Case files of Belarusian dissident Mikhail Kukabaka finally declassified
Seven and a half years of walking around the courts and numerous requests to various government agencies finally brought results, thanks to the tenacity of the famous Belarusian dissident, who has been repeatedly subjected to punitive psychiatry. This month Mikhail Kukabaka received a message stating that the materials of a number of forensic psychiatric examinations of 1970 and of subsequent years had been declassified.
The former dissident tells about his success in a letter to Viasna activists.
“It's been seven and a half years of walking around all the courts. A lot of different applications, requests to the Interior Ministry, the FSB, SC, General Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Health... Too long to enumerate. And everywhere I was refused. But in February, finally, it was reported that the psycho examination materials for 1970 and subsequent years were declassified,” writes M. Kukabaka. “I have to admit, my function is estimated at 10 %, the rest is the efforts of the counsel. A couple of months ago, I received another refusal of the court and I was ready to give up the fight, but the lawyer advised not to rush and to continue..."
According to Mikhail Kukabaka, now he and his lawyer want to find out who gave the command, and how the process of declassification took place. And then they plan to claim the right to make copies of the documents and go to the Serbsky Institute "as unpleasant guests". To this end, last week he filed a request in the now State Serbsky Research Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry and told about a "funny little incident" which took place there:
"A woman of 45 or 50 handed over to the receiving window a parcel for her relative. Who, apparently, over a crime or for some other reason was under an examination there. I did not want to inquire. Watching the cop lady "rejecting" the foodstuffs – this is prohibited, that is not allowed – I grumbled, "I can see nothing has changed for the better here over 40 years." The woman looked questioningly, and I explained that more than 40 years ago I was in this facility. And 8 years ago I even wrote an essay about it "What secrets are kept in the Serbsky Institute?" Suddenly, the woman’s eyes were rounded.
"And what's your name?" she said. When I introduced myself, she laughed and rushed to embrace. "I've read your essay! And even printed it for myself. I could not even think that here, suddenly, I would meet the author." I do not hide, it was nice to hear that."
For almost 17 years in prison Mikhail Kukabaka was three times isolated in psychiatric hospital, being the victim of the use of psychiatry for political purposes. After the first arrest in 1970 he was sent to a special psychiatric hospital, and had to undergo a forensic examination in the Serbsky Institute. "From 1969 to 1970, he systematically distributed among factory workers defamatory information to the leaders of the party. In 1970 he was prosecuted under Art. 190-1 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR. On this occasion he was examined at the Institute of forensic psychiatry. He was declared insane and sent for compulsory treatment in a hospital," says in an extract from Kukabaka’s medical record in Sychouka. In this hospital, the political prisoner was held for about three years, and then for about two he was isolated in a psychiatric hospital in Vladimir. In addition, when living in Babruisk, in the fall of 1976 and 1977 the "anti-Soviet" activist Kukabaka was subjected to violent hospitalization in Mahiliou regional psychiatric hospital.
In 1991, Mikhail Kukabaka was rehabilitated. In March 2006, he made an attempt to get acquainted with the expert opinion on his case for 1970, but it had no effect. Since then, he began walking around the judiciary bodies and other state institutions. In 2007, he was allowed to partially study the materials of his first criminal case, but the majority of information remained classified.