Critical state of health
Berlin demands immediate medical help for Alexej Navalny
The federal government has expressed concern about the health of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who has been in prison for two years, and has called for immediate medical attention.
Navalny at a court hearing in February 2021.
“It was with great concern that we heard the reports about Alexej Navalny’s critical state of health,” said deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann on Friday in Berlin. She referred to information that “his condition has deteriorated significantly due to inhuman prison conditions, including long-lasting solitary confinement”.
The 46-year-old Navalny is the most prominent critic of Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin in Russia and is being held in a high-security prison outside of Moscow. He was sentenced to nine years in prison for embezzlement, which Navalny dismisses as politically motivated.
Worry about Navalny
According to his supporters, Navalny said this week that the prison authorities were denying him access to hospital treatment. He has flu symptoms with fever. Navalny’s supporters accused the Kremlin of wanting the Putin critic to die in prison.
Medical assistance and release demanded
The federal government is calling on the Russian authorities to provide Navalny with medical help “immediately and in full,” said Deputy Government Spokeswoman Hoffmann. At the same time, she renewed the demand to “release Navalny immediately”. His detention is based “on a politically motivated verdict” and shows “that the Russian government is trying by all means to silence dissenters”.
The opposition figure was arrested in Moscow in January 2021 after returning from Germany. He had previously been treated in Berlin for poisoning he suffered in Russia with a neurotoxin from the Novichok group, for which he blames the Kremlin.
When asked whether German doctors could travel to Russia to help Navalny, Hoffmann said it was “very difficult at the moment” to even get in touch with the Russian government “on such issues”. However, the federal government is trying to “do what is possible”.