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15.07.2013

Civic Activist to face forced psychiatric treatment

   

Raisa Radchenko, a civic activist campaigning against corruption in the housing and communal services sphere and the law enforcement agencies has been taken to a psychiatric hospital. A few days earlier she was at the President’s Administration complaining about local officials. The woman was taken by force from a courtroom by a police unit together with hospital orderlies.  Relatives and friends assert that the move is retaliation from the authorities.

According to the Head Doctor, a meeting was held of medical staff at the Zaporizhya Regional Psycho-neurological hospital with the decision being taken to forcibly treat civic activist Raisa Radchenko in the institution.  The court order was issued by the Leninsky District Court on the basis of an application from the hospital.  Fedir Patalakh, Head Doctor of the hospital told Radio Svoboda that there had been complaints and that the woman was a danger to society.

“She was examined by a commission of psychiatrists and today she was examined. A decision was taken that confirmed the diagnosis of psychological disorder. She doesn’t agree with this decision. That’s her right, therefore the hospital is approaching the court”, he said.

Authorities’ revenge?

Raisa Radchenko’s daughter, Raisa, opposes the move and says that the court took the side of the psychiatrists, with her mother not being present at the hearing. The court claims that Ms Radchenko was informed of the hearing in advance.

Darya Radchenko says that as her mother’s closest relative, she tried to prevent the hospitalization but that police officers pushed her and her five-year-old son away roughly.

She is convinced that this is retaliation from the authorities. She says that after her mother was at the President’s Administration a week ago, pressure on her began.  Darya Radchenko says that she is concerned for her mother’s life and state.

She says that there was a huge package of documents which reached the President’s Administration; the ministry; the Prosecutor General’s Office; the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner on Human Rights, Lutkovska. She asserts that her mother arrived back in Zaporizhya to find that several top people in the police had been removed. She claims that an accident involving minivan-buses and a protest with her mother’s involvement was the last straw.

Neighbours and members of Zaporizhya civic organizations say that the local authorities have been putting pressure on Raisa Radchenko for a long time. That her long-term and systematic struggle with corruption in the housing and communal services sphere was the reason for the application to the court.

Valentina Oleksandrova, head of the civic organization Rights Protection told Radio Svoboda that Raisa Radchenko has trodden on somebody’s corns and they’d decided to isolate her.  She says that she’s never seen anything like the scene in the courtroom with the 5-year-old and his other being beaten, and the grandmother dragged along the entire corridor with a huge number of police officers present.

The doctors reported that Raisa Radchenko’s fate is now in the hands of the court. Until then she will undergo compulsory treatment in the regional psychoneurological hospital.

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