Russian dissident and critic Alexei Navalny Monday announced that he has been suffering from worsening back pain due to the conditions of his solitary confinement. Navalny has been intermittently held in a “punishment cell” in a Russian prison for the last three months serving his sentence for alleged crimes of parole violations, fraud and contempt of court. Human rights organizations across the world have condemned Navalny’s imprisonment since his arrest in 2021.Throughout the statement shared on Twitter, Navalny accused Russian prison authorities of deliberately undermining his health, saying that they have used solitary confinement to “keep [him] immobile as much as possible” in order to worsen his health. Navalny described how the conditions of his imprisonment have affected his health, saying:If you lock a person up in a punishment cell, where he can either stand or sit on an iron stool for 16 hours a day, after a month in such conditions even a healthy person will undoubtedly get back pains. I’ve spent the last 3 months like this. Naturally, my back hurts a lot.Navalny also recalled the difficulty he has faced accessing both medical attention for his injuries as well as his own medical records. He stated that it took a month and a half and a threat of a lawsuit from his lawyer to get a doctor to inspect his spinal pain. Alongside the statement, Navalny posted photographs of handwritten medical records, stating that he waited another month to be given these documents. He commented, “Taking me away is the only thing that is done here quickly and without any problems.”Closing his statement, Navalny declared he wants “to sue for the right to actually be able to read something in [his] own medical records,” despite the difficulty he has faced in other areas when he has filed complaints. He ended the statement saying, “I’m a lawyer myself and I love trials. My lawyers are getting a little tired though.”Navalny is currently serving out a nine-year prison sentence. Navalny faces potentially 30 more years if convicted in an Investigative Committee of Russia criminal case involving charges of promoting and calling for terrorism, publicly calling for extremism, financing extremist activities and rehabilitating Nazism.

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