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Kremlin says monitoring Navalny’s health not Putin’s purview but that of prison officials

The press secretary divulged that the president receives reports about letters from domestic and foreign figures concerning the blogger’s situation

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin neither monitors the health of nor defends the rights of imprisoned blogger Alexey Navalny, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, adding that these processes are strictly regulated and are being implemented in compliance with the law.

"I am unaware that the president checked anything in this regard," the spokesman said, answering a question on whether Putin checks up on the protection of Navalny’s rights in the penal colony. Peskov underscored that "the president is busy getting ready for his Address to the Federal Assembly."

"This is an event that is highly important for all of us and our entire country," the spokesman emphasized.

The press secretary divulged that Putin receives reports about letters from domestic and foreign figures concerning Navalny’s situation.

"In this case, I cannot speak about any reaction. But, undoubtedly, this may not cause any action from the president, because the president cannot take any actions regarding the monitoring of an inmate’s health," Peskov said, adding that this is the duty of the Federal Penitentiary Service and that there are certain procedures for that.

"Undoubtedly, all these procedures in the prison system are strictly regulated, everything is implemented there in compliance with the law," he concluded.

The spokesman revealed that he himself also has no information about the blogger’s health.

"Therefore, I cannot blindly believe the statement about Navalny’s alleged critical condition," he stressed. "We do not monitor the health of our inmates, since this is completely not our function."

Answering a question about appeals by foreign figures of various fields regarding Navalny’s health, Peskov noted that he is "not certain, to be honest, that the majority of - if not all - the signatories of this letter have any idea whom this is about."

Navalny, who had previously received a suspended sentence over the Yves Rocher case and was recently imprisoned due to numerous probation violations, is currently doing time in Penal Colony number 2 in the Vladimir Region.

On April 5, he was transferred to the jail infirmary with acute respiratory syndrome symptoms. According to the Penitentiary Service Directorate, he was transferred back on April 9 after his health had improved. The agency disclosed that Navalny tested negative for tuberculosis and coronavirus infection. The medical commission evaluated his health as satisfactory.

On April 19, the correctional service disclosed that a panel of medics decided to transfer the blogger to a local hospital for inmates.