Navalny goes on hunger strike in prison

Ursula Perano

WASHINGTON DC: Ru-Russian opposition leader Al-exei Navalny has gone on a hunger strike in prison in protest of authorities allegedly denying him medical treatment for pain and numbness in his back and leg, his Instagram account announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Navalny’s lawyers fear that his health is deteriorating in the remote Russian penal colony where he is serving a 2.5-year sentence. He wrote on Instagram that he is being “tortured by sleep deprivation” and has “no other methods of fighting,” according to a Meduza translation.

Navalny was sentenced to prison in February for violating parole while recovering from an assassination attempt in Germany.

U.S. and European Union officials have demanded Navalny’s release and sanctioned Russian officials for his poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok, which has been attributed to Russian intelligence.

Navalny is an anti-corruption activist who has often been referred to as “the man Putin fears most.” His detention and sentencing set off mass protests across Russia.