Compreender o putinismo LXIX

Punitive Psychiatry Reemerges in Post-Soviet States, de Madeline Roache.

Discarded after the Soviet collapse, punitive psychiatry has reappeared again in Russia under President Vladimir Putin, as well as in some neighboring states.

Last summer, Crimean Tatar political activist Ilmi Umerov was receiving treatment for high blood pressure in a Simferopol hospital when FSB officers showed up one day and hauled him off to a psychiatric facility for an evaluation. Umerov, a former deputy chairman of the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatar representative body, had been a vocal critic of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

In May 2016, the FSB charged him with criminal separatism after he declared, in Tatar: “We must force Russia to withdraw from Crimea.” At the psychiatric facility, a doctor quickly let him know that he would be punished, not treated. “You just need to admit that you’re wrong, and everybody will stop bothering you,” Umerov, in an interview with Euromaidan Press, quoted the doctor as saying. “Simple as that.” When Umerov would not make a deal, he was detained at the facility.

The conditions he endured were appalling. According to his lawyers, he was kept in an overcrowded room with severely mentally ill patients, denied access to his heart and diabetes medications, and forced to go long stretches of time without food.

Umerov was released three weeks later, but he remained subject to criminal prosecution. His trial commenced in June. Human rights activists point to Umerov’s case as an indicator of a troubling resurgence of punitive psychiatry in the former Soviet space.

The practice of using psychiatry to punish religious and political dissidents, including many well-known writers and artists, became notorious during the late Soviet era. The method was reportedly the brainchild of then-KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov, who saw psychiatry as a tool of systematic political repression: victims would be released only after retracting “wrong ideas” that the authorities deemed dangerous to Kremlin rule.

Discarded after the Soviet collapse, punitive psychiatry has reappeared again in Russia under President Vladimir Putin, as well as in some neighboring states.

Over the past five years across the former Soviet Union, more than 30 similar instances have been documented in which activists and journalists have been improperly detained in psychiatric institutions, sometimes for as long as 10 years, reports the Federation Global Initiative on Psychiatry (FGIP), a human rights watchdog. Experts say the real number of victims could be considerably higher. (…)

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2 thoughts on “Compreender o putinismo LXIX

  1. pá rui carmo, eu também não sou grande fã de putin mas depois de 69 copy pastes para compreender o putinismo…
    escrava lá tudo isso em apenas 1 artigo grande

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