© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny testifies to consider an appeal against the court’s previous decision to change his probation to a real prison term
PARIS (Reuters) – Alexei Navalny, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s prominent rival, was held under torture conditions to the point where he could slowly kill him, Amnesty International said Wednesday .
Amnesty International says Navalny, who last year was poisoned with military-grade neurotoxin, is currently suffering from sleep deprivation and has no access to a doctor he can trust while in prison.
Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, told Reuters: “Russia, the Russian authorities, may be putting him in a dying state and trying to hide what is happening to him. I “.
“It is clear that the Russian authorities are violating his rights. We have to do more,” she said. “(They) attempted to kill him, now they are holding him in custody, and imposing prison conditions, that amount of money for torture.”
Navalny went on a hunger strike last week in an attempt to force the prison holding him outside of Moscow to provide him with proper medical care for what he said was acute pain in his back and legs.
The Kremlin declined to comment on his health, saying it was a matter of federal law enforcement. The penitential service said last week the 44-year-old was receiving all necessary treatment.
Navalny was jailed in February for two and a half years for parole violations he called politically motivated. Moscow, which has been suspicious of his poisoning, claims that Navalny is a Western-backed troublemaker aimed at destabilizing Russia.
Callamard said the poor treatment of Navalny at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated inequality and increased state-sponsored repression in several countries.
Certain governments have engineered the pandemic against minorities to crack down on dissent and human rights, while in other countries it almost normalizes emergency measures. Restrictions on civil liberties, she added.
“COVID has stepped up the oppression,” Callamard said.
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