Russian journalist Larisa Arap has been freed from a Russian psychiatric institution where she has been held for 46 days. Arap, who had investigated psychiatric institutions, was freed following the visit of a government commission, which may have been prompted by widespread public protests. MindFreedom was one of many groups to issue a human rights alert. [Update 21 August 2007.]

Larisa Arap (courtesy photo)

Russian journalist released

Larisa Arap is a journalist who had been investigating psychiatric institutions. She was locked up inside of a Murmansk, Russian psychiatric institution for 46 days. There was an international outcry of protest, including from MindFreedom International. This may have led to a government commission investigating. Following a visit by the commission, Ms. Arap was released.


22 October 2007 Washington Post interviews Larisa Arap about experience.

21 August 2007 Associated Press report on release of Larisa Arap.

Background on the Larisa Arap campaign:

Ms. Arapa is also a member of the political party United Civil Front, led by former chess champion Garry Kasparov, that is in opposition to the current Russian government.

MindFreedom International called for the immediate release of LarisaArap by the Russian government.

Easy actions the campaign asked people to take — you may now use these contacts to thank all who may have helped release Larisa Arap.

Three easy actions you can take to free Larisa Arap click here.

Media coverage:

17 August: Chicago Tribune editorial about freeing Larisa Arap.

17 August: Article by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty about psychiatric coercion in Russia.

2 August: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty initial report about lock-up of Larisa Arap.

For much more news and information just use google news with the words Larisa Arap.

Statement by MindFreedom International

MindFreedom director David Oaks said, “We encourage all individuals to speak out. If a journalist and psychiatric critic and political party leader can be locked up in a psychiatric institution, then no one is safe.”

Said Oaks, “This blatant human rights violation against Ms. Arap is outrageous and must be stopped. At the same time, we would like to take this moment to note the irony that USA media such as the Washington Post and Radio Free Europe are eagerly reporting this particular human rights violation thousands of miles away in Russia. But meanwhile these same USA mainstream media routinely refuse to cover similar and frequent human rights violations right here in the USA.”

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