NAfter more than two weeks on hunger strike, concerns about the health of the imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexej Navalnyj are growing. Doctors around him warned over the weekend that 44-year-old Navalnyj’s heart could stop. Measures must be taken immediately, warned a team of doctors around Navalny’s doctor Anastassija Wassiljewa in the short message service Twitter. A Navalnyj spokeswoman wrote: “Alexei is dying.” Death is only a matter of days. The information could not be checked.
The doctor of the most prominent Russian opposition politician demanded access to Navalnyj again in a letter published on Saturday to the prison authorities. “We doctors are ready to act. The question remains whether the prison camp is ready to work together to save Navalnyj’s life. ”At a height of 1.90 meters, he weighed 76 kilograms a few days ago, according to his wife. He should lose one kilogram of weight per day. Navalnyj is sitting under difficult conditions in a camp about 100 kilometers away from Moscow.
Celebrities publish open letter
Support came from more than 70 celebrities who wrote an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking for medical treatment. It says: “As a Russian citizen, he has the right to be examined and treated by a doctor of his choice.” The appeal was printed in several European daily newspapers on Saturday. The signatories include Harry Potter author JK Rowling, Nobel Prize winners such as Herta Müller and Louise Glück, Abba founder Björn Ulvaeus and the actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Navalnyj has been on hunger strike since March 31. He is now threatened with force-feeding. The Putin opponent, who barely survived a poison attack last year, recently complained of back problems, paralysis in the limbs, fever and cough. Wassiljewa and three colleagues also spoke of critical potassium levels, which could lead to kidney failure and severe cardiac arrhythmias. “We are extremely concerned about his condition,” said the letter to the prison chief, Alexander Kalashnikov. “We urgently ask for negotiations.”
Lawyers with no contact with Navalnyj
Navalnyj’s spokeswoman Kira Jarmysch wrote on Facebook that lawyers could not contact her client on weekends. “Nobody knows what will happen on Monday.” According to her, further demonstrations for a release are planned. There had already been protests across the country in January. Cardiologist Alexei Erlich told Echo Moskvy radio station: “I don’t know whether Navalnyj’s fate will be decided by the prison system, the presidential administration or Putin himself. But we need now, today, a fundamental decision that will allow independent doctors to meet Navalnyj. ”The doctor is part of the opposition’s team of personal doctors.
Navalnyj had survived an assassination attempt with the neurotoxin Novitschok in August and had been treated in Germany. He complains that the use of the banned chemical warfare agent in his home country is not being investigated. Several laboratories in the EU had detected the poison. He himself blames a “killer squad” from the domestic secret service FSB for the attack, which is said to be under Putin’s command. Putin and the FSB rejected the allegations.
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