Vitsebsk opposition activists campaign to protest forced psychiatric treatment of doctor Pastnou
Representatives of Vitsebsk pro-democratic forces have launched a campaign to address the Prosecutor of Vitsebsk region with an open letter concerning the decision of the District Court to apply forced psychiatric treatment towards doctor Ihar Pastnou.
According to a member of the organizing committee of the Social Democratic Party "Narodnaya Hramada" Aliaksei Haurutsikau, the Law on the Prosecutor's Office allows issuing such protests either by a regional prosecutor, or his deputies, "the psychiatric clinic, where Ihar Pastnou has been held since August 16 is located in Vitsebsk region, Vitsebsk District Court ruled on compulsory treatment, while the admission of Pastnou was authorized by Vitsebsk City Prosecutor's Office. Therefore, we are going to address a superior authority, the Regional Prosecutor. We write that Ihar Pastnou’s rights were violated, including the right to an independent trial and the right to legal assistance. After all, he was not brought for the trial, nor was it attended by his representative, a lawyer. In our opinion, the right to freedom of expression was also violated. Since Pastnou found himself in the mental hospital after criticizing the medical institutions and the regional authorities. And he had been openly threatened with forced psychiatric treatment before."
Human rights defender Piotr Ivanov suggests that Vitsebsk party activists stage a number of pickets in solidarity with Ihar Pastnou.