Allies: Russian activist denied proper health care

AP News
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Posted: Oct 16, 2011 10:36 AM
Allies: Russian activist denied proper health care

A Russian opposition activist on a hunger strike has been sent back to jail after visiting a hospital where he was denied proper medical attention, his supporters said Sunday.

Sergei Udaltsov, the leader of the Left Front movement, has been on a hunger strike for three days. He fell ill Saturday in a courtroom where he was appealing a 10-day jail sentence for disobeying police orders.

Upon reaching a hospital, medical authorities did not examine Udaltsov properly and refused to admit him, even though he complained of chest pains and dizziness, the Left Front said on its website Sunday.

The opposition in Russia has faced pressure in recent years with the Kremlin and Moscow city hall banning and dispersing their rallies. The Left Front is a small group allied with liberal democrats and leftist movements that have been denied registration for municipal and parliamentary elections.

Udaltsov is a regular at opposition rallies in Moscow, most of which are unauthorized. He has been detained at least 10 times this year and has served more than 20 days in jail. His most recent detention came Wednesday, when he tried to lead a march to the presidential compound in Moscow.

Udaltsov has been on two brief hunger strikes in the past two months, and his supporters voiced concerns about his health.

"Udaltsov's allies believe that in the run-up to the elections authorities are anxious to get rid of one of the opposition figures they dislike most by pushing him to the brink of death," the Left Front's statement said.