Liquidation of the “Discontented”

Artem BasyrovDecember 9, Yoshkar-Ola, Mari El Republic:

Representatives of the Other Russia in the Mari El Republic are asserting that one of their activists is being held in involuntary confinement. Artem Basyrov, an organizer of a local opposition demonstration known as the “Dissenter’s meeting” and candidate to the State Duma, has been held against his will in a psychiatric hospital since November 23rd.

Mikhail Klyuzhev, another local organizer, told the Sobkor®ru news agency that Basyrov has had no outside contact, and that his family was not allowed a visit. No medical evaluation has been carried out. Klyuzhev added that the Other Russia has already written a formal complaint to the office of the public prosecutor, and has appealed the court ruling which sentenced Basyrov to compulsory treatment.

According to anecdotal evidence, Basyrov will be held until after the March 2008 presidential elections.

On November 23rd, Artem Basyrov was detained and taken to a neuropsychiatric clinic. Officials charged that he “was harassing some girl on the other end of town.” Basyrov himself connected his arrest with preparations for the “Dissenter’s meeting,” which was set to take place on November 24th. The other organizer, Mikhail Klyuzhev, was also detained on November 22nd, and held for three days. He was charged with “hooliganism.”