RIGA - The Baltics call on Russian authorities to ensure that jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny is ensured the medical attention he needs, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) posted on his Twitter account today.
In his post, Rinkevics points out that alarming information is coming out of Russia regarding Navalny's health status, and emphasized that access to health care is a basic right of political prisoners. Rinkevics calls on the international community and the European Commission not to remain silent on the situation.
The AFP news agency reports that allies of jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny on Thursday demanded information about his health and whereabouts after Russia's prison service said his condition was stable but prevented lawyers from meeting with him.
Navalny, 44, was jailed last month on old embezzlement charges, sparking large protests, an outcry from rights groups in Russia and abroad and condemnation from Western governments.
His lawyers on Wednesday sounded the alarm over his health in one of Russia's most notorious prisons and demanded immediate access, saying he had complained of back pain and numbness in his legs.
The prison service told news agencies Thursday that medics had carried out checks the day before on inmates in the Vladimir region outside Moscow, including on Navalny.
"According to the results of the examination, his state of health was assessed as stable and satisfactory," the Federal Prison Service (FSIN) said.
Navalny's chief of staff Leonid Volkov responded that lawyers had returned to Pokrov, the provincial town outside the Russian capital where Navalny is being held, but were denied access.
He added that FSIN's message suggested that Navalny was in hospital and that "something very bad is happening to him".