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Independent psychiatric expertise of Ihar Pastnou found no reasons for his compulsory treatment

2014 2014-05-16T18:34:07+0300 2014-05-16T18:34:40+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Ihar Pastnou

Ihar Pastnou

According to independent experts from an NGO “Russia’s Independent Psychiatric Expertise”, diagnosis of Belarusian colleagues “paranoid dissociation with stable querulous tendencies” raises doubts. Accordingly, in August of the last year, psychiatric condition of a “straight-shooter” from Vitsebsk did not require his forcible placement to the psychiatric hospital.

In April, Ihar Partnou visited Moscow to undergo an independent examination in order to challenge the diagnosis of psychiatrists from Vitsebsk.  He also wanted to challenge the necessity to “isolate” him from the society by forcibly locking him up in psychiatric ward which was accompanied by violations of his rights in the court of Vitsebsk district.

Ihar Pastnou underwent a number of medical tests and received a written medical conclusion of Russian psychiatrists. With his kind permission this document has been published on the independent web-resource

According to independent Russian experts, Ihar Pastnou demonstrates aspiration for restoration of justice from his childhood, and he tends to look for justice for other persons, not for himself. Therefore, a diagnosis of psychiatrists from Vitsebsk “paranoid dissociation with stable querulous tendencies” gave rise to doubts of experts from an NGO “Russia’s Independent Psychiatric Expertise.” The reason for these doubts was that Ihar Pastnou “has never had any suspiciousness, or malevolent or circumspect attitude towards other persons”, and his aspiration for justice and promotion of the rights of other persons comprise a feature of his personality which cannot be considered “querulous tendencies” as if he pursues his own selfish interests by filing complaints and appeals to higher instances. 

“We owe to such individuals and their peculiarities that are not always pleasant the breakage of ossified stereotypes of our bureaucratic patterns,” Russian psychiatrists write. They qualify actions of Ihar Pastnou as “defending human rights” and refer to his video appearances at criticizing local authorities and situation of regional health care establishments. 

Experts also believe that there were no sufficient grounds for forcible psychiatric treatment of Ihar Pastnou in August of the last year. His psychic condition reflected only amplification of specific features of his personality and did not constitute a danger either for the society or for himself – though this was the reason that the Belarusian medical workers invoked to explain that fact that Ihar Partnou as taken to the psychiatric ward directly from his workplace, i.e. from the other unit of the regional hospital in which he worked. Russian colleagues qualify it as a violation of the professional ethics, and a violation of the Ihar Pastnou’s right to be present in the court when a decision to subject him to compulsory psychiatric treatment was taken, and to liaise with the advocate to ensure defense of his interests.    

 The “straight-shooter” from Vitsebsk was taken to the psychiatric ward on 16 August 2013, and on 20 August, his compulsory psychiatric treatment, which longed for a month, was sanctioned.

On 29 August, human rights organization Amnesty International announced its readiness to consider Ihar Pastnou a prisoner of consciousness. On 2 September, a joint statement of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and Human Rights Center “Viasna” about forcible hospitalization of the “doctor-straight-shooter” was adopted. Belarusian human rights defenders called competent authorities to “immediately release Ihar Pastnou for the psychiatric ward and reconsider decision about his compulsory hospitalization in an open court hearing that would observe all established procedures and principles of fair trial.”  

However, there have been no possibility to litigate the decision of Vitsebsk district court. That is why Ihar Pastnou sent a communication to the UN Human Rights Committee. 

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