Court Rules In Favor Of Illegal Confinement

On October 17th, a Murmansk court refused to accept a complaint from psychiatric prisoner Larisa Arap, which would condemn the court order that sanctioned her illegal incarceration. The news agency Sobkor®ru learned of the incident from Elena Vasilyeva, the head of the Murmansk office of the United Civil Front.

Earlier in the day, Arap had been refused permission from entering the courtroom, where proceedings were taking place.

Arap’s attorney, Dmitri Bartenev, spoke out about the scandalous violation of rights Arap faced during her forced hospitalization. He denounced the court’s decision in front of the presidium of the Murmansk regional court. The defense is preparing an appeal against the court’s ruling, and is filing a suit with the European Court of Human Rights.

Larisa Arap was forcibly incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital on July 5th, shortly after she published an expose of conditions in a local mental hospital. The article, entitled “Madhouse” (Durdom), ran in the Murmansk edition of the “Dissenters’ March” newspaper.

After a court sanctioned her forced hospitalization on July 18th, Arap was moved to a different asylum in Apatity, 250 kilometers from Murmansk. In total, Larisa Arap was held against her will for more than six weeks, during which time she was drugged and beaten. You can read our earlier reports on Arap’s ordeal here and here.