In the Psychiatric Hospitals, December 1978 (51.11)

<<No 51 : 1 December 1978>>

This section has been compiled largely from the Information Bulletin of the Working Commission to Investigate the Use of Psychiatry for Political Purposes: Nos. 9 (9 June 1978), 10 (10 August 1978), 12 (9 October 1978), 13 (20 November 1978) and 14 (5 January 1979) [note 1].

IN SPECIAL PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS

DNEPROPETROVSK SPH

In May 1978, in accordance with a court ruling in Donetsk, Vladimir Klebanov (CCE 48.21 and CCE 49.18) was transferred here. Neither Klebanov nor his relatives were notified about the trial.

The state of Josif Terelya’s health (CCE 48.12) has worsened significantly, probably as a result of the medicines prescribed for him. Currently Terelya has difficulty in reading and answering letters.

Viktor Fedyanin, arrested in 1976 on charges of “distributing deliberately false fabrications defaming the Soviet political and social system”, was sent after his trial to the Dnepropetrovsk SPH. Here he was given an intensive course of neuroleptic drugs (the doctor in charge of him was Valentina Alexandrovna Zagubizhenko). On 20 July 1978 Fedyanin was transferred to the Kishinyov Psychiatric Hospital.

KAZAN SPH

At the beginning of June 1978, the regular periodic commission – Chairman, Shostakovich of the Serbsky Institute; doctor in charge, Olga Ivanovna Volkova — did not recommend that Boris Yevdokimov (CCE 48.12) be discharged.

A short time before, Yevdokimov had received a parcel from Austria. Unsuccessful attempts were made to persuade him to refuse it. In connection with this and with other similar instances (See for example Information Bulletin No. 12, Yu. Belov’s letter “To Soviet Psychiatrists”), V. Bakhmin, a member of the Working Commission, sent a statement to the Kazan Procuracy:

“… the administration of the Kazan SPH, in violation of existing instructions, restricts the receipt by the hospital’s prisoners of parcels containing food … I hope that the hospital administration will not in future violate laws the execution of which should be checked out by the Procuracy.”

This statement was forwarded “for a substantive answer” to the procurator of the Soviet district of the city of Kazan, V. P. Gafurov; at the beginning of October V. Bakhmin was notified of this in a letter. On 19 November Bakhmin informed Gafurov that the 10-rouble postal-order he had sent Yevdokimov had been returned to him by the Kazan SPH administration, stamped “return to sender”.

On 16 November 1978, the next regular commission recommended Yevdokimov for discharge from the SPH [and his transfer to an ordinary mental hospital]. Because he has been ruled mentally incompetent his son Rostislav is assuming guardianship over him [note 2].

*

Algimantas Zipre (CCEs 32, 34, 37, CCE 50.5) has been transferred here from the Mordovian camps.

Nikolai Plakhotnyuk (CCE 49.10) has been transferred to the Cherkassy Regional Psychiatric Hospital.

ALMA-ATA SPH (town of Talgar)

At the beginning of August Sergei Purtov (CCE 48.12) was transferred to an observation ward. He was prescribed an intensive course of treatment. In connection with the worsening of his situation the Working Commission sent a letter to Paradnov, the chief doctor of the Talgar Special Psychiatric Hospital:

“… In spite of repeated promises to apply for his discharge, you have recently once again prescribed for him an intensive course of treatment which can only worsen his condition … We wish to remind you of your personal responsibility for a prisoner in your hospital and express the hope that the oppression with regard to Sergei Purtov will be promptly ended.”

In September 1978, the prescribed drugs were stopped. In November, the regular commission put him forward for discharge from the SPH.

CHERNYAKHOVSK SPH [Kaliningrad Region]

Valdemaras Karaliunas (b. 1950) has been in the Chernyakhovsk SPH for about two years. He was prescribed compulsory treatment for distributing pamphlets. He was arrested in 1975. Before that he had served 3 years (1968-1971) for attempting to cross the border and 2 years for possession of arms.

In July 1978, by court decision, Mikhail Zhikharev (CCE 49.10) was returned to the Chernyakhovsk SPH, where he had already spent more than two years (CCE 47). In his wife’s words, he is in a bad physical condition.

