Let a doctor treat Navalny, says daughter of jailed Kremlin critic

MOSCOW • The daughter of hunger-striking Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny called on Russian authorities yesterday to allow a doctor to treat her father in prison, a day after a group of medical professionals warned he is at risk of kidney failure.

Navalny, a fierce opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, started refusing food on March 31 in protest at what he said was the refusal of prison authorities to provide him with proper medical care for acute back and leg pain.

Prison authorities say they have offered Navalny proper medical care but that the 44-year-old opposition politician has refused it and insisted on being treated by a doctor of his choice from outside the facility, a request they have declined.

"Allow a doctor to see my dad," Navalny's daughter Dasha, a student at Stanford University, wrote on Twitter.

A medical trade union with ties to Navalny said on Saturday he was in critical condition, citing medical tests that it said showed Navalny's kidneys could soon fail, which could lead to cardiac arrest.

A group of actors, writers, historians, journalists and directors, including Jude Law and J.K. Rowling, wrote an open letter to Mr Putin on Friday urging him to ensure that Navalny gets medical care.

An aide to Navalny called on Russians yesterday to take to the streets on Wednesday to help save his life.

"It's time to act. We are talking not just about Navalny's freedom but his life," Mr Leonid Volkov said on Facebook.

Russia jailed Navalny for 21/2 years in February for parole violations that he said were fabricated.

He was arrested in January when he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning attack that he blamed on Mr Putin.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2021, with the headline 'Let a doctor treat Navalny, says daughter of jailed Kremlin critic'. Subscribe