Immediate action by the Russian authorities to treat the imprisoned activist Alexei Navalny with humanity and respect has been called for by the World Medical Association.
In an emergency resolution at its online Council meeting today, the WMA demanded that Navalny be examined urgently by independent and qualified medical experts and immediately released as a prisoner of conscience.
Physician leaders said that Navalny, who has been on hunger strike since March 31, is facing denial of adequate medical care and is threatened with forced-feeding by the prison authorities. The Council session, which hosts delegates from 40 national medical associations, supported an emergency resolution noting ‘with alarm the critical health condition’ of Navalny.
The resolution says force-feeding constitutes a form of torture and is contrary to medical ethics.
WMA President Dr. David Barbe said: ‘The Russian authorities must respect their human rights obligations, and take immediate action to ensure that Alexei Navalny is treated with humanity and dignity. His decision to hunger strike must be respected and there must be no forced feeding.
‘He is a prisoner of conscience, deprived of his liberty for his peaceful political activism and exercising free speech. He must be released immediately’.