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Navalny lawyers say prison threatening to force-feed Kremlin critic

Navalny lawyers say prison threatening to force-feed Kremlin critic
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Attorneys for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Monday that prison officials are threatening to begin force-feeding their client unless he ends a hunger strike.

Navalny began the hunger strike at the end of March after alleging that prison guards were refusing his requests to see a physician to address numbness in his legs and severe back pain. His attorneys previously said that he had been diagnosed with two herniated discs.

"Seeing the severity of the hunger strike, the administration threatens to force-feed them every day. At the same time, Alexei was transferred back from the medical unit to the detachment. The doctor is not allowed to see him," read a tweet sent from Navalny's Twitter account by his attorneys on Monday.

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Navalny was imprisoned upon his return to Russia from Germany earlier this year following his recovery from Novichok poisoning, which leaders of western nations have blamed on Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinHillicon Valley: Colonial pipeline is back online, but concerns remain | Uber, Lyft struggle with driver supply | Apple cuts controversial hire Menendez calls on Biden to support Armenia amid rising tensions with Azerbaijan Biden says Colonial Pipeline hackers based in Russia, but not government-backed MORE.

The anti-corruption campaigner has long been a thorn in the side of Putin, who has amended Russia's constitution to extend his time in office. Navalny's imprisonment stems from a 2014 corruption conviction that international human rights experts have called politically motivated and baseless.