Russian dissenter put in psych hospital
Associated Press Writer / December 14, 2007
MOSCOW—A Russian opposition activist was committed to a psychiatric hospital before government protests, supporters said Friday -- the latest in a series of incidents suggesting a punitive Soviet-era practice is being revived.
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Artem Basyrov, 20, was detained by two plainclothes officers and ordered held in a hospital in the central region of Mari El on Nov. 23, a day before a planned demonstration, said Alexander Averin, of the opposition National Bolshevik Party.
The party is part of the Other Russia coalition, which organized the so-called "Dissenters Marches" around Russia. Basyrov had run for the local legislature as an Other Russia candidate.
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.