Navalny's health 'deteriorates further'

·2-min read

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been moved to a medical facility to be treated for a possible respiratory illness and has been tested for the coronavirus, the Izvestia newspaper has cited the prison service as saying.

He has been diagnosed with a fever of 38.1C and a "severe cough" but he will continue his hunger strike, which he started a few days ago, Navalny wrote earlier on Monday on Instagram.

Three of his fellow prisoners had already been taken to hospital because of tuberculosis.

The leading opposition politician, who is imprisoned in a prison camp about 100km east of Moscow, has been reporting severe back pain and paralysis in one leg for some time.

Last Wednesday, Navalny declared that he had gone on hunger strike in protest at a lack of medical care.

His allies said they would stage a rolling protest outside his prison from Tuesday unless he was examined by a doctor of his choice and given what they regard as proper medicine.

In February, Navalny was sentenced to several years in prison in a much-criticised trial.

The Russian judiciary accuses him of violating reporting requirements in an earlier criminal case while he was recovering in Germany from an assassination attempt involving the nerve agent Novichok.

According to a survey by independent pollsters Levada about 29 per cent of people in Russia consider the verdict "rather unfair".

Significantly more respondents, or 48 per cent, on the other hand, thought that Navalny's conviction was probably justified.

Last August, Navalny fell into a coma after collapsing during a domestic flight.

He was treated for weeks at the Charite hospital in Berlin.

The prominent opposition figure blames a "hit squad" of the FSB domestic intelligence service, under the command of President Vladimir Putin, for the attempt on his life.

Putin and the FSB reject the accusations.