Andrei Zeltser's widow to be sent in coercive mental treatment

2022 2022-06-16T19:36:55+0300 2022-06-16T19:36:55+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Maryia Uspenskaya

Maryia Uspenskaya

On June 16, the Minsk Municipal Court pronounced the ruling in the criminal case against Maryia Uspenskaya, political prisoner and widow of Andrei Zeltser, who died in a shootout with a KGB officer.  Judge Valiantsina Ziankevich sentenced her to coercive treatment in a psychiatric hospital. Maryia has been in custody for almost nine months. 

The closed-door trial began on May 31.  Maryia was tried as “a person who committed a socially dangerous act provided by criminal law, in a state of insanity or who became mentally ill after committing the crime” (paragraph 13 of Article 6 of the Criminal Code). Her interests at the trial were represented by her mother, Maryia herself was not present at the trials.

Uspenskaya was released from criminal liability by reason of insanity. The court imposed coercive measures and psychiatric treatment with ordinary supervision. The term is not set by the court. Maryia will be treated until she recovers. In addition, the court awarded material compensation for moral damage in the amount of 100,000 rubles in favor of the widow of the killed KGB officer Dzmitryi Fedasiuk. The money will be transferred to the Orphanage in Minsk.

Coercive measures of security and treatment is a type of penal intervention that is not a criminal punishment but a system of psychotherapeutic, preventive, and rehabilitative medical measures, as well as measures for the care and supervision of persons suffering from a mental disorder making them unable to understand the impact of their actions or control them. Coercive measures are ordered if these persons by the nature of the act they committed and their mental condition constitute a danger to society.

Maryia Uspenskaya is the widow of Andrei Zeltser, who was killed in a shootout with a KGB officer in his own apartment on September 28, 2021. The woman has a minor son from her first marriage. After arrest, she was first kept in temporary detention facility, then transferred to pre-trial detention center. In early December 2021, it became known that Maryia had spent three weeks in a mental hospital, where she was sent there for a psychiatric examination. On June 15, Maryia Uspenskaya turned 41 years old.