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Russian opposition leader Navalny 'poisoned'

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Alexei Navalny (in jeans) with his lawyer in a Moscow court, 1 July 2019. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny has been discharged from a Moscow hospital and returned to prison after receiving emergency treatment for severe face swelling and redness that his lawyer and personal doctor say was the result of poisoning.


Navalny was rushed to hospital on Sunday morning for urgent treatment for what was desribed as an allergic reaction.

His lawyer Olga Mikhailova told reporters that Navalny had been poisoned, after an examination by Dr Anastasia Vasilyeva, who objected to him leaving the hospital.

The cause of his reaction, including swollen eyelids, discharge in the eye and a rash on his upper body, was yet to be confirmed.

A hardcore critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Navalny, 43, the leader of opposition Russia of the Future party, has a long and frequent record of arrested.

He is currently in jail for allegedly inciting protest, after supporting independent candidates for Moscow city mayor, many of whom were not allowed to run. He encouraged people to hit the streets, which led to a mass protest.

He was arrested for 10 days, but his sentence was extended to 30 days.

Navalny had tried to run for president in 2018 before he was barred due to a conviction for embezzlement. He has a large support base, but remains controversial for some, as he is considered an ultra-nationalist.