The long-haired shaman who walked across Russian to “expel Putin’s evil spirit from the Kremlin” has been forcibly committed to a mental asylum in Siberia by the state.
Alexander Gabyshev, from the city of Yakutsk in the far-eastern Russian republic of Sakha, was arrested on terrorism charges on 19th September 2019.
The shaman hit the headlines last year for declaring that he wanted to drive Russian President Vladimir Putin from power while walking over 2,000 kilometres (1,242 miles) to Moscow, speaking to hundreds of people along the way.
Archive Story: Shaman Exorcists Plan To Purge Putin Ends In His Arrest
He claimed that he was visiting the Russian capital to “expel Putin’s evil spirit from the Kremlin”, however, he was promptly detained and placed in a psychiatric hospital in the Siberian city of Yakutsk.
According to reports, a psychiatric examination ordered by the local authorities declared Gabyshev insane.
After his arrest in September 2019, Amnesty International called Gabyshev a “prisoner of conscience deprived of liberty solely for peaceful exercising his rights”.
The human rights NGO added that Gabyshev “has been made an enemy of the state solely for voicing his dislike of Putin”.
On 2nd June, a court in Yakutsk extended his forced committal there with no end date indicated, according to local media.
Committing dissenters to psychiatric hospitals was a practice known as ‘punitive psychiatry’ during the times of the Soviet Union.
Last week, Gabyshev’s lawyers filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against his placement in the psychiatric hospital, according to reports.
One of his lawyers, Olga Timofeeva, told local media that her client is being held in the asylum against his will and without access to his legal representatives.
She added: “The Ministry of Health’s response to my question about the legal reasons for Gabyshev’s detention was vague. The ministry did not give a clear answer, saying only that visits to Gabyshev had been banned due to COVID-19 restrictions.”
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