A number of supporters of Alexei Navalny were detained on Tuesday outside his penal colony east of Moscow after they were denied access to the jailed Kremlin critic, who is on hunger strike demanding proper medical treatment.
Among those detained was Anastasia Vasilyeva, Navalny’s personal doctor and head of the Alliance of Doctors medical trade union which is critical of the government, according to the group and AFP journalists at the scene.
Supporters of the 44-year-old opposition politician arrived at the town of Pokrov around 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Moscow on Tuesday to demand access to Navalny, but were rebuffed.
Navalny went on hunger strike last Wednesday to demand proper medical treatment for severe back pain and numbness in both legs, saying he had only been given painkillers.
On Monday, President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic said he was now also suffering from a heavy cough and fever and that three people from his prison unit had been hospitalised with tuberculosis.