Doctors denied access to a ‘very weak’ Navalny as supporters prepare to protest
Alexei Navalny’s doctors were again denied access Tuesday to the jailed Kremlin critic, as lawyers for the hunger-striking opposition figure said he was “very weak” and demanded he be transferred to a civilian hospital.
A team of medics has been trying to see the 44-year-old since early this month, after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken opponent began refusing food on March 31 to demand proper medical treatment for a litany of ailments.
The United States sought to up the pressure again on Tuesday urging Russia “immediately” to allow independent doctors to see Navalny.
“We call on them to allow for access to necessary and independent medical care immediately,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
Russian authorities were “responsible for his deteriorating health state,” he added.
Nearly three weeks into his hunger strike, doctors over the weekend warned that Navalny’s health was failing so rapidly he could die at “any minute”, and Washington threatened Moscow with “consequences” in the event of his death.
Navalny’s lawyer Olga Mikhailova told reporters outside the prison hospital Tuesday afternoon that he had become “very weak” and that “it’s hard for him to speak and sit up”.
That assessment came after a team of physicians including Navalny’s personal doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva travelled Tuesday morning to the prison medical facility beyond Moscow where Navalny was moved this week but were barred from seeing him.
Mikhailova and another lawyer were given access. They said Navalny had agreed to a glucose drip and was given one on Sunday, but noted that nurses had failed multiple times to find his vein, citing that as evidence that the prison infirmary was not up to the task.
“Medical care in this particular case is not being given,” Mikhailova said.
“He must be transferred to a civilian hospital in Moscow so that he can receive all the necessary assistance to prevent him from dying here.”…..read more