Russian Park Activist Placed in Mental Hospital

Tsaritsyno.  Source: relax.ruMoscow police have arrested the leader of a citizen’s movement working to save a local historic park, and have placed the activist into psychiatric imprisonment (Rus). Nikolai Kozlov, the leader of the “Tsaritsyno for everyone” social movement, was apprehended on the morning of August 1st, according to the press-agency of the Moscow branch of the Yabloko political party.

Kozlov was attempting to block workers from felling a large group of trees from the Tsaritsyno national-historic park, located in the South-eastern part of Moscow. The activist has made it his mission to preserve the park, which was once part of territory owned by Catherine the Great.

Militsiya officers, who arrived at the scene to assist the workers, forcibly apprehended Kozlov, and took him to Moscow’s mental hospital number 14.

Yabloko’s leader, Moscow City Duma representative Sergei Mitrokhin, demanded that the activist be immediately released. “In actual fact, we are seeing the revival of psychiatric repressions in the country against people, whose life philosophy is unacceptable to the authorities,” Mitrokhin said.

According to the representative, “a genuine ecological crime it taking place today at Tsaritsyno.” “Thousands of the park’s healthy and mighty trees are being prepared for clear cutting. People like Nikolai Kozlov are not simply defending green spaces, but the lungs of Muscovites, including residents of the particularly polluted south of Moscow.”

On July 31st, the inter-district environmental prosecutor’s office filed a presentation addressed to Leonid Bochin, the chief of Moscow’s department of environmental management and protection of the environment. The report detailed violations and breaches of established environmental regulations taking place during construction work at Tsaritsyno park.