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26.07.2013

Health Ministry begins psychiatric examination of Raisa Radchenko

   

A report on Radio Svoboda states more disturbingly that the police have accused Darya Radchenko, the 70-year-old civic activist Raisa Radchenko’s daughter, of obstructing officers when they were forcing her mother into a psychiatric hospital.  The report speaks of criminal proceedings, but it is more likely that administrative charges have been brought, with the court hearing due for 1 August.  Even these, however, arouse concern since both Raisa Radchenko and her daughter were opposed to the forced psychiatric treatment which they believe was intended to silence Ms Radchenko, a prominent civic activist.   Darya Radchenko in turn told the media that the police had used force against her and her five-year-old son.  

On Thursday a Health Ministry commission with eight psychiatrists from different parts of Ukraine began examining Raisa Radchenko. The examination was requested by the Human Rights Ombudsperson and the results are expected no earlier than Monday.

In the meantime the Zaporizhya Regional Prosecutor’s Office has begun a check into whether the actions of the psychiatrists and police were in accordance with the law. The police who visited Darya Radchenko’s home to check the conditions with the suggestion that her son might be taken away from her have already faced disciplinary measures. The Prosecutor has apparently initiated a criminal investigation under Article 365 of the Criminal Code – exceeding authority or official powers.

As reported, a court in Zaporizhya on 15 July ordered Raisa Radchenko to be forcibly placed in a psychiatric hospital.  This was despite a questionable diagnosis which was strongly opposed by Ms Radchenko, her family, and lawyer.

There was considerable concern because of Ms Radchenko’s activities which have included initiating a campaign for the Mayor’s dismissal.  By Tuesday Amnesty International had released the first of two urgent actions asking people to write to the relevant authorities and demand an independent examination. The Human Rights Ombudsperson sent a commission which spoke with Raisa Radchenko on Wednesday and concluded that there seemed no grounds for her forced hospitalization.

Neither Darya Radchenko nor journalists have been allowed in to see Raisa Radchenko who has now been held in the psychiatric hospital against her will for nearly two weeks. 

New information from a report at Radio Svoboda

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