WOMAN FORCIBLY HOSPITALIZED IN RUSSIA
Yulia Privedennaia, a civil society activist and leading member of a group whose stated aim is to promote a happier society, has been sent to a psychiatric hospital by a Moscow court. Independent psychiatrists say that there was no basis for hospitalizing her. Amnesty International believes she is detained solely for exercising her rights to free expression and association.
On 19 February, Yulia Privedennaia, a member of FAKEL-PORTOS (Formation of Altruistic Candidates for the Evolution of People – Poeticized Association for the Elaboration of a Theory of All-People’s Happiness) was remanded in the Moscow Serbskii Institute for at least 30 days. She is on trial before the Moscow Regional Court. The prosecution states that she took part in beating the teenage members of the group after they allegedly broke the group’s rules by drinking alcohol, that the group members were forcibly held at the premises where FAKEL- PORTOS was based, and that Yulia Privedennaia and other leaders of the organization created an illegal armed group to forcibly maintain order in the organization. Yulia Privedennaia denies all charges. The alleged victims of the beating withdrew their statements in the court saying that police had pressured them into giving statements against the group leaders.
Yulia Privedennaia has been on a police list of wanted suspects since 2000 when a criminal case against the group’s leaders was opened. Although she was never in hiding and was an active member of the organization, she was only arrested in May 2008 after she had participated in demonstrations for freedom of expression, against police violence and in support of the political opposition.
In March 2009, at the request of the prosecutor, the Moscow Regional Court ordered that Yulia Privedennaia’s mental health be assessed. A state-appointed committee reported to the Court on her mental health, concluding that more assessment was needed. It recommended referring her to a psychiatric hospital in Moscow for an in-patient examination. This was accepted by the Court and upheld by the Russian Supreme Court in January 2010. However, a psychiatrist who reviewed the committee’s written findings for Amnesty International stated that “the recommendation for a compulsory period of in-patient examination is disproportionate.
There are no grounds to suspect a serious disorder or any ‘dangerousness’ in relation to her psychiatric state.” This supports an earlier conclusion by an independent psychiatrist that the committee’s recommendations “are not scientifically supported”.
In 2000, four leaders of FAKEL-PORTOS were arrested. They were charged with “organization of or participation in an illegal armed group”, “organization of a group activity which involves violence or incitement to unlawful actions”, “unlawful deprivation of liberty by an organized group” and “causing physical or moral suffering to another by beating or other methods” – the same charges that Yulia Privedennaia is facing. Two of the four were forcibly detained in a psychiatric hospital and two were imprisoned, even though all alleged victims of the crimes withdrew their statements in the court room saying that they had been pressured into making them by the police.
Yulia Privedennaia spent 70 days in detention after her arrest in May 2008. Initially no restraint measure was imposed on her after release. However, later the court took a written undertaking from her not to leave the place of residence. According to her lawyer, the arrest and detention were carried out with several procedural violations. There have also been several reported violations of the procedure during the trial.
AANBEVOLEN ACTIE: stuur een brief gebaseerd op onderstaande schrijfaanwijzingen
* Expressing concern that Yulia Privedennaia’s forced hospitalization amounts to arbitrary detention;
* Urging the authorities to immediately release Yulia Privedennaia from the Moscow Serbskii Institute;
* Calling on the authorities to ensure that Yulia Privedennaia’s trial conforms to international fair trial standards.
STUUR UW BRIEVEN NAAR:
Prosecutor of Moscow Region
Aleksandr M. Mokhov
Malyi Kiselnyi per., 5
107996 Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 623 68 69
Aanhef: Dear Prosecutor
Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Yurii Ya. Chaika
Ul.Bolshaia Dmitrovka, 15a
125993 Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 692 17 25
Aanhef: Dear Prosecutor General
Head of Serbskii Institute
Tatiana B. Dmitrieva
M. Kropotkinskii pereulok, 23
119991 Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 637 22 75 / +7 495 637 72 31
Aanhef: Dear Director
STUUR KOPIEËN NAAR:
Ombudsperson of the Russian Federation
Vladimir P. Lukin
Ul.Miasnitskaia, 47, Moscow
107048 Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 607 74 70
De diplomatieke vertegenwoordiger van de Russische Federatie in Nederland
Zijne Excellentie Dr Roman Kolodkin
Ambassade van de Russische Federatie
Andries Bickerweg 2, 2517 JP Den Haag
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