Jailed Kremlin foe says he has cough, fever amid hunger strike

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny walks to take his seat in a Pobeda airlines plane heading to Moscow before take-off from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) in Schoenefeld, southeast of Berlin, on Jan. 17. Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images/TNS

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has a cough and fever with his hunger strike now in its sixth day, his Instagram account said.

Three cellmates of Navalny, 44, have been hospitalized with tuberculosis, a statement posted on his account Monday said. The chief opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin started refusing food on March 31 to pressure prison authorities to grant him outside medical treatment for acute back pain that has spread to his legs. Officials say he’s getting adequate care within the prison.

The regional prison service didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on his current condition.

He had already lost 18 pounds in the three weeks before beginning the hunger strike, taking his weight to 185 pounds, mainly because prison guards are waking him each hour, his supporters say.

Navalny has been held at the notorious IK-2 prison about 60 miles from Moscow since March 11. He was imprisoned for parole violations while recovering in Germany from a near-fatal nerve-agent poisoning in Siberia last year that he and Western governments have blamed on the Kremlin. Russian authorities deny involvement.

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