Incarcerated Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on Wednesday he went on a hunger strike until he received appropriate medical treatment for severe back pain and numbness in his legs.
The most prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, who is serving a 2.5-year sentence in one of Russia’s most notorious prison colonies, said he was losing sensation in both legs and demanded that he be properly treaty.
The 44-year-old said he suffered from a pinched nerve that numbed his right leg and accused prison officials of refusing to provide him with adequate medical treatment.
He complained that he had only received pain relievers, but had not been properly diagnosed.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Navalny said the back pain now causes loss of sensation in his left leg as well.
“I went on a hunger strike to demand that the law be respected and that a doctor be allowed to visit me,” he said.
Navalny, who is considered a flight risk by authorities, last week lodged two formal complaints against prison authorities, saying he was woken up eight times a night by guards announcing to a recording camera that he was still in his cell.
– “Jokes aside” –
On Wednesday, he said that instead of receiving medical treatment, he continued to be “tortured by sleep deprivation”.
“I have the right to ask for a doctor and to receive medication,” he wrote. “Jokes aside but it’s bothering me already.”
Navalny was arrested in mid-January after returning from Germany to Russia, where he had been recovering for several months from a poisoning attack with the nerve agent Novichok which he said was orchestrated by the Kremlin.
He spent the month of February between detention centers and courtrooms in Moscow where he was on trial for defaming a World War II veteran and violating the terms of an old suspended conviction for fraud.
Last week, he said he believed he suffered from a pinched nerve from being regularly carried in police cars and standing “askew” in the cages of the accused.
He joked that he didn’t want to “part” with his right leg and joked about becoming a one-legged pirate.
Navalny’s allies and Western governments say his prosecution is politically motivated.
Human rights activists claim his penal colony is one of the worst in Russia and his wife Yulia has appealed directly to Putin to release his critic.
The European Court of Human Rights had called on Russia to release the Kremlin critic out of concern for his life, but Moscow rejected the appeal.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by UK Time News staff and is posted Platforms.)