Aliaksandr Lapitski released from mental hospital
Aliaksandr Lapitski has been released from psychiatric hospital after spending more than five months by order of the Frunzienski District Court of Minsk, which found him guilty of several defamation offenses in April 2016.
Since Lapitski’s forced confinement to a psychiatric hospital resulted in a restriction of his freedom, human rights activists classified him as a political prisoner.
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee demanded to "release Lapitski from mental hospital and, if necessary, to ensure that he is treated in conditions not involving deprivation of personal liberty, as well as to take measures aimed at the decriminalization of defamation offenses."
On March 24, the court ruled to replace the compulsory treatment by community-based care under the supervision of a psychiatrist.
Aliaksandr Lapitski, 81, was found guilty of committing socially dangerous acts provided for by Article 368 (“insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus”), Article 369 (“insulting an official”) and Article 391 (“Insulting a judge”) of the Criminal Code. However, these actions were allegedly committed in a state of insanity. As a result, the court ordered compulsory security measures and treatment. On 14 November 2016, he was confined to a psychiatric hospital.