Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of Russian dissident and critic Alexei Navalny, Wednesday pleaded with Russian prison officials to provide her husband with necessary cold medicine. Navalny told Navalnaya in a letter from prison that he recently caught a cold while serving out a Russian prison sentence on alleged parole violations, fraud and contempt of court.According to Navalnaya, Navalny’s cell is no bigger than two by three meters and he has had a high fever for the past week. During that time, prison officials have prevented Navalny from laying down during the day and have no provided him with any treatment for his cold. Navalnaya accused prison officials of purposefully deteriorating Navalny’s prison conditions.Navalny echoed Navalnaya’s concerns in a series of tweets on Thursday. Navalny wrote, “Sickness is especially cool: during the day you suffer in a cell with a fever and dream of the night.” Navalny said he has been unable to sleep because of another inmate kept in the cell next to him. According to Navalny, prison officials purposefully moved the inmate into the cell across from Navalny to prevent him from getting any sleep.Navalny said of his time in prison, “Everything you read about the horrors and fascist crimes of [the Russian] prison system is all true. There’s just one correction: the reality is even worse.” Navalnaya called for prison officials to provide Navalny with the necessary medication for his cold. She said, despite disagreeing with Navalny’s criminal convictions, the punishment for a crime is prison, not torture.Navalny previously accused prison officials of deliberately undermining his health by placing him in a “punishment cell,” like the one described above. Navalny has also encountered problems accessing medical attention for injuries he received in prison. 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.Prison officials refused to move Navalny to a medical unit, citing a flu outbreak in the prison.
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