Russia’s most popular opposition figure Alexei Navalny is currently serving a two and a half year sentence in a prison near Moscow. At the end of March, Navalny started a hunger strike to protest the prison’s poor conditions.
At that time Navalny demanded proper treatment because he was suffering from severe back pain and numbness in his limbs. The strike has become an international concern that demands President Putin pay attention to Navalny’s health in prison. Ekonomi Rusia
He was eventually taken to hospital, after countries warned Putin that there would be serious consequences if Navalny died in custody. On April 23rd, Navalny ended his hunger strike.
“23 days of going on a hunger strike and 23 days of cutting back in a very strict and conservative way,” Navalny said in his first post on Instagram after three weeks of absence. “My determination surprised me,” wrote the opposition figure who will turn 45 next month.
Last week Alexei Navalny started eating bread – his favorite food – for the first time in 46 days. He said he felt happier than an oligarch who ate on his yacht or those who ate at “star restaurants”. Berita politik dan ekonomi Rusia
The recipe for happiness in prison, he said, was simple: “Choose what you really like, then put it away from you for some time and get it back,” wrote Navalny. “Remember that this doesn’t apply to people. Always love your loved ones.” Politik Rusia
Navalny’s health began to recover
Navalny’s last public appearance was via a video link in court during an appeal hearing in late April, where he appeared emaciated and said he started eating several spoons of porridge a day. The head of the prison said Navalny had indeed “been eating normally”.
Earlier, the head of the Russian prison service Alexander Kalashnikov also said Navalny’s health was improving. He has “recovered, more or less,” Kalashnikov told reporters. “It weighs 82 kilograms, I think,” he added.
The director of the FBK Anti-Corruption Foundation, Ivan Zhdanov, also said that Navalny’s health was getting better. “His condition is more or less normal now. The recovery process is ongoing,” Zhdanov said on Echo of Moscow radio.
Silencing of the opposition
Navalny’s team member said he weighed about 93 kilograms when he arrived at the prison last February, but that he had dropped to 85 kilograms when he went on a hunger strike. Politik Indonesia
The news of Navalny’s improving health comes as Russia is moving to ban his move. Next month the court will convene to hear whether to add its network of regional offices and the Anti-Corruption Foundation to its list of “terrorist and extremist” organizations. The decision would effectively ban the activities of Navalny’s political network and put his network of supporters on par with the terror groups ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
Russia’s parliament this week also passed legislation in its first reading that would bar members of “extremist organizations” from joining parliament.