“Navalny is on hunger strike for a prisoner’s legal right to a doctor from outside” An open letter to Patriarch Kirill by Zoya Svetova and others

14 April 2021

The photo (left) shows Zoya Svetova, journalist, human rights activist, winner of the Moscow Helsinki Group Prize

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Zoya Svetova, Facebook]

This will of course be a post of despair. I can already hear people whispering: “This village idiot is writing open letters again.” So be it.

Everyone read the impressions of his mother Liudmila Ivanovna Navalnaya, and Yulia Navalnaya after the meeting in Pokrov.

There have already been several letters from human rights activists and doctors.

You say the letters are empty? Maybe.

It is clear that the authorities and the Federal Penitentiary Service do not want to fulfil his request. Perceiving any hunger strike as blackmail.

Do they want him dead? It turns out that they do.

And it turns out that now a person is being murdered in front of our eyes.

We have seen that when a single priest asked them to allow Navalny a doctor, the obscurantists demanded that a criminal case be opened against him.

But this priest was alone. If 20-30 priests of the Russian Orthodox Church did the same, it is unlikely that all of them would be deprived of their parishes or that a criminal case would be initiated against them.

But since the priests cannot unite and ask for mercy, I suggest that we, the Orthodox, turn to Patriarch Kirill with a demand to protect the prisoner.

By the way, Aleksei Navalny is an Orthodox Christian. The patriarch absolutely could ask the FSIN to allow him a doctor.

Zoya Svetova

Open letter to Patriarch Kirill

Your Holiness!

Have you heard that the Orthodox Christian Aleksei Navalny has been on hunger strike for 15 days in the town of Pokrov, Vladimir Region, very close to Moscow? He demands that a specialist doctor be admitted to see him. He believes that prison doctors are not qualified to provide him with the necessary medical care. 

His mother Liudmila Ivanovna Navalnaya and his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, met with him yesterday. Here is what his mother wrote in despair: “I saw my son today. The ‘doctors’ who allegedly carried out a full examination will burn in hell, of course.

Aleksei, as always, keeps his presence of mind. He speaks all the same cheerfully, but quietly.

He coughs badly, has difficulty breathing, and is very weak, although of course he tries not to show it.

And if he now looked as he did in the first picture from Charité Hospital, I would consider it a happiness. And his condition is not only down to his hunger strike. It’s a consequence of being poisoned. You don’t have to be a medic to understand this.

Aleksei is in very great danger.

All he’s asking is for a doctor to be allowed in to see him. Today I saw the results of treatment by doctors of the Federal Penitentiary Service.”

Father Georgy Edelstein likes to repeat: “If we are silent, we participate in the evil that is happening in the world. I have to say what I think.”

Your Holiness!

We ask you for mercy. We ask you to contact the director of the Federal Penitentiary Service, Aleksandr Kalashnikov, with a request to admit a specialist doctor to Aleksei Navalny. Navalny is on hunger strike for the legal right of a prisoner to a doctor from outside.

Many of us sent letters to Aleksandr Kalashnikov with such a request.

The FSIN director did not heed us.

We hope he will be able to heed you.

Signed by:

Zoya Svetova, Orthodox Christian, and others

For a full list of signatories, see here: Moscow Helsinki Group 

Translated by Anna Bowles

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