Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

11 July 2014

Russia: Conviction against activist released from psychiatric unit must be overturned

Russia: Conviction against activist released from psychiatric unit must be overturned
Mikhail Kosenko was arrested after he took part in a protest in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in May 2012.

Mikhail Kosenko was arrested after he took part in a protest in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in May 2012.

© Private.


Mikhail Kosenko’s participation in the demonstration at Bolotnaya, and false accusations that he used violence, have been used as evidence against him which led to his incarceration. Kosenko’s only ‘crime’ was publicly expressing his believes. This is reminiscent of the Soviet-era tactics when the authorities used psychiatric treatment to silence dissenting voices.
Source: 
Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International's Moscow Office Director.

The conviction against a peaceful Russian activist who was released from a closed psychiatric institution today must be overturned, Amnesty International said.

Mikhail Kosenko was arrested after he took part in a protest in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in May 2012 and placed in custody a month later.

“Mikhail Kosenko’s participation in the demonstration at Bolotnaya, and false accusations that he used violence, have been used as evidence against him which led to his incarceration. Kosenko’s only ‘crime’ was publicly expressing his believes. This is reminiscent of the Soviet-era tactics when the authorities used psychiatric treatment to silence dissenting voices,” said Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International's Moscow Office Director.

“The fact that Mikhail Kosenko’s conviction has not been overturned means he could be locked up again for any transgression, real or fabricated.”

Amnesty International believes there were no grounds for charging or prosecuting Mikhail Kosenko for taking part in “mass riots” and using violence against police officers. The accusations, and the ensuing investigation and court hearing, were politically motivated.

He was a peaceful protestor and Amnesty International recognized him as a prisoner of conscience.

During the hearing, the judge refused to consider some of the strong evidence in Kosenko’s favour and dismissed the rest as unreliable.

In March 2014, Moscow City Court upheld the conviction and sentenced Kosenko to compulsory psychiatric treatment in a closed institution for an indefinite period.

Issue

Activists 
Freedom Of Expression 

Country

Russian Federation 

Region

Europe And Central Asia 

Follow #Russia @amnestyonline on twitter

News

19 December 2014

A flurry of activity by UN member states to sign and ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty before it enters into force next week is another clear sign of the overwhelming... Read more »

18 December 2014

The rights of migrants are being trampled across the globe as they face economic exploitation, discrimination and racism in a range of countries.

Read more »
22 December 2014

Pakistan's reported plans to execute 500 more people are “deeply disturbing” and would do nothing to protect civilians from the conflict with the Taliban.

Read more »
24 December 2014

Pro-Kyiv volunteer battalions are increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine in a move which will exacerbate a pending humanitarian crisis in the run up to... Read more »

23 December 2014

Torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, suffered by women and girls from Iraq’s Yezidi minority who were abducted by the armed group calling itself the... Read more »