Navalny went on hunger strike last week to protest against prison officials’ refusal to give him access to proper medical care. He had suffered from acute back pain that had affected his ability to walk, and his condition was aggravated by alleged “torture of sleep deprivation,” one of his lawyers said last month.
Navalny said the prison did not have the nutrition and nutrients required to keep inmates healthy, adding that his temperature was recorded as 38.1 degrees Celsius (100.6 Fahrenheit) and that he had a severe cough .
In the post on Monday, Navalny also said there was a tuberculosis outbreak among his cellmates, in which three of the group’s 15 prisoners were recently hospitalized due to the disease.
“And what? Do you think there is a state of emergency, ambulance sirens are blowing? Nobody cares, the bosses are only worried about how the statistics should be hidden,”
‘Practically exemplary’ penal colony
In the post, which was shared on Monday, Navalny also criticized Russian state media’s recent coverage of conditions within the penal colony.
Last week, a film crew from Russia’s state-controlled television network RT visited the prison with Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights enthusiast who became a television personality now working for the network. The report said the prison was “practically exemplary.”
Butina was convicted of conspiracy to act as an agent for a foreign state in the United States and served more than 15 months behind bars in Florida. She pleaded guilty to trying to infiltrate conservative political circles and promote Russian interests before and after the 2016 presidential election.
Navalny pushed back against RT’s assessment of the situation.
“This is what our ‘ideal, exemplary colony’ looks like. Every prisoner prays to God not to come here, but inside there are unhygienic conditions, tuberculosis, lack of medicine. Looking at the horrible plates where they lay our wet, I is generally surprised that there is no Ebola virus here yet, “Navalny said in the Instagram post on Monday.
“I have a legally guaranteed right to invite a specialist at my own expense. I will not give up, prison doctors can rely on as much as state television,” he added.
Navalny, a longtime critic of President Vladimir Putin, was jailed earlier this year for violating probation conditions in a 2014 case in which he received a suspended sentence of three and a half years. A Moscow court took into account the 11 months Navalny had already spent under house arrest as part of the decision, replacing the remainder of the suspended sentence with a prison sentence last month.