U.S. disturbed over Kremlin critic Navalny's deteriorating health

A nonetheless picture taken from video footage exhibits Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny, who’s accused of flouting the phrases of a suspended sentence for embezzlement, through the announcement of a court docket verdict in Moscow, Russia February 2, 2021.

Simonovsky District Court | through Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration stated Wednesday that it’s disturbed by reviews that Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny’s health has deteriorated since his imprisonment and reiterated requires his fast launch.

Navalny, who was detained in January at an airport in Moscow, is on a starvation strike so as to drive his jailers to supply entry to exterior medical look after ache in his again and legs. A lawyer for Navalny stated he’s affected by two spinal hernias, AP reported.

The Kremlin has declined to touch upon his health.

“We urge Russian authorities to take all necessary actions to ensure his safety and health. So long as he is imprisoned, the Russian government is responsible for his health and well-being,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated Wednesday throughout a briefing.

“We stand with like-minded allies and partners in calling for his immediate release as well as an end to the persecution of his supporters,” she stated, including that Navalny’s imprisonment was “politically motivated” and a “gross injustice.”

Human rights group Amnesty International informed Reuters on Wednesday that it believed Russian authorities have been attempting to slowly kill Navalny throughout his imprisonment.

Navalny, a number one critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, flew to Russia in January from Berlin, the place he spent practically half a yr recovering from a nerve agent poisoning that happened in August. He was arrested at passport management and later sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Last summer time, Navalny was medically evacuated to Germany from a Russian hospital after he turned sick following reviews that one thing was added to his tea. Russian docs treating Navalny denied that the Kremlin critic had been poisoned and blamed his comatose state on low blood sugar ranges.

In September, the German authorities stated that the 44-year-old Russian dissident was poisoned by a chemical nerve agent, describing the toxicology report as offering “unequivocal evidence.” The military-grade nerve agent was within the household of Novichok, which was developed by the Soviet Union. Toxicology checks performed in France and Sweden got here to the identical conclusion.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied having a task in Navalny’s poisoning.

Last month, the United States sanctioned seven members of the Russian government for the alleged poisoning and subsequent detention of Navalny. The sanctions are the primary to focus on Moscow beneath President Joe Biden’s management. The Trump administration didn’t take motion towards Russia over the Navalny state of affairs.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a separate assertion that the sanctions would “send a clear signal” to Russia that use of chemical weapons and human rights abuses carry hefty penalties.

“Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms,” Blinken wrote.

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