Germany concerned over Navalny's 'worsening' health status

Germany concerned over Navalny's 'worsening' health status

Chancellor's spokeswoman calls on Russian authorities to provide urgent medical care to Russian opposition leader

By Oliver Towfigh Nia

BERLIN (AA) - A German government spokeswoman on Friday expressed concern over the "deteriorating" health status of Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny.

"It was with great concern that we heard the report on Alexei Navalny's critical health condition. Reports that his condition has deteriorated significantly due to inhuman prison conditions, including long periods of solitary confinement, give particular cause for concern," Christiane Hoffmann told journalists in Berlin.

"He needs urgent medical attention, as numerous Russian doctors have pointed out. We call on the Russian authorities to make this possible immediately ...," she added.

Hoffmann reiterated that her government is sticking to its demand to "release Mr. Navalny immediately," saying his detention is "based on a politically motivated verdict."

Supporters and family members of Navalny, who is being held in a Russian prison camp, have expressed concern about the 46-year-old's health. Navalny was again unable to attend a court hearing because he was too ill for it, his spokeswoman Kira Jarmysch wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

The Kremlin critic was sentenced to nine years in prison in March 2022 for large-scale fraud and contempt.

Earlier, Navalny's lawyer said his client was locked in an isolation cell and was suffering from fever, chills and coughing, but was denied medical help.

At the beginning of the week, as many as 290 Russian doctors wrote an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, calling for medical treatment of Navalny.

"The conditions of detention and the appearance of Alexey Navalny make us very concerned about his life and health," the letter said. It also demanded that doctors be allowed to see the politician.

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