Court releases human rights activist from forced psychiatric treatment
As it became known, at the end of May Judge of the Kastrychnitski District Court of Vitsebsk Tatsiana Zhuraukova ordered the cessation of compulsory measures of security and treatment in respect of Vitsebsk human rights activist Valery Misnikau. It took the activist more than six years to achieve this verdict.
Harassment of Mr. Misnikau with forced psychiatric treatment began in September 2007, when he were subjected to coercive measures of security and treatment on order of the Kastrychnitski District Court of Vitsebsk, allegedly after committing socially dangerous actions under Art. 269 (insulting a public official), Art. 377, part 2 (theft, destruction, damage or concealment of documents, stamps, seals, forms theft). Judge Zhuravkova in a closed court session considered a proven fact that Misnikauhad publicly insulted prosecutors and stolenthe materials of his criminal case from the building of the regional prosecutor's office.
At first, Mr. Misnikau was sent to Braslau regional psychiatric hospital in the village of Slabodka (Braslau district, Vitsebsk region) and spent there more than seven months. In May 2008, under pressure from the World Psychiatric Association (Switzerland) the administration of the psychiatric hospital appealed to the court, asking to soften the terms of treatment by substituting it to involuntary outpatient supervision over Valery Misnikau and treatment by a psychiatrist in the place of residence. The petition was granted and up to April 2014 the activist had to meet with his psychiatrist every month.
At each meeting he told the doctor that he felt healthy and there was no need in the medical supervision and treatment against psychiatric illness. He strongly demanded from the leadership of Vitsebsk Regional Clinical Center of Psychiatry and Narcology to terminatethe coercive measures of security and treatment against him.
However, only after six years of insults a medical commission determined that Misnikau's mental condition had improved and there were a change in the nature of the disease which eliminated the need for such coercive measures of security and treatment as outpatient supervision. However, the commission of the Clinical Center of Psychiatry and Narcologystated that the activist was to be left under general medical supervision.
As a result, the court had nothing to do but agree with the decision of the medical commission and order the termination of the outpatient supervision and psychiatric treatment of Mr. Misnikau.