By Sahar Akbarzai and Heather Chen, CNN
The daughter of jailed Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny says her father’s health is deteriorating.
Speaking to CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday from the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Dasha Navalnaya described the situation as “incredibly difficult.”
“He is doing as well as he can do in a Russian prison which doesn’t have the best conditions,” she said.
“His prison facility guards are taking away his food,” she added. “His health is deteriorating and we are doing everything we can to get him the attention he needs.”
Opposition figure Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, is currently serving a nine-year jail term at a maximum-security prison east of Moscow.
Earlier this week, he said on Twitter that he faces a new “terrorist case” — separate from current charges against him — which could mean decades more in prison. He had also been told that the case would be heard by a military court.
His life and activism was the subject of an award-winning CNN Film which chronicled the investigation into a brazen assassination on him.
In 2020, he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok — an act he and Western officials blamed on the Kremlin.
After a five-month stay in Germany recovering from the Novichok poisoning, Navalny returned to Moscow in 2021 and was immediately arrested for violating probation terms imposed from a 2014 case.
Dasha Navalnaya said that it was important for her to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner because “America as a country represents freedom of speech, freedom of political expression.”
“This is what my dad and The Anti-corruption Foundation are fighting for,” she said.
When asked by Acosta about her thoughts on the imprisonment of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in a Russian prison, Navalnya said that it “didn’t come as a surprise.”
“I’m very sorry for his family and that he can’t be home to his kids and he’s stuck in a Russian prison,” she said.
“We want freedom of election, we want freedom of all political prisoners, especially Alexey Navalny my dad — and foreign journalists,” she said.
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