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Fear of Tuberculosis Among Navalny in Russian Penal Colony

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Concerns about the deteriorating health of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny are growing. His lawyer Olga Michajlova says he is considering a tuberculosis infection after Navalny tested negative for Covid-19.

 

Navalny has been in the infirmary of penal colony IK-2 since Monday. According to Michajlova, who visited the colony on Tuesday, Navalny has a 38-39 degree fever and a severe cough. Shortly before the transfer to the infirmary, Navalny said cellmates had been admitted with symptoms of tuberculosis.

The 44-year-old opposition leader has been weakened by a hunger strike that he started a week ago in protest against medical care deprivation. Navalny wants a doctor he trusts to investigate severe pain in his back and legs.

The Russian authorities refuse to agree to that request. On Tuesday, police ended a demonstration by an opposition-minded doctors’ union at the penal colony. Union leader Anastasia Vasiljeva was arrested, along with several journalists who reported on the demonstration.

Navalny complained, among other things, about torture caused by sleep deprivation. He would be woken up every hour of the night by guards who shine a flashlight in his eyes.

Prison authorities argue that Navalny is a flight hazard and should therefore be closely monitored. According to them, Navalny is getting all the medical attention that is needed.

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