In May A. Cehanavicius (CCEs 46 and CCE 48.12) was transferred from the SPH to the Vilnius Republican Psychiatric Hospital. On 10 October he was presented to a medical commission. The chief doctor of the hospital, Glauberzon, explained to Cehanavicius that this commission was only a formality. Moreover, he told him that he was afraid to discharge him since friends and foreigners were constantly visiting him (a French woman psychiatrist, J. VoiCiotis, had visited Cehanavicius in the hospital).

*

IN ORDINARY HOSPITALS

On 24 November 1978, Valeria Novodvorskaya was forcibly placed in Moscow Psychiatric Hospital No. 15 (on her see CCEs 11, 13, 21, 23, 24, and “Miscellaneous Reports” in the present issue).

Novodvorskaya (b. 1950) had recently been working in a library. On 24 November, a man came into the room where she was working and asked her to help carry out some books. She took a parcel of books, went out of the room, and disappeared. After detailed searches her friends found her in Psychiatric Hospital No. 15. The internment order had been written in her district psychiatric clinic.

Immediately after her hospitalization Novodvorskaya declared a hunger-strike. Her friends are not allowed to visit her. [She was released after a few weeks.]

*

At the end of May Vyacheslav Dzibalov (CCE 49) was recommended for discharge by a medical commission.

The court, which sat on 11 August 1978, declined the application and decided to extend Dzibalov’s stay in the psychiatric hospital. Dzibalov’s brother and wife made a formal appeal to the Supreme Court of the RSFSR. The Supreme Court passed Dzibalov’s case to the Leningrad Regional Court for a second review. On 14 November, the Leningrad Court decided to order a new examination for Dzibalov by psychiatrists from the Serbsky Institute.

Dzibalov has received no medication for over a year now.

*

Vasily Ivanovich SHIPILOV (CCE 48), as before, is in the Krasnoyarsk Regional Psychiatric Hospital No. 1 (Poimo-Tiny settlement, Krasnoyarsk Region), to which he was transferred from the Sychyovka SPH. Shipilov’s doctor, Anatoly Demyanovich Odezhkin, confiscated a copy of the New Testament from him. Shipilov was told that after his release he would be sent to a home for the disabled (he has no relatives and is 56).

*

On 27 October 1978 Yury Valov (b. 1938) was moved to the Ruza district Psychiatric Hospital No. 4 (Borodenki settlement, Moscow Region). In March 1976, the administration at Valov’s place of work resorted to deceit and dismissed him “on account of staff reductions”. He attempted to contest the dismissal in court but did not succeed. Then Valov sent a statement about all this to the newspaper Trud, to the television, to the Procuracy of the RSFSR and to the RSFSR Supreme Court.

On 7 November 1976 Valov attempted to meet an American journalist, but he was detained and sent to the Moscow Region Psychiatric Hospital, where he stayed until 28 January 1977.

In August 1978, a letter by Valov was published in the Bulletin of the Action Group to Defend the Rights of the Disabled in the USSR. (He had been ruled unfit for work.) It described the injustices he had suffered and demanded solutions to questions connected with work activity by the disabled (see “Defence of the Disabled’s Rights”).

In October 1978 Valov issued a statement to the press entitled “Some Words from a Disabled Person”, in which he described the workers’ low standard of living, especially that of the disabled, and the defencelessness of workers before the tyranny of the administration. Valov was warned that he might be subjected to psychiatric internment. At the same time, in October, the Working Commission sent P. I. lonychev, the district psychiatrist, two letters in which it informed him that Valov had been examined by a psychiatric doctor who was a consultant to the Working Commission, and that he did not display signs of mental illness. The letters also contained the warning that a forcible hospitalization of Valov would be viewed as a case of psychiatric abuse.

On 27 October Valov was forcibly hospitalized. The Working Commission sent a letter to the chief psychiatrist of the Moscow Region and to Yuta Khanovna Syrova, the hospital’s chief doctor, quoting the expert diagnosis and demanding Valov’s immediate release.

On 15 November 1978, Felix Serebrov, a member of the Working Commission, spoke with the doctor in charge of Valov, Mark Vladimirovich Kurlyandsky. In Kurlyandsky’s words Valov was in a general ward for diagnosis of his condition, and he was not undergoing treatment. Serebrov was refused a meeting with Valov.

At the end of November Valov was transferred to the Central Moscow Regional Psychiatric Hospital and placed in Section 1 (Department Head, Vera Petrovna Shablevich). He was prescribed a course of trisedil [?] and Cyclodol.

