German Bundestag members described the treatment of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny as “targeted torture” and demanded that the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture review the conditions of his detention.
The letter, posted on Facebook on April 10, called Navalny’s treatment “incompatible” with the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture, saying Russia was a party to the convention as a member of the Council of Europe.
The letter was signed by Manuel Sarrazin, with the German Green Party, and a bipartisan group consisting of 11 other members of the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament. It is available on Sarrazin’s Facebook page at German and Russia.
“Regardless of the arbitrariness and illegality of the verdict being pronounced against you, we demand a review of the conditions of your detention by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture,” said the politician.
Lawmakers said they believed the legal proceedings against him were not carried out under the rule of law standards and considered the decision to be politically motivated and arbitrary with the aim of silencing him.
They said they were following reports of his imprisonment and health condition with great concern and expressed their “full solidarity” with him.
Navalny was jailed after returning to Russia in January from his recovery in Germany after being exposed to the nerve agent last August in Siberia. He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering security agents to kill him, something the Kremlin denies.
Navalny was treated in Germany after the poisoning, and Sarrazin said he was under the impression that Navalny’s treatment was meant to reverse partial recovery.
Navalny complained of back pain and numbness in his hands and feet and accused authorities of withholding adequate medical care.
Navalny announced a hunger strike last week, raising concerns about his overall health.
Lawyer Navalny, 44, said after visiting him on April 8 that he had two herniated disks on his back and a third protruding disc, and said he was losing about 1 kilogram a day.