Another Case of Punitive Psychiatry in Russia

Yesterday an Other Russia activist, the 20-year-old Artem Basyrov, was committed to a psychiatric hospital against his will – another startling example of how the Soviet-era practice of punitive psychiatry is making a comeback. Other examples of this odious practice include Andrei Novikov and Larisa Arap. From the report: “A local psychiatric board agreed with police, who alleged that Basyrov had assaulted a girl, and concluded he was suffering from some mental illness. Basyrov was finally transferred from an isolation ward and allowed to have visitors on Thursday, said Mikhail Klyuzhev, a National Bolshevik member from the city of Yoshkar-Ola.” An op/ed on the subject by the Morning Journal frames the problem in exceptionally simple and clear language: “Freedom is every person’s right, and no government should be able to deny that right because people speak freely in dissent. Putin’s heavy-handed regime is violating the human rights of those who are being killed or being imprisoned in psychiatric hospitals. It is a terrible, tragic and dangerous step backward in history for Russians.” Let’s keep our eyes on The Other Russia’s vastly improved blog for more information.