorod, as quoted by Interfax. 

Fadeev also said it’s “natural” that Navalny’s health is deteriorating amid his hunger strike. “Now I’m speaking as a common man, not as a doctor: If his health has deteriorated because he isn’t eating, then what will the doctor say? You need to eat,” the Human Rights Council chairman said.

Commenting on Navalny demanding access to trusted doctors, Fadeev recalled that the opposition politician was taken to a hospital in Vladimir, where he had an MRI scan and “completely professional doctors” conducted an “entire consultation.”

Since March 31, Alexey Navalny has been on hunger strike in Penal Colony No. 2 in the town of Pokrov, in the Vladimir region. He has complained of back pain and numbness in his arms and legs, and is demanding access to doctors that he trusts.

On April 15, Navalny’s doctors warned that his test results were “extremely negative.” In their opinion, he is at risk of kidney failure and severe cardiovascular disease. Against the backdrop of his worsening health, Navalny’s associates announced concrete plans for a nationwide rally in support of the imprisoned opposition leader.

On April 19, prison officials announced that Navalny was being transferred to a prisoners’ hospital located on the grounds of Correctional Facility No. 3 — a notorious prison in Vladimir. 

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