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Russian Anti-Putin Shaman's Appeal Against Extention Of Forced Psychiatric Care Denied.

Aleksandr Gabyshev first made headlines in March 2019 when he called Vladimir Putin "evil" and announced that he had started a march to Moscow to drive the Russian president out of office.

Aleksandr Gabyshev first made headlines in March 2019 when he called Vladimir Putin "evil" and announced that he had started a march to Moscow to drive the Russian president out of office.

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- The Primorye regional court in Russia's Far East has rejected an appeal filed against the extension of forced psychiatric treatment filed by a Yakut shaman who became known across Russia for his attempts to march to Moscow to drive President Vladimir Putin out of the Kremlin.

Aleksandr Gabyshev's lawyer, Aleksei Pryanishnikov, said that Judge Marina Sazhneva pronounced the ruling on November 30. Pryanishnikov added that his client's right to confidentiality was violated during the hearing, as the psychiatric clinic's nurse was always present with a rope in his hands when the lawyer talked to Gabyshev.
The decision to prolong Gabyshev's forced treatment in a psychiatric clinic was made by a lower court in October after the Primorye regional court had ruled in favor of Gabyshev's appeal against the extension of his forced treatment. That court sent the case back to the Ussuriisk district court for a new hearing, citing inconsistences in medical conclusions regarding the case. In early August, the Ussuriisk district court ruled that Gabyshev must continue being treated in a psychiatric clinic even though a team of psychiatrists had concluded that he could be transferred from a psychiatric clinic to a regular hospital because his "condition had improved." However, several days later, a new medical commission concluded that the shaman's mental health "had worsened" and he must be transferred back to a psychiatric clinic.

Gabyshev, who has been stopped several times by the Russian authorities since 2019 when he tried to march from his native Siberian region of Yakutia to Moscow with the stated goal of driving Putin out of office, was sent to a psychiatric clinic against his will in July last year after a court found him "mentally unfit."
During the hearing, the court accused him of committing a "violent act against a police officer" when he was being forcibly removed from his home to be taken to a psychiatric clinic in late January. The ruling was challenged by Gabyshev's lawyers and supporters, who say his detention is an attempt to silence dissent.

The Memorial Human Rights Center in Russia has recognized Gabyshev as a political prisoner and Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling for his release.

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