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Russian activist on hunger strike hospitalised

Russian activist on hunger strike hospitalised

Sergei Udaltsov, Russia's leftist anti-Kremlin group Left Front activist, gives a speech as he takes part in rally against pension reform in Moscow on July 18, 2018 ahead of a parliament vote AFP/Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

MOSCOW: Hunger-striking Russian activist Sergei Udaltsov was hospitalised Sunday (Aug 19) as he serves a one-month term over organising protests, according to observers and his social media channels.

The far-left Kremlin critic was taken to a Moscow hospital suffering from dehydration after doctors were called to his detention centre to take blood tests, five days into a hunger strike, his Facebook page said.

"He was hospitalised on doctors orders," an official from Moscow's public monitoring commission told the TASS news agency.

"In our presence he was evacuated by paramedics," Ivan Melnikov said.

Udaltsov was active in a wave of demonstrations at the end of July against deeply unpopular plans to raise the Russian retirement age.

He was arrested and last week sentenced to 30 days behind bars after burning images of members of the Russian government at one of the rallies.

Last year Udaltsov finished a four-and-a-half-year prison sentence for organising anti-Kremlin protests.

Udaltsov and co-defendant Leonid Razvozzhayev were convicted in July 2014 of fomenting mass riots across Russia ahead of Vladimir Putin's inauguration to a third term as president in 2012.

He went on hunger strike several times during those years spent in a penal colony in central Russia's Tambov province.

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov who was convicted of arson attacks on pro-Moscow party offices in Crimea in 2014 is also on hunger strike in a Russian prison.

According to his cousin Natalia Kaplan, his health has dramatically declined since he started the protest on May 14 to demand the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia.

Source: AFP/aa

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