German Bundestag members described the treatment given to Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny as “selective 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 that Russia is part of the convention as a member of the Council of Europe.
The letter is signed by Manuel Sarrazin, with the German Green Party and a bipartisan group of 11 other members of the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament. It was made available on Sarrazin’s Facebook page at German and Russian.
“Despite the arbitrariness and illegality of the sentences handed down against you, we demand a review of your conditions of detention by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture,” said the politicians.
Parliamentarians said they believed the court case against him was not conducted in accordance with the rule of law and considered the trial politically motivated and arbitrary with the aim of silencing him.
They said they were following reports of his arrest and health with great concern and expressed their “total solidarity” with him.
Navalny was arrested after returning to Russia in January from his recovery in Germany following his exposure to a nervous agent last August in Siberia. He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering security agents to assassinate him, something the Kremlin denies.
Navalny was treated in Germany after the poisoning, and Sarrazin said he had the impression that Navalny’s treatment was done to reverse his partial recovery.
Navalny complained of back pain and numbness in his hands and legs and accused the authorities of suspending appropriate medical treatment.
Navalny declared a hunger strike last week, raising even more concerns about his overall health.
Navalny’s lawyers, 44, said after visiting him on April 8 that he was suffering from two herniated discs on his back and a third protruding disc, and said he was losing about 1 kg a day.