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You're reading: Forced psychiatric treatment for activist must be stopped

Raisa Radchenko is a member of several local citizens’ associations in Zaporizhia, in
Ukraine’s southeast, and has actively campaigned against local corruption and
police abuse, supporting local people who have attempted to claim their rights.
In early June she visited Kyiv to present petitions on behalf of residents of
Zaporizhia to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Presidential
Administration. She had previously also organized a petition asking for the
resignation of the mayor of Zaporizhia.

Her daughter, Daryna Radchenko, reported that on July 10 two police officers and a
psychiatrist came to their home and informed Raisa Radchenko that there had
been a court decision stating that she should be subjected to an in-patient
psychiatric examination. She has no history of mental illness. Raisa Radchenko
refused to open the door because they were unable to produce any documents
confirming the court decision. On July 11 she went with her daughter and five
year-old grandson to Lenin District Court for more information. According to
Daryna Radchenko as many as 30 police officers immediately detained her mother
and restrained all three; Daryna Radchenko sustained bruising on her arm. The
following day Daryna Radchenko met the head doctor at the Zaporizhia Regional
Psychiatric Hospital and was informed that a court decision had been taken
based on the testimony of two cleaners working in Raisa Radchenko’s block who
reported anti-social behaviour. Only subsequently did Daryna Radchenko see a
copy of the court decision ordering an in-patient psychiatric evaluation.

On July 13,
Daryna Radchenko saw her mother briefly in the psychiatric hospital and found
out that she was already being treated in the absence of any court decision
authorizing her forced psychiatric treatment. Doctors had administered
Aminazin, a strong sedative often used in the treatment of manic depression and
schizophrenia. Her daughter also noticed bruises on her mother’s body. On July 15
a court ordered that Raisa Radchenko should be treated as a psychiatric
in-patient because she displayed behaviour that “posed a threat to society”.

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