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Navalny May Be in a 'Situation of a Slow Death'

Newser — Kate Seamons

Amnesty International is weighing in on Alexei Navalny's prison conditions, and it isn't pulling punches. "We have to do more," said Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard on Wednesday.

"[They] have already attempted to kill him, they are now detaining him, and imposing prison conditions, that amount to torture. ... Russia, the Russian authorities, may be placing him into a situation of a slow death and seeking to hide what is happening to him." Navalny has since last Wednesday been on a hunger strike he started over what he said was a lack of access to a doctor after experiencing worsening pain in his back and legs.

Amnesty International echoed that, saying he wasn't able to be seen by a trustworthy doctor, reports Reuters.

As for Navalny's personal doctor, she was arrested by police Tuesday while demonstrating over his medical care outside the the IK-2 penal colony in the Vladimir region where he's being held.

Anastasia Vasilyeva said it's possible Navalny—who reportedly has a cough and fever—has COVID, and noted that the 44-year-old requires care at a "specialized hospital," per Al Jazeera.

The state prison service contends he has been tested for COVID. The AP reports she was among nine people detained; a CNN crew was among them.

Vasilyeva and the reporters have been released, but other union members are said to still be in custody. "I see only one option," Vasilyeva said. "If nothing happens, then we will come here tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. ... We can't back down. It's a matter of a person's life and death."

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