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20 Aug, 2007 13:41

Opposition member released from mental hospital

A United Civil Front’s activist Larisa Arap has been discharged from a mental hospital in the city of Apatity, in the Russian North, and moved to outpatient treatment. A medical commission determined that Ms Arap did not represent a threat to herself or t

Arap was forcefully hospitalised in July. Opposition activists said it was revenge for exposing violations at a psychiatric hospital in her article called ‘Madhouse’ published in a local opposition paper.

Russian human rights ombudsman, State Duma Deputy, Vladimir Lukin, sent a medical examination group to Apatity, which confirmed Arap's illness.

“The first time this woman was hospitalised was back in 2004. This was before the United Civil Front was founded and before she became its member. The diagnosis given by a local doctor was confirmed by a group of independent experts who I dispatched to Murmansk. What we’re dealing with here, is not a healthy person that was put away into a hospital for political reasons; the only question is whether her rights were infringed because she was taken in against her will. According to our legislation, only people posing a serious threat to others can be subjected to medical treatment against their will,” Vladimir Lukin commented.