02:38 GMT +316 November 2018
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    Opposition Activist Sent to Mental Asylum

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    An activist with the opposition group Solidarity was shipped off to a psychiatric hospital after a picket on Red Square, Radio Liberty reported.

    An activist with the opposition group Solidarity was shipped off to a psychiatric hospital after a picket on Red Square, Radio Liberty reported.

    A district court in Moscow authorized on Monday the involuntary commitment of Nadezhda Nizovkina, a resident of the Siberian republic of Buryatia, the report said.

    Nizovkina’s diagnosis was not specified. Authorities said she is to remain hospitalized until her mother arrives from Buryatia's capital Ulan-Ude to pick her up. Solidarity activists said Nizovkina was strapped to bed in the hospital overnight, but did not elaborate.

    Nizovkina and fellow activist Vera Lavreshina of The Other Russia group staged solitary pickets on the Red Square on Sunday, carrying banners reading, “We’re for Constituent Assembly” and “Lubyanka must be destroyed,” the latter a reference to the headquarters of the Federal Security Service. Both were detained within minutes, though Lavreshina was released soon after.

    Lavreshina was herself put in a psychiatric hospital after a similar protest stunt last week, but was swiftly released.

    In late Soviet times, dissidents were often put in mental hospitals against their will as a form of punishment. Punitive psychiatry was largely abandoned after the demise of the Soviet Union, though The Moscow Times in 2011 listed a dozen separate cases across the country allegedly reviving the Soviet practice.

     

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