Navalny lawyer says opposition leader has been diagnosed with spinal hernias

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A lawyer for Alexei Navalny said Wednesday that the Russian opposition leader had been diagnosed with two spinal hernias and is beginning to lose feeling in his hands.

The Associated Press reported that Navalny’s attorney made the comments to Interfax, an independent Russian news agency. Navalny remains imprisoned following his return to Russia earlier this year after recovering from an alleged nerve agent poisoning in Germany, which the U.S. and other countries have blamed on Russia’s government.

The Russian opposition leader also remains on a hunger strike over the availability of medical care in the prison; independent physicians were detained Tuesday while attempting to speak to doctors at the prison while CNN journalists and others were also detained outside of the facility.

Russia’s government has denied any involvement in Navalny’s poisoning and claimed that his imprisonment stems from a conviction on embezzlement and other charges which the European Court of Human Rights and other international organizations have rejected as politically motivated.

A Russian court ordered Navalny to spend 2 1/2 years in prison for violations of his probation stemming from that conviction, violations which include his recovery at a German hospital following the poisoning attempt.

Protesters have taken to the streets in Moscow following Navalny’s arrest, prompting government crackdowns on demonstrations.

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