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Navalny's Personal Doctor Fined Over Attempt To See Him In Prison

Navalny's personal doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva at the entrance of the penal colony where Aleksei Navalny is being held

PETUSHKI, Russia -- Anastasia Vasilyeva, the personal doctor of jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, has been fined over her attempt to see the ailing Kremlin critic last week at the prison he is being held in outside of Moscow.

The Petushki district court in the Vladimir region late on April 12 ordered Vasilyeva, who is the chairwoman of the Alliance of Doctors union, to pay 180,000 rubles ($2,320), for what the court described as the "organization of a mass gathering near a penitentiary that led to obstacles for transport operations."

Vasilyeva's lawyer, Mikhail Arsenyev, said the court ruling will be appealed.

Vasilyeva and several others were detained by police on April 6 after they arrived at the Correctional Colony No. 2 in the town of Pokrov, some 100 kilometers from Moscow, demanding that the penitentiary's administration allow Navalny access to an independent physician to examine him amid concerns over his health condition.

Navalny has complained of back pain and numbness in his hands and legs and accused the authorities of withholding adequate medical treatment.

Prison authorities have said they were monitoring Navalny's health, which they evaluated as "satisfactory."

Vasilyeva and most of the Navalny supporters were released after several hours, but on April 8, the Pertushki district court found four of the detained supporters of Navalny guilty of illegally gathering near a penitentiary and sentenced them to several days in jail.

In February, a Moscow court ruled that while in Germany, Navalny had violated the terms of parole from an old embezzlement case that is widely considered as being politically motivated. Navalny's 3 1/2 year suspended sentence from the case was converted to a jail term, though the court said he will serve 2 1/2 years in prison given time he had been held in detention.

The 44-year-old politician has lost 13 kilograms since his imprisonment and continues a hunger strike aimed at forcing prison officials to allow him to be treated by his own doctor.