Alexei Navalny 'losing feeling in both hands' while on hunger strike

Alexei Navalny ‘is losing all feeling in both hands’ as he keeps up his hunger strike in prison, his lawyers claim

  • Alexei Navalny, 44, has vowed to continue a hunger strike he started last week 
  • The Vladimir Putin opponent is serving two and a half years for embezzlement
  • Lawyers who visited him say he is ‘not well’ and has numbness in his hands
  • Kremlin officials say he won’t be taken to a hospital or get any ‘special treatment’

The health of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is deteriorating as he keeps up his hunger strike in prison, with a new numbness in his hands, his lawyers said today.

Last week President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent, who is serving two and a half years on embezzlement charges, launched a hunger strike to demand proper medical treatment for severe back pain and numbness in his legs.

Members of Navalny’s defence team, who visited him in his penal colony in the town of Pokrov 60 miles east of Moscow on Wednesday, said he is still refusing food and was coughing.

‘He looks bad, he’s not feeling well,’ lawyer Olga Mikhailova told AFP, adding Navalny now weighs ‘around 176 pounds’.

Lawyers who visited Russia opposition leader Alexei Navalny in his penal colony outside of Moscow say he is ‘not well’ and has numbness in his hands as he continues on a week-long hunger strike

Navalny, who is over six feet tall, weighed 205lbs when he arrived in his penal colony last month.

‘No one is going to treat him,’ Mikhailova added.

Navalny’s lawyers and allies are demanding that he be transferred to a ‘normal’ hospital but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that Navalny is not entitled to any special treatment.

Another member of the opposition politician’s team, Vadim Kobzev, said that 44-year-old Navalny was losing ‘a kilogram a day’.

Taking to Twitter, Kobzev said Navalny felt pain when he walked and was now also feeling a numbness in his hands in addition to back pain and a loss of sensation in his legs.

‘It’s clear that his illness is getting worse,’ Kobzev wrote.

Navalny is serving two and a half years on embezzlement charges at the penal colony in the town of Pokrov 60 miles east of Moscow

Earlier this week, Navalny said he had a cough and fever and that three members of his prison unit had been hospitalised with tuberculosis.

Navalny was arrested in January after returning from Germany, where he spent months recovering from a poisoning attack with Novichok nerve agent he blames on the Kremlin.

He is serving a two-and-a-half year sentence for breaching the parole terms of a suspended sentence on old fraud charges.

Rights campaigners say the Pokrov penal colony is known for its especially harsh conditions, and Navalny himself has called it a ‘concentration camp.’

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