Navalny does not rule out being “poisoned”

The number one opponent of the Kremlin Alexei Navalny, treated in hospital for a mysterious evil before being sent back to the prison where he is incarcerated, did not exclude Monday the possibility of being “poisoned”, against the background of repression of the protest movement.
C ondamné last week to 30 days imprisonment, Alexei Navalny was hospitalized Sunday due to a “severe allergic reaction”, according to authorities, before being returned to the cell in the day Monday.

“I never had an allergy,” the opponent replied in a message posted on his blog, in which he explains his symptoms. “During a walk, my cellmates noticed that my neck was red. […] In an hour, I feel my forehead and the skin around the eyes that burn me. ”

“At night, I woke up because my face, my ears, my neck burned and stung me,” he continues. “The idea came to me: maybe they poisoned me?” Adds Navalny, who accompanies his message with a photo showing him to the hospital with a swollen face.

He says the doctors behaved “as if they had something to hide”.

If he says he doubts the version of the allergy, Alexei Navalny excludes being poisoned by the prison guards, according to him “even more shocked” by his appearance. But he does not exclude that someone entered his cell when the detainees were not there and calls to examine the images of CCTV.

Alexei Navalny at the hospital, Monday

“Independent expertise”

The entourage of this anti-corruption blogger had immediately worried about the “weird” evil of Mr. Navalny, intervened the day after a demonstration marked by nearly 1400 arrests, the unheard of since the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin in 2012.

After having been able to visit him in the Moscow hospital where he had been admitted, his lawyer Olga Mikhailova told reporters on Monday that the opponent had been “poisoned”.

Anastasia Vassilieva, an ophthalmologist who treated Navalny when he was sprayed with antiseptic in 2017, said the opponent was doing better, but worried that he was already sent back to prison without being ” totally restored.

Elena Sibikina, the hospital’s chief medical officer who examined Navalny, said the life or health of the opponent was not threatened, refusing to give further details in the name of medical confidentiality.

Swelling and abscess

At the time of his transfer to the hospital, Alexei Navalny suffered in particular from swelling of the eyelids and he has multiple abscesses on the neck, the back, the torso and the elbows.

Asked by the independent television station Dojd, Ms. Vassilieva said that she had recovered the opponent’s t-shirt and hair that would be subject to “independent expertise”.

Repression

The case comes at a time when the authorities seem determined to kill in the bud any dispute over the September 8 local elections, in which most Moscow opposition figures were prevented from participating.

An unauthorized gathering in front of the Moscow City Hall at the call of these opponents ended Saturday with nearly 1,400 arrests, according to OVD-Info, an NGO specializing in the follow-up of the demonstrations. According to her, this is the largest number of arrests since the protest movement in 2012 against Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin.

The United States and the European Union condemned the arrests, denouncing the “disproportionate use of force” against protesters. France, where Putin is due to go on 19 August at the invitation of Emmanuel Macron, said he was “deeply concerned” and called for “the speedy release” of those arrested, including Alexei Navalny.

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