© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is listening to consider an appeal against a previous court ruling to convert his suspended sentence into a real prison sentence
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny asked for help from a public commission to gain access to analgesic injections for severe leg pain, the commission’s head said in a statement released Saturday evening.
Navalny was jailed last month for two and a half years on politically motivated charges. He was arrested when he returned to Russia from Germany in January, where he was recovering from nerve poisoning.
The 44-year-old opposition politician said in a statement that his application for treatment by a civilian doctor had been denied and that he was woken up by a security guard every night during the night in an attempt to deliberately undermine his health.
Members of a local public surveillance commission, a semi-official facility with access to Russian prisons, visited Navalny in his penal colony 100 km east of Moscow on Friday.
“Through a conversation (with Navalny) we learned that he had pain in his leg and he asked for help with the injection of diclofenac to relieve the pain. He can still walk,” said Vyacheslav Kulikov, head of the commission , in an online statement.
A spokeswoman for a regional department of the Russian prison authorities declined to comment immediately.
Diclofenac is a medicine that reduces inflammation and pain and is used to treat joint, muscle, and bone problems. This is evident from information on the UK National Health Service website.
Navalny has said his only treatment was two ibuprofen pills a day and his diagnosis was unclear.
The commission did not say whether Navalny had received the analgesic injections he requested.
“We … made sure that his request was officially recorded,” said Kulikov.
Navalny lawyer Vadim Kobzev, who visited the politician the day before the public observers, said he was unaware of his request for the pain medication injection.
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