February 6, 2008

Russia Sends Opposition To Psych Wards

A Russian opposition activist was forced into a mental hospital in one of many signs of the Russian government’s crackdown ahead of elections next month.

Roman Nikolaichik, a 27-year-old lawyer and member of Garry Kasparov’s Other Russia Coalition, was detained by authorities on Friday, questioned about his political activities and sent to a psychiatric hospital, the Moscow Times reported.

Human rights groups have documented several similar incidents in recent years:

– Andrei Novikov, a reporter for a news service connected to the Chechen separatist government, spent nine months in a psychiatric hospital before being released in December.

– Larisa Arap, a journalist and Other Russia member, was confined to a mental clinic for six weeks last summer.

– Another journalist and member of Other Russia was granted political asylum in Ukraine after allegedly being persecuted by police for his coverage of local corruption. Alexander Kosvintsev said that authorities had harassed him before, but after he rose in the ranks of Kasparov’s party, they had begun to use “physical intimidation” against him.

— Will Crain/Newsdesk.org

Sources:

“Ukraine Grants Kemerovo Reporter Asylum”
Moscow Times, February 5, 2008

“Opposition Activist Put in Mental Ward”
Moscow Times, February 5, 2008

One thought on “Russia Sends Opposition To Psych Wards

  1. Roman Nikolaichik is also one of the leaders of ARES movement. Roman holds intransigent position to the totalitarian system of Mr.Putin. He blame Putin for the War in Chechnya, killing Politkovskaya and Litvinenko and other crimes against the people. Now activists of ARES are taking all possible measures to release Roman Nikolaichik from psychiatric hospital. To know how to help Roman you may visit the site of ARES movement – http://www.aristocratia.org