Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, on a hunger strike since last week, has been moved to the prison infirmary with a respiratory infection, the Federal Penitentiary Service said, according to the Izvestia newspaper.
Navalny, 44, reported a severe cough and a fever of 38.1 degrees Celsius (100.6 degrees Fahrenheit), saying three other prisoners in his unit have been hospitalized with tuberculosis, a statement posted on his account said. The chief opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin started refusing food on March 31 to pressure prison authorities to grant him outside medical treatment for acute back pain that has spread to his legs. Officials say he’s getting
adequate care within the prison.
The Penitentiary Service didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. Navalny is being monitored by doctors, Izvestiya said.
He had already lost 13 kilograms (29 pounds) while in prison, his lawyer, Olga Mikhailova, said on TV Rain. Guards are waking him each hour because he’s officially been designated a flight risk, his supporters say.
Navalny has been held at the notorious IK-2 prison about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Moscow since March 11. He was imprisoned for parole violations while recovering in Germany from a near-fatal nerve-agent poisoning in Siberia last year that he and Western governments have blamed on the Kremlin. Russian authorities deny involvement.
Navalny’s allies say more than 390,000 people have pledged anonymously to take part in protests calling for his release that they plan to call once the figure reaches 500,000.