Valery Misnikau – Another Victim of Punitive Psychiatry
Since 16 November a former teacher of history and law from Vitsebsk Valery Misnikau has been kept at the oblast psychiatric hospital Slabodka in Braslau. This human rights activist, who called himself ‘civil prosecutor’, has often undergone legal persecution for his public activities.
During the last 20 years Misnikau represented the interests of individuals at trials and also participated in them as an observer. He registered the mistakes and abuses of the state authorities, economical subjects and the law machinery and passed the obtained information to the public and to the law machinery.
The last criminal against the human rights activist was brought by Vitsebsk oblast prosecutor’s office under article 369 (for insult of the honor, dignity and professional skills of the head of the organizational and control department of Vitsebsk oblast prosecutor’s office V.Baleyeva and a senior investigator of the most important cases of Vitsebsk oblast prosecutor’s office, senior justice advisor A.Tyutyn) and article 377, part 2 (for theft of two volumes of a criminal case from Vitsebsk oblast prosecutor’s office).
On 21 July 2007 the prosecutor’s office forcibly directed Valery Misnikau to psychiatric expertise. The expertise diagnosed ‘paranoid change of personality’. On the basis of this expertise at a closed trial the court directed Misnikau for forced 6-month medical treatment at the special closed medical institution.
Pitifully enough, in Belarus punitive psychiatry again returns to the arsenal of the means of struggle against other-mindedness. In May 2007 a public activist Krystsina Shatsikava was illegally detained in the psychiatric hospital of Mahiliou for three days. This fact has been condemned by the international community and the European psychiatrists.
Reference: In 1985 Valery Misnikau simultaneously graduated from the historical and the juridical faculties of Belarusian State University. He lived and worked in Vitsebsk. Now he is being kept at the psychiatric hospital Slabodka in Braslau.