2013 29/08

The well-known international organization is ready to declare a forcibly confined to a psychiatric hospital Ihar Pastnou prisoner of conscience, when it will be finally confirmed that in respect of the Vitebsk doctor an arbitrary detention has been applied for a not prohibited by law criticism of health care state in Vitebsk region.

Amnesty International called for an urgent action: to write in Belarusian, Russian, English or your own language, letters to the Minister of Health of the Republic of Belarus Vasil Zharko and Attorney General Aliaksandr Kaniuk.

International human rights organization asks those who will write letters:

– to remind the responsible officials of Belarus that forced psychiatric treatment is to be applied only in cases of severe mental illness, if there is danger that a person can cause imminent harm to him/herself or others;

– to request the latest a psychiatric reexamination for Dr. Ihar Postnou;

– to require that he will be provided appropriate legal advice and given the necessary legal protection.

In a document published under the title “Honorable psychiatrist forcibly deprived of his liberty», Amnesty International reported the things turning:

” Belarusian psychiatrist Ihar Pastnou was forcibly placed for treatment into a hospital where he worked, after his open criticism of the health care system in Vitebsk, a city in the north of the country. Ihar Pastnou, who worked in Vitebsk regional center of narcology and psychiatry, during the last 18 months, has distributed a series of interviews on YouTube criticizing government policy and urban governance on health care system. In the interviews, he brought up issues such as medical errors and misuse of funds. In June 2013 he criticized the use of militia to put vagabonds and vagrants into the hospital for a psychiatric examination”.

“Because of its open criticism Ihar Pastnou had conflicts with the leadership of the hospital, and on August 16, Psychiatric Hospital Commission, where he worked, has concluded that he needs a forced psychiatric treatment in connection with “psychopathic personality disorder with delusions of persecution by the authorities”. On that day, Ihar Pastnou called Radio Svaboda journalist to say that he was arrested, then his phone was turned off,”- said Amnesty International.

Ihar Pastnou may have been put in hospital for his not prohibited by law criticism of the state of health care system in the Vitebsk region. If this is confirmed, Amnesty International recognizes him as a prisoner of conscience, according to the document published by the influential international human rights organization.

Full document of Amnesty International in English can be found here.

Prepared by Ales LETA
Belarusian Legal Portal

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