Alexei Navalny looks gaunt as he appears in court after hunger strike | Alexei Navalny


Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has appeared in court via a video link from jail, looking gaunt after a hunger strike.

The 44-year-old is serving a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence for parole violations on an earlier conviction that he says was politically motivated.

In his first appearance since his hunger strike, which he has said he is gradually ending, a shaven-headed Navalny looked physically drained and seemed to have lost weight.

Navalny declared his hunger strike in prison on 31 March to demand proper medical care for leg and back pain. He said on 23 April that he would start gradually ending it after getting medical care, even as the political prospects for him and his movement darkened.

On Thursday his team said it was disbanding its network of regional campaign offices, before a court hearing due to consider a request from prosecutors to declare the main pillars of Navalny’s political organisation as extremist.

A Moscow court barred Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and his separately run network of regional campaign offices from posting online earlier this week.

The FBK was barred on Tuesday from accessing its bank accounts at the request of the prosecutor, and from organising protests and publishing media articles, while the court considers further action.

If the network is declared extremist, authorities will gain the legal power to hand down jail terms to activists and freeze bank accounts.



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