After a day of silence, the U.S. State Department made known its support for ailing Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and called on the Putin regime to release him from prison.
Speaking on background to Newsmax late Monday afternoon, a State Department spokesman told Newsmax “we consider Mr. Navalny’s imprisonment to be politically motivated.”
“We are disturbed by reports that Mr. Navalny’s health is worsening and he is on a hunger strike to demand access to outside medical care,” the spokesman told us, referring to recent reports that guards in Russia’s notorious FKU “ Corrective Colony” were force-feeding the man considered the most high-profile critic of President Vladimir Putin .
“We urge authorities to take all necessary action to ensure his safety and good health,” he emphasized.
Regarding criticism that the Biden Administration was not vigorous enough in calling for Navalny’s release, the spokesman replied that “[w]e have previously joined the G7, including Germany, to call for his immediate release, as well as an end to the persecution of his supporters.”
Late last year, Navalny, 44, nearly died in a German hospital following his poisoning from the deadly chemical Novichok. In January, he returned to Russia and was promptly arrested, retried, and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for violation of parole.
Since then, thousands of his supporters have taken to the streets to protest his imprisonment and many have been beaten by state police and jailed.
Last week, a group of physicians known as Alliance of Doctors trade union and led by Navalny’s personal physician Anastasia Vasilyeva were forcibly denied entrance to see the dissident in prison.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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