Navalny transferred to hospital amid concern
Tuesday, April 20th, 2021
- Alexey Navalny is being hospitalised amid mounting global concern for the hunger-striking Kremlin critic.
- The statement added that the 44-year-old’s condition had been deemed “satisfactory”.
- Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, on Monday said the bloc held Russian authorities “responsible”.
Russia’s prison authority has announced that Alexey Navalny is being hospitalised amid mounting global concern for the hunger-striking Kremlin critic, whose health is reportedly deteriorating rapidly.
The prison service said in a statement on Monday that the jailed opposition politician, who is in the third week of his hunger strike, is being moved to a hospital for prisoners.
The statement added that the 44-year-old’s condition had been deemed “satisfactory” and he had agreed to take vitamin supplements.
The hospital he was being transferred to is located in a penal colony in Vladimir, a city 180km (112 miles) east of Moscow, according to the statement.
Navalny has been imprisoned in a separate Vladimir facility since last month after he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
The transfer came after several Western leaders called for Moscow to grant Navalny immediate access to medical care in the wake of warnings he “could die at any moment”.
Navalny announced a hunger strike at the end of March in protest against what he said was the refusal of prison authorities to treat him properly for acute back and leg pain.
His allies said at the weekend his life was hanging by a thread and called on his supporters to attend pro-Navalny protests on Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to deliver his annual state of the nation address on the same day.
The reports of Navalny’s worsening condition have prompted alarm in Europe and the United States, with growing calls for Russian authorities to grant him immediate access to medical treatment.
The episode has further strained Moscow’s ties with the West. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, on Monday said the bloc held Russian authorities “responsible” for Navalny’s “health situation”.
Borrell’s comments came before a video conference of the EU’s 27 foreign ministers, who on Sunday released a joint statement warning of the risks to Navalny’s life and called for his “immediate and unconditional release” from prison.
“He must immediately receive access to proper medical treatment,” von der Leyen tweeted, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday said she was “deeply worried”.