Russia: Psychiatric incarceration verdict coming up for review

An appeal against a ruling to commit Mikhail Kosenko – potentially indefinitely – to forcible psychiatric treatment will be heard by a Moscow court tomorrow, following his arrest for participation in a protest action.

Amnesty International is monitoring his trial. The organization’s spokespeople are available for interviews.

“The decision the court takes tomorrow could endorse a Soviet-era practice of silencing dissent with the help of psychiatric medicine, incarcerating an innocent man, potentially indefinitely,”  said Sergei Nikitin, Director of Amnesty International’s Moscow Office.

“Amnesty International very much hopes that the court will look impartially into the alternative psychiatric report and the evidence – including video footage and testimonies of eyewitnesses – which overwhelmingly exculpate him of the charges he faced, and ensure that Mikhail Kosenko walks free tomorrow.” 

“The choice between justice and injustice is in the court’s hands.” 

Mikhail Kosenko has been in detention since 8 June 2012, a month after he took part in a protest in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square where protesters clashed with the police. He was charged with participating in “mass riots” and use of force against a police officer, and was sentenced to forcible psychiatric treatment on 8 October 2013. 

Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience as he was imprisoned for his right to peaceful protest and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. 

See also:

Russia: Anatomy of injustice: The Bolotnaya square trial

For more information and to arrange an interview please contact:

Lydia Aroyo, Europe and Central Asia Press Officer at the International Secretariat on +44 (0) 20 74135599, +44 (0) 7771796350 (mobile) or write to [email protected].

Amnesty International’s Moscow Office: (+7 495) 6912904 or email: [email protected]