A view shows the IK-2 corrective penal colony, where Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny serves his jail term, in the town of Pokrov, Russia. Reuters
Alexei Navalny, the prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is incarcerated in conditions that amount to torture and may slowly be killing him, human rights group Amnesty International said on Wednesday.
Amnesty International said Navalny, who last year was poisoned with a military grade nerve agent, was now being subjected to sleep deprivation and did not have access to a doctor he could trust in jail.
“Russia, the Russian authorities, may be placing him into a situation of a slow death and seeking to hide what is happening to him,” Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, told Reuters ahead of the publication of the group’s annual report.
“Clearly the Russian authorities are violating his rights. We have to do more,” she said. “(They) have already attempted to kill him, they are now detaining him, and imposing prison conditions, that amount to torture.”
Navalny went on a hunger strike last week in an attempt to force the prison holding him outside Moscow to provide him with proper medical care for what he said was acute pain in his back and legs.
The Kremlin has declined to comment on his health, saying it is a matter for the federal penitentiary service. The penitentiary service last week said the 44-year-old was receiving all necessary treatment.
Navalny was jailed in February for two and a half years for parole violations that he called politically motivated. Moscow, which has cast doubt over his poisoning, paints Navalny as a Western-backed troublemaker bent on destabilising Russia.
Callamard said Navalny’s ill-treatment came at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated inequalities and increased state-sponsored repression in some countries.
Certain governments had instrumentalised the pandemic against minority groups to repress dissent and human rights, while in other countries there had been a near-normalisation of emergency measures that restricted civil liberties, she added.
“COVID has amplified oppression,” Callamard said.
The Syrian regime and Russia have stepped up their deadly raids on the Idlib region since late April, despite an international deal intended to prevent a full-scale offensive on the area of some three million people.
This week authorities jailed President Vladimir Putin’s top opponent for 30 days and launched a probe targeting his allies but activists said they would not abandon plans to attend an unauthorised rally.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was "poisoned" by an unidentified toxic substance but doctors have sent him back to jail despite his condition, says his lawyer.
Most people recover within a few weeks, and monkeypox has only been fatal in rare cases.
It is noteworthy that the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of the seriousness of the disease after it was detected in a number of countries, and the organisation called for a strong tracing of contacts of the infected cases.
Meteorologists had warned that heavy rainfall and hail were expected in western and central Germany on Friday, with storms producing wind gusts up to 130 kph (81 mph). Storms on Thursday had already disrupted traffic, uprooted trees that toppled onto rail tracks and roads, and flooded hundreds of basements in western Germany.
These included Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; Jo?o Lourenço, President of Angola; Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana; Mohamed Hussein Robley, Prime Minister of Somalia, and His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.