Murmansk court orders forced hospitalization of opposition candidate Violetta Grudina
A district court in Murmansk has ordered the forced hospitalization of Violetta Grudina, the former head of Alexey Navalny’s local campaign office, who is currently running for City Council.
On July 14, the Oktyabrsky District Court satisfied a suit from Rospotrebnadzor (Russia’s consumer protection and human well-being agency) seeking to forcibly hospitalize Grudina for allegedly violating quarantine while recovering from COVID-19.
The court ruled in favor of hospitalizing Grudina pending a negative coronavirus test, said the head of the Agora human rights group Pavel Chikov, citing Grudina’s lawyer.
Chikov noted that Grudina provided the court with confirmation of a negative coronavirus test on July 12. Moreover, a healthcare worker, who was invited to the proceedings by Rospotrebnadzor, stated that Grudina didn’t need to be hospitalized. The defense plans to appeal the ruling.
Violetta Grudina fell ill with the coronavirus in June. After being informed that she had tested positive for the disease, she was ordered to self-isolate for 14 days. Grudina fulfilled the quarantine requirements as she understood them, and only left the house 16 days after the onset of the illness. In July, a criminal case was opened against her on charges of violating sanitary and epidemiological rules. If convicted, she faces two years in prison.
Grudina believes that both Rospotrebnadzor’s claim seeking her involuntary hospitalization and the criminal charges against her are politically motivated.