Psychiatry as a tool of coercion in post-Soviet countries: new report on political abuse of psychiatry

A new report on the resumption of the practice of political abuse of psychiatry in post-Soviet countries has been published in May 2017 by the international foundation “Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP”.

The report presents data on the use of psychiatry as a tool of repression in the former Soviet republics in the period 2012-2017. It lists more than thirty new cases, of which almost half has taken place in the occupied Crimea. The other cases described in the report are in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The report is authored by Viktor Davydov, a former political prisoner and victim of political abuse of psychiatry; Madeline Roache, a British researcher and freelance journalist, and Robert van Voren, Chief Executive of Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP. The authors of the report believe that the world has reached a crossroads and that unless sufficient pressure is exerted on national authorities in the countries concerned, one can expect that in some of the former Soviet republics we will slide back towards a governmental policy of using psychiatry for non-medical purposes. The authors conclude that it is pivotal that serious efforts are made in the field of human rights education and the monitoring of human rights in closed institutions.

Link to the English version of the report: