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Russia Considering Restoring Soviet-Era Law on Psychiatry, Opening Door to Political Abuse
Jamestown Foundation Eurasia Daily Monitor ^ | 11/12/2012 | Paul Goble

Posted on 11/13/2012 11:02:01 PM PST by bruinbirdman

Russian psychiatrists are pressing the Duma to return the Soviet-era law on psychiatric assistance that allowed doctors at Moscow’s Serbsky Institute and elsewhere to indefinitely detain and treat people whose only “symptoms” were opposition to Soviet leaders and their policies. For more than 40 years, the Communist Party used the provisions of this law against a wide range of dissidents. That tragic history sparked protests by psychiatrists, human rights activists and governments around the world and ultimately prompted Russian parliamentarians to replace that legislation with laws more in conformity with international practice.

On Monday (November 12), the Nakanune.ru news portal reported that “leading psychiatrists [of Russia] are seeking to return to operation the law on psychiatric assistance, which had been used in Soviet times,” a step that the news site suggested was “especially important after the recent mass shooting in Moscow” (www.nakanune.ru/news/2012/11/12/22291819/). On November 7, Dmitry Vinogradov posted a “malicious manifesto” on the Internet and then shot dead five of his colleagues and wounded two more at a pharmacy in Moscow where he worked (The Moscow News, November 7).

Mikhail Vinogradov (no relation), the head of the Center for Legal and Psychological Help in Extreme Situations, said at a press conference that there are occasions when “medicine must be a police function. We cannot allow the infected ill to freely walk around the land, and undoubtedly, we cannot allow that those seriously psychologically ill and socially dangerous can do the same, purchasing guns, ammunition and getting everything else.” That is why, he said, “a large group of St. Petersburg and Moscow psychiatrists” have appealed to the Duma to restore the Soviet-era law, something that he said would “allow for the treatment for the seriously ill and [give the authorities the power] to defend society from socially dangerous sick people.” The Duma is “discussing” this issue at present, Vinogradov concluded, “not as quickly as one would like, but all the same it is being discussed” (www.nakanune.ru/news/2012/11/12/22291819/).

Soviet abuse of this law, an abuse that Alexander Podrabinek called “a tool in the struggle against dissidents who cannot be punished by legal means” (Alexander Podrabinek, Punitive Medicine, Karoma Publishers, 1980), was one of the most odious forms of political repression in the Soviet Union. Hundreds if not thousands of opponents of the regime were diagnosed with such “illnesses” as “sluggish schizophrenia,” incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals known as “psikhushkas,” and forcibly medicated. This system was organized on the basis of the assumption of Soviet leaders that people living in a socialist society could not have an anti-socialist orientation and consequently that if they manifested such views, they were mentally ill.

While this form of psychiatric abuse began under Stalin, it was especially widespread from Khrushchev’s time onward. Among the most famous of the dissidents mistreated in this way were Vladimir Bukovsky, Pyotr Grigorenko, Joseph Brodsky, Valery Tarsis, Zhores Medvedev, Valeria Novodvorskaya, Natalya Gorbanevskaya, and members of the Association of Free Trade Unions.

So notorious were these cases that the international psychiatric community as well as Western scholars and governments organized a campaign against it. Psychiatric organizations in many countries as well as that profession’s international bodies documented and condemned what Moscow was doing. Scholars like Sidney Bloch, Peter Reddaway, Harvey Fireside, Robert van Voren, Theresa Smith and Thomas Oleszczuk prepared major and widely read studies. And the parliaments and governments in many countries held hearings, prepared reports, and demanded that the Soviet government end this most vicious form of human rights abuse.

Until the very end of the Soviet period, communist officials denied these reports, but in late 1991, the USSR Supreme Soviet began discussing overturning the law; however, the Soviet Union fell apart before it could act. Then in 1992, the Russian Federation passed a new law that most observers felt conformed to international standards and prevented abuse. To ensure that Russians knew their rights, the International Psychiatric Association printed 50,000 copies of the law and distributed them throughout Russia.

Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the end of this sordid story. Between 1998 and 2004, psychiatrists at the notorious Serbsky Institute—where many dissidents were confined, “diagnosed,” and “treated”—sought to have the Duma restore the Soviet-era law that gave them and the regime a free hand. Now, this same group of doctors, perhaps backed by officers of the Russian security services, is trying again. They may not succeed, but it is a mark of just how dangerous the situation has become that their actions have as yet attracted so little attention and that they think they have a chance this time around.

In his 1970 open letter to the public entitled, This Is How We Live, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote: “The incarceration of free thinking healthy people in madhouses is spiritual murder, it is a variation of the gas chamber, even more cruel; the torture of the people being killed is more malicious and more prolonged. Like the gas chambers, these crimes will never be forgotten and those involved in them will be condemned for all time during their life and after their death.” As this campaign goes forward, it is important for all concerned to remember these seminal words.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: backintheussr; obamacare

1 posted on 11/13/2012 11:02:14 PM PST by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman

And here I thought our nation would beat them to it. Only a matter of time...


2 posted on 11/13/2012 11:06:51 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Hurricane Sandy..., a week later and 48 million Americans still didn't have power.)
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To: bruinbirdman

Barack Hussein Obama will be going to Russia soon to learn how this can be incorporated into Obamacare, no doubt.


3 posted on 11/13/2012 11:09:59 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: Jyotishi

It may already be there. Just going to find out how to improve it and no doubt tax the inmate.


4 posted on 11/13/2012 11:14:45 PM PST by annieokie
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To: Jyotishi

Actually, the Russians have already invited him. I’m sure there are many, many topics they will discuss now that Zer0 has that post-election “flexibility”.


5 posted on 11/13/2012 11:17:03 PM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: Jyotishi

Actually, the Russians have already invited him. I’m sure there are many, many topics they will discuss now that Zer0 has that post-election “flexibility”. Here’s the link:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2959239/posts


6 posted on 11/13/2012 11:17:30 PM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: Jyotishi
Bingo. I thought the same thing, but I'd imagine most Freepers did. Think about how just as little as 5 years ago this thought would be 'tin foil hat'. Perhaps the 0bamacare 'I will not comply' crowd will be sent to the new Soviet Union for experimentation.. Or that 'prison' our government has purchased in Illinois:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/10/02/federal-government-to-buy-thomson-prison-for-165m/

7 posted on 11/13/2012 11:19:12 PM PST by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (IMPEACH OBAMA)
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To: Little Pig

8 posted on 11/13/2012 11:27:39 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

This comes to mind:

...Valerie Jarrett is letting it be known that if Barack Obama secures election victory next week, there may be, quite literally, hell to pay for those who opposed him...

...Jarrett told (staff members) ‘After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time.

Everyone not with us is against us and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded, the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve.

There is going to be hell to pay. Congress won’t be a problem for us this time. No election to worry about after this is over and we have two judges ready to go.’

http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com/2012/11/valerie-jarrett-now-threatening-revenge.html


9 posted on 11/13/2012 11:34:46 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: bruinbirdman

For anyone interested in this topic, try to find copies of the Sen. Internal Security Subcommittee, Sen. Judiciary Committee, 2-3 volume hearings on “Abuse of Psychiatry in the Soviet Union.” (About 1972 or so).

It will chill you to the bone.


10 posted on 11/13/2012 11:39:17 PM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: bruinbirdman

To be honest this law has nothing about putting dissidents into hospitals.
If one ever was to Russia and knows their way of life it is clear they need a law to forcefully remove mental patients from society for treatment.
Imagine living in a 20 story project with a senile person upstairs who always feel she is on fire and taking shower in her bedrood to flood you twice a day. Or a druggie who fires his shotgun through a wall to hunt some ghosts haunting him? What about a TV or a sofa being tossed out of a window to land on your car? What about fecals sprayed on your door? What about walking nude and masturbating in front of your children?
All of the above is a very common problem in Russia.
Police is rarely responding because there are no legal grounds to prosecute insane people for their inappropriate behavior and all cases of them damaging property considered civil disputes (go, sew idiot in court).


11 posted on 11/13/2012 11:43:43 PM PST by cunning_fish
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To: bruinbirdman

I have often told my wife that she never has to divorce me. She can just have me committed! She’s a psychiatrist!


12 posted on 11/13/2012 11:44:41 PM PST by tired&retired
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To: Jyotishi
Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder

Supreme Court Justice Van Jones

They'd both get confirmed too.. No one would dare risk being called 'racist' by contesting the nomination. Notice how the Marxist Elena Kagan sailed into SCOTUS with her 'LGBT card'. Nearly all of Team 0bama carries one card or another, except for the Generals and just look what's happening to THEM.

13 posted on 11/13/2012 11:53:57 PM PST by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (IMPEACH OBAMA)
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To: tired&retired

Isn’t marriage a commitment?


14 posted on 11/13/2012 11:55:00 PM PST by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (IMPEACH OBAMA)
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To: Jyotishi

What’s even scarier are the mannerisms immediately following that ‘open mic slip’ afterwards.. BUSTED. Especially 0bama’s fingers over his mouth.


15 posted on 11/13/2012 11:58:55 PM PST by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (IMPEACH OBAMA)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

“Dr. Zhivago” must be one of Obama’s favorite movies, though not for its talent and production excellence.


16 posted on 11/14/2012 12:05:13 AM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: DoughtyOne

I am sure this kind of law will be proosed here for those crazy right-wingers


17 posted on 11/14/2012 12:10:49 AM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: bruinbirdman

A stricter law is needed. A humane and decent society does not allow the mentally ill freedom. Those who represent a danger to themselves and to society must be kept in treatment.

Of course - the abuse of psychiatry for political ends must be avoided. But we must not humor the mad by thinking they’re fit to be part of society.


18 posted on 11/14/2012 1:33:48 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

“Isn’t marriage a commitment?”

In many more ways than one might imagine!!! LOL


19 posted on 11/14/2012 4:13:37 AM PST by tired&retired
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To: bruinbirdman

The Russian Revolution in resent years was a sham. Modern methods of vote control help them to slip right back into a Communist State.


20 posted on 11/14/2012 4:20:54 AM PST by bmwcyle (Women reelected Obama)
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To: bruinbirdman
This WILL be covered under obammy care. Do not fret, comrades.

FMCDH(BITS)

21 posted on 11/14/2012 7:01:37 AM PST by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: goldstategop

The left, following their ideological father,
will turn any good policy on its head to do the opposite of what is good.

Political enemies will be incarcerated as “insane”,
and the truly insane, like homosexuals, will be held up as superior.


22 posted on 11/14/2012 7:05:40 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: GeronL

Wouldn’t doubt it.


23 posted on 11/14/2012 8:56:47 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Hurricane Sandy..., a week later and 48 million Americans still didn't have power.)
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