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Russian court forcibly hospitalizes Yakut shaman in psychiatric clinic
Source: MBKh Media

A Russian court has ruled in favor of forcibly hospitalizing Alexander Gabyshev, a shaman from the Siberian city of Yakutsk, who is best known for making multiple attempts to travel on foot to Moscow with the intention of exorcising President Vladimir Putin. 

The coordinator of the rights group “Human Rights Postcards” (“Pravozashchity Otkrytki”), Alexey Pryanishnikov, told MBKh Media that Gabysehv will now be forcibly hospitalized for treatment at the Yakutsk Psychoneurological Dispensary.

Gabyshev was forcibly taken to the clinic on May 12 and has been kept there ever since. Gabyshev filed a claim refusing further hospitalization on May 29, after which the clinic’s medical commission deemed him a danger to himself and others. 

According to Pryanishnikov, the clinic filed the lawsuit for Gabyshev’s forced hospitalization, but the claim does not include a description of the state of his health. Instead, it says that he is suffering from a “reassessment of his identity,” given that he planned to “harm the government and overthrow Putin, since he is a demon and the Antichrist,” and “called for the overthrow of the legally elected authorities.” 

The court has not established the duration of Gabyshev’s forced hospitalization going forward.

The lawsuit calling for Gabysehv’s forced hospitalization was filed in June. According to Pryanishnikov, however, the deadline for filing such a claim expired on May 14.

Prior to the court issuing its decision on June 2, Yakutsk Mayor Sardana Avksenteva spoke out in support of Gabyshev, calling his persecution “selective punishment.” 

Alexander Gabyshev, a self-described shaman, first set off from Yakutsk with plans to “expel Putin” from the Kremlin in the spring of 2019. Since then, Russian law enforcement have arrested Gabyshev, sent him for psychiatric assessment, and initiated proceedings against him on multiple occasions.

In December 2019, Gabyshev announced a second attempt at his campaign, but he was immediately detained and fined for disobeying police. Gabyshev planned a third attempt at his walk in March 2020.