Russian police today arrested more than 1,000 protesters at a national rally organized by the allies of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The protesters were in poor health.
It happened on the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech on national conditions. He warned the West not to cross Russia’s “red line” and did not even mention Navani.
The OVD-Info monitoring team reported that 1,004 people were arrested during the protest, including 351 in St. Petersburg and 87 in Ufa, Ural.
The opposition hoped that the protest would become the largest protest in Russian modern history, and the protest was to save Navani’s life and persuade the authorities to allow his doctor to treat him.
But turnout was lower than the protests earlier this year, when Navalny was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Navalny was sentenced to probation for alleged embezzlement of public funds. He claimed that the sentence was politically motivated.
Navani recovered in Germany for five months after being poisoned in January. He personally blamed Putin. He was arrested after returning to Russia in January.
The police said 6,000 people protested illegally in Moscow, while Navalny’s YouTube channel claimed that the counterattack rate in the capital was ten times higher.
Navani is 44 years old and has been on a hunger strike for three weeks. His colleagues warned that his kidneys or heart might fail.
The United States threatened that if Russia dies, Russia will bear the consequences.
National Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova said that four doctors outside the federal prison facility visited Navani on Tuesday and found no serious health problems. Russia pointed out that he was treated like other prisoners.
The United Nations human rights experts have asked Moscow to allow him to be examined by a doctor abroad, believing that his life is in danger and he is being held in “probable torture conditions.”
Hours before the protests near the Kremlin began, Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Jarmish and close friend Ljubov Sobol were detained at their home in Moscow.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, said this is “regrettable.”
Jarmiš was detained for ten days at the hearing to incite people to protest. Sobol was released before Thursday’s hearing. Nearly 300 people were arrested in Vladivostok.