Alexei Navalny taken from jail to hospital, as hundreds held at anti-government protests
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been hospitalised, with symptoms that one of his doctors said appeared to be the result of harmful effects of undefined chemical substances.
Navalny was taken to hospital on Sunday morning from jail, where he was serving a 30-day sentence after being arrested last week for calling people to attend an anti-government protest.
The protest went ahead on Saturday, and prompted the most forceful police response to protests in the country for years, with more than 1,300 people detained by officers.
People were protesting against the refusal of electoral authorities to register independent candidates for the Moscow city council elections in September.
Although there was no sign that his life is in immediate danger, the news about Navalnys health will cause alarm, in a country where opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was shot dead outside the Kremlin in 2015.
On Sunday morning, Navalnys spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said he had suffered a severe allergic reaction, and added that he had never complained of allergies before. She said Navalny had suffered severe swelling of the face and skin redness.
On Sunday afternoon, Navalny associate Leonid Volkov said he was not minded to see foul play in Navalnys condition, saying he had been held in exactly the same cell last month and also suffered a skin rash, citing poor sanitary conditions in the jail.
However later on Sunday, Anastasia Vasilieva, one of Navalnys doctors, wrote in a Facebook post that she and a colleague had visited Navalny in hospital, and had first been denied access but were eventually able to examine him.
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