Navalny’s Personal Doctors Appeal to Him to Stop Hunger Strike

Doctors seeking to treat Alexey Navalny appealed to the jailed Russian opposition leader Thursday to stop his 23-day hunger strike after outside specialists were allowed to see him in prison.

“As attending physicians, we appeal to Alexey Navalny and ask him to immediately stop the hunger strike in order to preserve his life and health,” five of his doctors wrote in an open letter published on the Mediazona news website. “We consider the fact that civilian doctors were given access to him, and the objective research and consultations, are sufficient for this.”

Two of the doctors who signed the letter confirmed the appeal, saying they’d been given access to detailed test results. “We became desperate,” said Yaroslav Ashikhmin. Another of the physicians, Anastasia Vasilieva, tweeted the call on Navalny to end the hunger strike but later deleted the tweet. She couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

There was no immediate response from Navalny or his lawyers. Ally Leonid Volkov wrote in Twitter that Navalny’s doctors were given the test results after nationwide protests Wednesday demanding he be given proper medical care.

The police detained over 1,900 people around Russia at the rallies, according to monitoring group OVD-Info. U.S. and European governments had warned that Russia would face consequences if Navalny were to die in prison.

The Kremlin’s human rights ombudsman, Tatiana Moskalkova, said Wednesday that Navalny’s life isn’t at risk and that he’s getting all necessary care including an intravenous drip. She said outside doctors had been able to examine him in the prison hospital at IK-3 in the city of Vladimir where he’s being held.

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