To the men in white coats who locked him away, Artem Basirov was a confused and paranoid lunatic who was a danger to himself and others. His own diagnosis of the condition that led to his detention in a Russian psychiatric hospital was simpler: it was his dislike of President Vladimir Putin.Unfortunately, the caterwauling leftist media here in the US is too busy wailing over the fabricated and imagined totalitarian excesses of the Bush administration to even notice when a real tyrant is actually abusing human rights.
Mr Basirov, 20, a university student, was among a group of pro-democracy activists planning a protest against President Putin's increasingly authoritarian rule ahead of last December's elections.
But on the night before the planned demonstration, he was snatched by secret service officers, taken to a state psychiatric hospital and forced to undergo a month of "treatment", during which he was fed mind-numbing drugs.
Mr Basirov's incarceration inside the Soviet-era psycho-neurological clinic, details of which have been passed to The Sunday Telegraph, is the latest case in which opponents of Kremlin rule have been hauled off to state-run mental institutions.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
In neo-Soviet Russia, everything old is new again
I posted a piece last August about the revived practice in Russia of institutionalizing political opponents. Today's Sunday Telegraph carries another example of this practice in the period leading up to last December's elections in Russia.