Navalny has been on a hunger strike for two weeks, protesting prison officials’ refusal to let his physician examine him behind bars after he developed severe back and leg pain. But he said Tuesday in an Instagram post that his first lawsuit against prison officials had to do with the Muslim holy book.
“The thing is, they’re not giving my Quran. And it pisses me off,” Navalny said, adding that “deeply studying” the Quran was one of several “self-improvement” goals he set for himself while in prison. The politician said he hasn’t been given access to any of the books he brought or ordered over the past month, because they all need to be “inspected for extremism,” which officials say takes three months.
“So I wrote one more petition to the (prison) chief and filed a lawsuit,” Navalny said, according to AP. “Books are our everything, and if I have to sue for my right to read, then I’ll be suing.”
Navalny, 44, is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest domestic opponent. He was arrested in January upon returning to Moscow from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have rejected the accusation.
A court ordered Navalny in February to serve 2 1/2 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation, including when he was convalescing in Germany, from a 2014 embezzlement conviction. Navalny has rejected the conviction as fabricated, and the European Court of Human Rights found it “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable.”