A medical trade union leader and ally of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny says she and her group are asking the jailed opposition politician to call off his hunger strike.

“To continue (the strike) would be dangerous for his life and health,” Anastasia Vasilyeva, head of the Doctors Alliance union, told Reuters.

“We very much hope Alexei will end the hunger strike tomorrow.”

Russia’s leading opposition politician began a hunger strike on March 31 to demand proper medical care for leg and back pain that he said he was being denied to him in prison.

Anastasiya Vasilyeva
Alliance of Doctors group head Anastasiya Vasilyeva wants Alexei Navalny to end his hunger strike. Credit: AP

Having survived a nerve agent poisoning last year that Russian authorities deny carrying out, Navalny is serving a two and a half year sentence in a case that he says is politically motivated.

Russia says he has been treated well and is exaggerating to gain attention.

President Vladimir Putin makes a point of never speaking Navalny’s name and the Kremlin says the case is a matter for the prison service.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at a court hearing
Doctors were prevented from seeing Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in prison hospital Credit: AP

Russian police detained more than 1900 people on Wednesday as his supporters took to the streets in dozens of cities to show backing for the 44-year-old opposition politician, according to the OVD-Info protest monitoring group.

Vasilyeva also said that authorities had taken Navalny to a civilian hospital on Tuesday, a day before the protest, and that he had been seen by the head kidney specialist, neurologist and neurosurgeon there.

Ally urges Navalny to end hunger strike
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