Court orders compulsory treatment of Ihar Pastnou
According to the Law on the provision of mental health care, the duty of doctors is to explain to the patient his rights, including the right to legal and judicial assistance. However, the court of Vitsebsk district, which ruled yesterday to apply compulsory treatment to former doctor Ihar Pastnou, did not bring him to the courtroom, nor was the trial attended by a lawyer.
Ihar Pastnou now has 10 days to appeal the court’s ruling on compulsory treatment: he is not deprived of the rights of a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, nor has he been recognized mentally incapacitated. But, according to a Vitsebsk activist Siarhei Ryzhou, a patient under compulsory treatment is not provided with a pen or paper. Meanwhile, according to the Law on the provision of mental health care, a health care facility should create all the conditions necessary to enable patients to exercise their rights. For example, ahead of the trial, he should have been informed that he had the right to legal protection, he had the right to have a lawyer, he had an opportunity to issue a power of attorney to another person who is authorized to make any action on his behalf.
However, so far we only know that Ihar Pastnou is limited in all his contacts with the outside world, he is not allowed to use the telephone, he is deprived of his right to receive correspondence and parcels, even meeting with the lawyer has become a problem.
According to Vitsebsk human rights defenders, it was Judge Tatsiana Dzehtsiarova of Vitsebsk District Court who sent Ihar Pastnou for compulsory treatment. The Court clerks give no other comments. Journalists cannot find any details from the management of the Vitsebsk regional psychiatric hospital.
Ihar Pastnou had worked in the same hospital as a psychiatrist until on August 16 he was put in a closed ward. He was taken there right from work. A few days before that, he posted another video appeal, where he again criticized the state and activities of Vitsebsk medical institutions. He told about the fact that for his criticism of the health care system he was threatened with compulsory psychiatric treatment by Chairman of the Regional Executive Committee Aliaksandr Kosinets.