Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny looks on during an interview with AFP at the office of his Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK) in Moscow on January 16, 2018.
The Kremlin's top critic Alexei Navalny has slammed Russia's March presidential election, in which he is barred from running, as a sham meant to "re-appoint" Vladimir Putin on his way to becoming "emperor for life". / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Navalny: Putin's regime is built on corruption (2018)
03:23 - Source: CNN
Moscow CNN  — 

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Monday questioned whether Russian authorities were to blame for a mysterious allergic reaction that left him hospitalized.

Navalny suggested he may have been poisoned while in police custody. He said that despite never suffering from allergies before, he woke up in a detention facility Sunday with a dangerous swelling of his face and eyelids.

A cellmate, he said, saw his swollen face and told him to see a doctor immediately.

In a lengthy post online, Navalny said: “What do I think about this? Or to put it bluntly: Do I think they could poison me?”

In response, he listed a series of incidents in which Russian authorities have been accused of orchestrating poisonings, including last year’s Novichok nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom, the suspected poisoning of Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov and the suspected poisonings of Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokesperson, told CNN on Monday that Russian officials have decided to release the activist from the hospital back to detention.

Navalny was arrested last Wednesday, ahead of the weekend’s demonstrations in Moscow. He urged people to attend the protests, which he called after the disqualification of opposition candidates for Russian municipal elections.

He was sentenced to 30 days in prison for allegedly violating the country’s protest laws.

The protests went ahead despite his arrest. According to independent monitors, over 1,300 people were arrested at the unsanctioned rally.

The Kremlin has largely remained silent on the protest, as well as on Navalny’s illness. The Russian government has denied involvement in the Novichok poisonings and the Kremlin denies targeting dissidents.