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Associated Press reports in Moscow Times that Larisa Arap is freed following a visit by a government commission. Public pressure may have played a role in that investigation.

Activist Freed From Psychiatric Clinic

Source: The Associated Press

Original article:


Larisa Arap

Amember of an opposition group led by former world chess champion GarryKasparov was released Monday from a psychiatric clinic after being heldagainst her will for 46 days, a spokeswoman for the group said.

Larisa Arap, 48, a member of Kasparov’s group in thenorthern port city of Murmansk, was forcefully hospitalized July 5 inwhat opposition activists said was revenge for exposing alleged abuseof children in a local psychiatric hospital.

Her case was taken up by human rights defenders, whosaw in it echoes of the Soviet-era practice of locking up dissidents inpsychiatric hospitals.

Arap was released Monday from a psychiatric hospitalin Apatit, a city 300 kilometers from Murmansk, and was picked up byher husband, said Marina Litvinovich, a spokeswoman for Kasparov’sUnited Civil Front. Arap had been moved to the hospital farther fromher home in late July.

Arap’s release came after a commission, sent by humanrights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin to look into her case, said it found noreason for her forced hospitalization.

Her family had appealed her detention in court, but the request for her release was denied.

Arap was bundled into an ambulance July 5 aftervisiting a doctor to secure documents attesting to her mental health,as required by law in order to receive a new driver’s license.

When the doctor realized she had criticizedconditions at the psychiatric hospital in an article published in anopposition newspaper, the doctor called the police, said her daughter,Taisiya Arap.

Litvinovich said Monday that the United Civil Frontwould continue to seek legal redress in the case of Arap’shospitalization, Interfax reported.

“We will continue pursuing all legal activities already underway,” she said.

Other members of Kasparov’s group, including Kasparovhimself, have been detained by the police, but Litvinovich said LarisaArap was the first to be held in a psychiatric clinic.