Appeal to the world psychiatric community on behalf of Nadiya Savchenko

 

Op-ed

The history with the Ukrainian air force officer Nadiya Savchenko has acquired a psychiatric aspect. Detained by Russian secret services on the territory of Ukraine, she was illegally transferred to Russia and by a decision of a Russian court sent to the Serbski Institute (currently the Federal State-budget Institution «State Scientific Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry named after Serbski» of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation) to undergo a forensic psychiatric evaluation.

As a air force pilot on duty and a officer of the Ukrainian army, she regularly underwent medical check-ups, among them psychiatric ones. The mental health of Ms. Savchenko was before never subject to any doubt. This is confirmed both by relatives and fellow officers. On basis of this we can assume that the motive to send the Ukrainian officer Nadiya Savchenko for psychiatric examination is her courageous behavior in a Russian court.

We, Ukrainian psychiatrists, remember the recent history of declaring healthy people mentally ill behind the walls of the Serbski Institute in Moscow. We also know about new cases of political abuse of psychiatry in the Russia of today. The authoritarian political regime in Russia is able to use the «psychiatric cover up» also in the case of Nadiya Savchenko.

We urgently ask you to pay attention to this case. And to put pressure, both personally and within the framework of the work of national psychiatric associations, on the Russian authorities, who continue the practice of psychiatric repression in their country.

We, psychiatrists, have the obligation to terminate this practice. Otherwise, to the list of victims of abuse of psychiatry for political purposes who were “determined” mentally ill in the Serbski Institute in the USSR (Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Valeriya Novodvorskaya, Anna Mikhailenko, Vladimir Bukovsky, Pyotr Grigorenko, Leonid Plyushch and hundreds of other dissidents) the name of Nadezhda Savchenko can be added.

Signed by the following Ukrainian psychiatrists:

Tatyana Almashi (Zakarpattia)
Anatoly Voloshchuk (Odesa)
Semyon Gluzman (Kyiv)
Yuri Zakal (Lviv)
Vitalyi Zakladnyi (Poltava)
Lesya Kosovskaya (Ternopil)
Angela Levitskaya (Chernivtsi)
Igor Martsenkovsky (Kyiv)
Sergei Mikhnyak (Lviv)
Irina Pinchuk (Kyiv)
Oleg Chernysh (Lutsk)
Vladimir Shkrobot (Ternopil)
Sergei Shum (Kyiv)
Vladimir Yashchenko (Chernihiv)

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