| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Security at Navalny prison in Russia has been beefed up ahead of protests

On Tuesday, Russian police increased security at the prison where Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is being held, as his supporters planned a demonstration outside the facility to demand that he be given adequate medical treatment.

Navalny, 44, a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, declared a hunger strike last week in protest of what he claims is the prison authorities’ failure to adequately treat him for acute back and leg pain.

If he sees a doctor of his choosing and is given proper medicine, a group of his supporters said they will protest at the prison in Pokrov, 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Moscow, starting Tuesday.

His health is satisfactory, according to prison officials, and he has received all required medical treatment.

Late on Monday, his allies said the protest would go ahead after Navalny said he was continuing his hunger strike, although he had a high temperature and bad cough and three inmates in his ward had been hospitalised with tuberculosis.

The pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper later cited the state prison service saying that Navalny had been moved to a sick bay and tested for the coronavirus.

On Tuesday morning, police officers, one with a police dog, set up a makeshift checkpoint in front of the prison gate and used a metal barrier to block the road 100 metres from it.

Everyone but prison personnel were allowed to park in the lot, and reporters and prison employees had their IDs checked.

According to Reuters, “it is now under a special (security) regime.”

Navalny supporter Antonina Romanova said she came to demonstrate solidarity.

“I assume he is not guilty. She said, “I’m completely on his side.” “For whatever reason, the people who can help the country figure things out end up in jail,” she said.

  • Reuters