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Yakut shaman Alexander Gabyshev released from psychiatric clinic

The medical commission at the Yakutsk Psychoneurological Dispensary has decided to discharge Alexander Gabyshev, the self-described shaman best known for making multiple attempts to travel on foot to Moscow with the intention of exorcising President Vladimir Putin. Gabyshev has been under forced hospitalization at the clinic since mid-May.

On Facebook, the coordinator of the rights group “Human Rights Postcards” (“Pravozashchity Otkrytki”), Alexey Pryanishnikov, said that Gabyshev’s release comes after a psychological and psychiatric examination was carried out at the request of his defense lawyers.

“Our efforts, along with yours, yielded these results. Without public support and broad media coverage for the defense’s efforts, [Gabysehv’s] treatment could have gone for as long as they wanted it to, especially since the court’s decision didn’t limit the duration of the treatment,” Pryanishnikov wrote.

Shaman Alexander Gabyshev 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.

Gabyshev was forcibly taken to the clinic on May 12 and had 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. On June 2, a court in Yakutsk ruled in favor of continuing Gabyshev’s forced hospitalization, but didn’t specify for how long.

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