Alexei Navalny loses 15kg in Russian prison camp

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been making news headlines around the world since he faced attempted assination by poison in August 2020. After missing his trial due to being in a coma, Navalny returned to Russia despite knowing he would be retained by the police there and taken into government custody. Since then no one has heard too much from the previously vocal Nevalny as he was removed to a remote Russian prison camp. 

The latest news from his team however prevents an extremely worrying situation. In fear of his life and a second poisoning, Nalvany has gone on a hunger strike. The strike started at the end of March and reports from the camp say Nelvany has now lost over 15kg. The camp says they offered Nalvany medical assistance but that it was refused. Navalny’s camp says he is scared for his life and requests assistance from an outside medical doctor. 

Nalvany was moved to the prison medical facility following his recording of a high fever and ongoing cough. The Kremlin critic has now been released from the medical facility, though the prison has come back strongly to say if his health condition does not improve they will force feed him. Nalvany entered prison a relatively healthy 92kg. This weight has now dropped dramatically to 77kg – a huge 15kg loss in a matter of weeks. 

Nalvany says he started the strike in protest of being denied proper medical help for his back and leg pain. Allies for the Russian opposition leader say part of Nelvany’s weight loss is also due to prison guards keeping him sleep deprived and allowing for his recovery. The facility, located 80km south of Moscow, denies this allegation. 

Nalvany’s trouble with the Russian government began in 2014 when he was accused of fraud. Nelvany says the allegations are politically motivated and denies all culpability.