Vitsebsk doctor placed in psychiatric hospital over criticism of authorities

2013 2013-08-19T11:08:15+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Ihar Pastnou

Ihar Pastnou

Ihar Pastnou, a psychiatrist in the regional psychiatric hospital who strongly criticized shortcomings in the health care system of Vitsebsk, became a patient of that same institution shortly after deputy head doctor for ideology said doctor Pastnou’s behavior was "unethical."

Ihar Pastnou told about the charges of unethical behavior, and on how compulsory treatment for alcoholism is run in Vitsebsk, including the resources allocated for the loss-making and time-wasting activity, in his latest video message posted on the YouTube service.

Doctor Pastnou says that he used to be threatened with mental health treatment before, after his appearance on the Belsat TV channel with criticism of the chairman of the executive committee Aliaksandr Kosinets, a former doctor, too. Until now the criticism has been ignored by the authorities: Pastnou is a professional, and he was sure compulsory treatment would not be used against him... However, on August 16 he told journalists that he was in regional psychiatric hospital "with the consent of the Prosecutor."

Previous criticism resulted in Ihar Pastnou’s unemployment. His employment contract was repeatedly terminated when he worked as a pediatrician. His latest job, in his other major, was offered to Ihar Pastnou in the same Vitsebsk mental hospital, where he is now kept in a locked ward.

He called upon journalists to inform his countrymen of his whereabouts. Ihar Pastnou is sure that the reason for this was solely his unwavering citizenship. He also says he will resist forced treatment because he considers the incident an affront to dignity, a violation of his rights and retaliation for criticizing the state of the Vitsebsk health care.