Navalny announces end of hunger strike

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has announced the end of his hunger strike, which he earlier declared at a penitentiary to demand that he be examined by doctors of his choice.

"I am not withdrawing the demand that the doctor I need be admitted to me, as some parts of my legs and arms occasionally grow numb, and I'd like to understand what this is and how it can be cured, but, considering the progress and all circumstances, I'm beginning to exit my hunger strike," a statement posted on Navalny's Instagram account says.

"By the rules, this will take 24 days, and I've heard it's even harder. So wish me luck," Navalny said.

Navalny said he has been examined by panels of civilian doctors twice, "the last time right before the rallies."

"They've examined me and taken tests from me, and they've given me the results and conclusions," he said.

Navalny also mentioned a statement his personal physicians made on Thursday, calling on him to end his hunger strike. "I'll say frankly: their words [...] seem noteworthy to me," he said.

Navalny has been serving time in Penitentiary No. 2 in Pokrov, Vladimir region in connection with the Yves Rocher case since the middle of March.

Navalny's supporters said on social media on March 31 that he had gone on hunger strike, demanding that a doctor be allowed to see him and provide him with medication. Navalny's lawyers have said that his health has seriously deteriorated.

On April 19, the Vladimir region department of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service reported that Navalny had been transferred to a regional hospital for prisoners on the territory of the penal colony where he is serving his sentence.

"Navalny's health is currently being assessed as fair, a physician examines him daily. The patient is receiving vitamin therapy with his consent," it said.

Interfax-Ukraine

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