WASHINGTON – Congressman James P. McGovern, Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. House of Representatives and a leading advocate of human rights around the world, issued the following statement in response to reports that the health of Alexei Navalny, wrongfully imprisoned Russian opposition leader, is deteriorating:
“I am distressed by reports of Alexei Navalny’s worsening health problems and the substandard care he is receiving while incarcerated on trumped-up charges. I echo the call of his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, to release him immediately for urgent medical treatment.
“The Russian prison system’s refusal to provide Mr. Navalny with effective care and grant him access to a civilian doctor for proper care is reprehensible. Exacerbating Mr. Navalny’s ailing health with forced sleep deprivation may amount to torture.
“Mr. Navalny’s imprisonment is a gross miscarriage of justice and his treatment by prison authorities is an affront to human rights. I will continue to support Mr. Navalny as he fights for a democratic future for all Russians.”