Legal Case of the Week: Aleksandr Gabyshev confined to a psychiatric hospital nearly 3,000 kilometers from his home

Week-ending 8 October 2021


On 4 October 2021 it became known that Yakut shaman Aleksandr Gabyshev has been transferred to a psychiatric hospital in Novosibirsk, where he is detained and treated against his will. Novosibirsk is nearly 3,000 kilometres from the Republic of Sahka (Yakutia) where Gabyshev lives. Amnesty International has called for his release and condemned the use of punitive psychiatry reminiscent of Soviet practices.


RFE/RL, 4 October 2021: Russian authorities have finally revealed to which clinic Yakut shaman Aleksandr Gabyshev was transferred after a court ordered him to be confined to forced psychiatric treatment in July, his lawyer says.

Amnesty International, 7 October 2021: On 23 September, the Supreme Court of Sakha (Yakutia), approved shaman Aleksandr Gabyshev’s confinement to a psychiatric hospital and forcible treatment. He was then transferred to a “specialized” guarded hospital in Novosibirsk, 4,850 kilometres away by road. The shaman has long faced persecution for publicly criticizing President Vladimir Putin, including repeated arbitrary arrests, humiliating searches, and psychiatric confinement.

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