Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny went on hunger strike on Wednesday 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 fate of Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critics, is in focus after he said last week that being woken up by a guard every hour during the night amounted to torture and that his appeals for medical treatment had been ignored.
In a handwritten letter addressed to the governor of his prison which was posted to social media by his team on Wednesday, Navalny said daily requests for a doctor of his choice to examine him and for proper medicine had been ignored.
“I really need a doctor. Every convict has the right (by law) to invite a specialist to examine and consult him. Even I have such a right and I’m innocent,” Navalny wrote in the letter.
“I demand that a doctor be allowed to see me, and until this happens, I am declaring a hunger strike.”