The Russian government on Friday insisted that the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalni is not part of its powers, according to Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov.
“We will not respond to this request (…) because this citizen is convicted and imprisoned. The recipient of such requests is the Federal Prison Service,” Peskov said after Navalni’s wife Yulia Navalnaya sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin in which he asked to release the dissident from prison.
According to the Sputnik news agency, in the letter that Navalnaya shared on his Instagram account, he explained in detail that the request was made for health reasons.
The letter was sent after one of Navalni’s agents, Leonid Volkov, was “extremely concerned” about what he described as the “severe deterioration in health” of the opposition leader, who is imprisoned in Vladimir province, some 100 kilometers from Moscow is the capital.
Volkov wrote on the social network Telegram that Navalni had had “severe back pain” for a few days and that “he could not feel a leg”. In addition, he has assured that the only treatment the opponent received was an ointment and two ibuprofen tablets a day.
For their part, the Vladimir Province prison authorities have stated that his health is “stable and satisfactory”.