RF: Threat of punitive psychiatry evident, “extremism” not at all



In Kaliningrad (Russian Federation) the Deputy Imam of the Religious Organization of Muslims of Kaliningrad , Amir Abuyev has been ordered to appear at a psychiatric hospital on Saturday, 12 May.  There are grounds for fearing that he may be placed in the hospital, a new victim of punitive psychiatry.

Abuyev is charged with membership of “Nurdzhular”, an organization which despite being on the Russian list of prohibited extremist organizations is thought by many experts to not in fact exist. 

On 16 March this year the FSB [Security Service] investigator issued an order for Abuyev to receive a psychiatric assessment which the summons for 12 May is apparently about.

The FSB initiated a criminal investigation on 10 February. During the first questioning Abuyev stated clearly that he knew nothing about any organization “Nurdzhular”.  Yet he has been charged under Article 282-2 § 1 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code (organization of activities of an extremist organization) with organizing a branch of this organization in Kaliningrad.  The FSB considered books by Said Nursi, the Muslim theologian to constitute grounds for these accusations, as well as gatherings over tea with other believers at which questions regarding the interpretation of the Koran were discussed.  The only two books removed from Abuyev are not even on the list of extremist material posted on the RF Justice Ministry’s site.

Amir Abuyev  is originally from Dagestan and has been living in Kaliningrad for 7 years as Deputy Imam.  Yelena Riabinina, Head of the Right to Refugee Project, points out in this case, as with one of the two people accused of involvement in “Nurdzhular”, the authorities are targeting a religious figure commanding authority and respect within the Muslim community. 

The fears that Abuyev may be subjected to punitive psychiatry are connected, among other things, with events in Tatarstan before 14 translations of works by Said Nursi were declared extremist.  Some of those following his teachings were coerced into officially “voluntary” consent to a psychiatric assessment which resulted in conclusions being drawn about the supposedly “zombifying” influence of this literature on believers.  We would note again that information about the authoritative Muslim theologian, Said Nursi can be found here.

From reports by Yelena Riabinina, Head of the Right to Refuge Project

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