*

In 1976 Alexander Yevgenyevich KOMAROV [a resident of Saratov], in view of his “passivity in social life”, was refused the recommendation from social organizations which is necessary for those starting post-graduate studies.

Komarov attempted to protest the decision and sent complaints to various departments. A year later the issue of the missing recommendation was raised for a second time at the university. Komarov was turned down once again, this time on account of his work reference: while working in a research institute, he had refused to do work unrelated to his qualifications — building work, cleaning up the surrounding area, etc.

Komarov appealed to the Regional Procuracy for an explanation. There he was shown a document which disclosed that he was on a psychiatric register. (Komarov had never been to a psychiatrist or undergone psychiatric examination.)

The Working Commission to Investigate the Use of Psychiatry for Political Purposes sent a letter to the chief doctor of the city psycho-neurological clinic, in which it pointed out the inadmissibility of putting someone on the psychiatric register without first examining him.

On 4 September 1978, while again attempting to obtain a reply to his statement, Komarov was forcibly hospitalized. He was not subjected to ‘treatment’. On 15 September he was released. On 20 September Komarov was summoned to the regional clinic and examined; he was pronounced sane, and it was recommended that he be removed from the psychiatric register.

Komarov was not shown his case history. However, his parents were informed of the diagnosis: “psychopathy with litigious tendencies”.

*

Releases

On 16 July a court ruled that Genrikas Klimasauskas (in CCE 44 his surname was mis-spelt) be transferred from Chernyakhovsk SPH to an ordinary hospital. On 1 September he was released.

In July Zinovy Krasivsky (CCEs 27, 39, 41, 42; for his biography see Information Bulletin No. 12) was released from the Lvov Regional Psychiatric Hospital in accordance with a ruling by the Vladimir Regional Court. He will now live at the home of Miroslav Melen, a fellow defendant (CCE 17), who has been appointed his guardian: 293511, Lvov Region, Morshin, 11 Mir St., flat 3.

On 12 September 1978, Yevgeny Nikolayev (CCEs 48, 49) was released from a [Moscow] psychiatric hospital. He was ordered to visit a psychiatric clinic monthly under threat of forcible hospitalization if he refused.

On 12 June Gavriil Yankov (CCE 49) was transferred from the Serbsky Institute to the Butyrka Prison. On 22 June he was transferred to a ‘transit’ psychiatric hospital. On 11 October Yankov was released. In his letter of discharge, it is stated that he was released on 14 June “on the orders of the Moscow police station No. 70 owing to the dropping of his case and his dispatch to a psychiatric hospital for treatment as an ordinary patient”.

In 1971, after an unsuccessful attempt to swim to Turkey, Anatoly Alexandrovich BUTKO (b. 1928), a doctor, was ruled mentally incompetent and placed in a psychiatric hospital. He was then kept in the hospital for nine months. In 1974 Butko was charged under Article 190-1 of the Russian Criminal Code for writing poetry on civic themes, which he signed with a pseudonym and placed in letterboxes. In July 1975 he was placed in Chernyakhovsk SPH after being diagnosed as a ‘schizophrenic’. In February 1977 he was transferred to the Kharkov Regional Psychiatric Hospital. On 6 April 1978 he was released.

In August 1978, Mikhail Shatravka was released from an ordinary psychiatric hospital. After crossing the Finnish border Mikhail and his brother Alexander were seized by the Finnish authorities and handed over to the U SSR. A court ruled them mentally incompetent. They were sent to Dnepropetrovsk SPH, then transferred to the Chernyakhovsk SPH. In March Mikhail Shatravka was transferred from there to the Geiko Psychiatric Hospital (Igren, Dnepropetrovsk Region). In August [his brother] Alexander Shatravka was transferred to the same hospital; he was at first treated with Trisedil and afterwards with Phrenolon and Tizertsil.

Information on Lydia Valendo’s release from psychiatric hospital is contained in the section “The Right to Leave” (CCE 51.16).

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NOTES

[1] No. 11 of the Bulletin was wholly devoted to the trial of Alexander Podrabinek and its contents were used in the Chronicle report on those proceedings (CCE 50.7)

[2] Yevdokimov was soon transferred to an ordinary mental hospital and then, after being diagnosed with a serious form of cancer, he was released in 1979.