Navalny loses bid to overturn designation he says allows guards to 'torture' him

Navalny loses bid to overturn designation he says allows guards to 'torture' him
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A Russian court on Wednesday rejected opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s request to remove his flight risk designation, which the jailed Kremlin critic argued has allowed prison guards to “torture” him. 

Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation announced on Twitter that a judge in Russia’s Vladimir region had denied Navalny’s motion, with Vadim Kobzev, one of Navalny's lawyers, saying he would appeal the court’s ruling, according to Reuters

Navalny had urged the court during an appearance via video link on Monday to force prison staff to end their hourly nighttime checks on him, which authorities have defended due to the opposition leader being identified as a flight risk. 

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The vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinBiden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Kaseya denies paying hackers for decryption key after ransomware attack MORE on Monday pushed back on this designation, arguing that there was no valid rationale for this decision by authorities. 

“What did I do: Did I climb the fence? Did I dig up an underpass? Or was I wringing a pistol from someone?” he questioned in remarks that were broadcast from the independent Russian outlet Dozhd TV. 

“Just explain why they named me a flight risk!” he added, telling the judge that the hourly checkups “effectively amount to torture.” 

Russian prison authorities have defended their actions as being in accordance with Russian law. 

Navalny is currently serving a more than two-year prison sentence after a judge in February argued that the opposition leader had violated the terms of his parole order from his 2014 embezzlement conviction. 

Navalny at the time of the parole violation was in Germany recovering from a nerve agent poisoning that he and international leaders have blamed on the Kremlin. 

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Moscow, however, has denied any wrongdoing or involvement in the incident. 

Navalny and his lawyers have continued to push back on his treatment in prison, with Navalny for weeks participating in a hunger strike over complaints on his access to medical care, though he ended the strike in April after a doctor said Navalny could “die at any moment."

Navalny has also accused prison officials of censoring newspapers by cutting out articles from papers before they are given to him.