Russian opposition figure Navalny ends hunger strike

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MOSCOW

Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny announced on Friday he ended the hunger strike he started on March 31.

In a post on Twitter, Navalny explained his decision by fear of possible death in case of further abstinence from food.

“The doctors issued a statement yesterday (Thursday) saying that we have achieved enough for me to end my hunger strike. Well, I will say frankly — their words that the tests show that after a minimum time ‘there will be no one to treat’ … seem to me worthy of attention,” Navalny said.

On March 31, Navalny went on the hunger strike, protesting the conditions of his imprisonment.

On April 19, he was transferred to a prison hospital for convicts on hunger strike, and he agreed to have vitamin therapy while refusing any other treatment.

The EU and US showed strong support to Navalny, demanding the Russian government to release him and threatening him with possible consequences.

Navalny was imprisoned for a parole violation in February. He was convicted in 2014 of fraud and embezzlement and was on six-year probation, requiring to report to police twice a month.

In 2020, after his alleged poisoning with a nerve agent, the condition to appear before the police were put on hold for the duration of his treatment in Germany.

According to the FSIN, after Navalny’s treatment was over, he did not show up for more than three months and did not notify about his whereabouts. He did not even provide any objective reasoning for his non-appearance, it said.

Upon his return to Russia on Jan. 17, Navalny was arrested at the airport, and his suspended sentence was replaced with a 2.5-year full custodial sentence.

The EU has imposed sanctions on four Russian high-ranking officials over Navalny’s arbitrary arrest, prosecution, and sentencing under its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

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