Recently, ďbynetĒ has been full of information
about punitive psychiatry. Cases of Morozov and Krutoi attracted public
attention. However, unfortunately, there is also ďdomesticĒ psychiatry
in Belarus: when families for some reasons send their family members to
the mental hospital...
This case resembles an action thriller that tells about
everything: tender love, incomprehensible for many people, treachery of
the family, humiliation of the person. Unfortunately, this thriller has
already turned into the series for those who are not indifferent. Therefore,
we will be returning to this case (as well as to forced psychiatry issue)
time and again.
AlinaBuzo told Our Generation her story two years ago. AlinaFedorovna
asked not for herself, but for the person she loves Ė Mikhail Kryzhevich.
Thatís what she told Our Generation. AlinaFedorovna and Kryzhevich lived
together in Zubrevichi Village, Orsha District, Vitebsk Region (Oblast).
In 2009 his daughter requested him to be placed in the mental asylum.
Since that (for long three years) AlinaBuzo has being trying to get him
out of there. It seems like there are no institutions that she havenít
appealed to: various Ministries, public prosecutorís office, Administration
of the PresidentÖ But for some reason they trust the family who, in fact,
sent off their father and husband to the mental asylum more. For example,
Orsha District Court has recently tried the case regarding his legal capability.
The case was initiated by the public prosecutorís office. However, the
Prosecutor has renounces her own claims. The trial revealed the essence
of this complicate case. We bring some abstracts from this trial to your
Judge: the case under investigation was submitted
by Orsha District Public Prosecutorís Office. MihailKryzhevich, born in
1935, was placed in the asylum on June 23, 2009. According to Orsha Court
decision from April 13, 2008 Mihail was recognized as legally incapable
by reason of mental disorder. AlinaBuzo considers him mentally sane and
requests that he should be recognized as legally capable. The public prosecutorís
office is renouncing its claims to declare Kryzhevich legally capable
in the interests of familyís petition.
Prosecutor: Mikhail was examined in 2007. The psychiatrist
came to the hospital. Mikhail was diagnosed with psycheclampsia. After
a year, the state hasnít change: he has become irritable and aggressive,
beat up his daughter, had conflicts with her and the neighbours. Initially,
he was offered hospitalization option, but he refused. Out-patient treatment
was prescribed. He moved to the village. There are people who take care
of him. He is quite adequate. Under the request of his wife he was hospitalized
in 2008 and went through medical examination. The daughter made an appeal
to recognize him as legally incapable. The appeal was satisfied. The daughter
was assigned as a guardian and performed her duties under the control
of the hospital. She bought him food when he was in the village. The inspection
showed that the conditions were quite good for the elderly person. The
daughter always sent him food and money, and did that via the Head of
the Village Council, which was also a form of control. But Mikhail was
not of a high opinion of his wife and children. This means suspiciousness.
Medical examination was not possible as no one was allowed to the house.
He didnít ask for medical help and didnít receive any medicine. That is
a one sided guardianship: he received the money but the daughter didnít
have a change to provide medical help. She appealed to the prosecutorís
office and to the police to bring the legally incapable person back home.
The decision was to place him in an asylum. The issues of guardianship
were also discussed. Buzo appealed to the Executive Committee to be recognized
as a guardian. However, the Executive Committee didnít satisfy the request
as a sick person may not be under the guardianship of a non-relative especially
taking into consideration that the living conditions in the village were
not satisfactory. He requested the examination from the asylum on whether
he needs to stay there. The documents were submitted that he had already
been examined by the Vitebsk Commission. His condition as of today has
also been examined sufficiently thoroughly with the following deviations
found: he remembers well the events of his life, with whom he worked,
where he lived but cannot reproduce them chronologically. He cannot estimate
the current events adequately. He is not clear about the attitudes in
the asylum, whether he is offended or harmed or not. The symptoms: he
thinks that he was convicted and locked up. After consultations we decided
that he is getting worse in the asylum. Before that, we diagnosed him
with mild depression.
Doctor: The patient is staying in the asylum. He
has not been getting better during he stay. He is placed in a separate
ward on the first floor. It is not a hospital, it is an asylum. Visits
are allowed on all the days. His daughter and her husband, Buzo, and friends
often visit him. I asked him if he wants to write an appeal. I gave him
a sheet of paper. I suggested that he should write an appeal at the insistence
of the committee of labor and social protection as AlinaFedorovna has
appealed to them. We said that we would let the prosecutorís office decide
whether he could stay with us or not. I dictated him the appeal to the
public prosecutorís office but he wrote it himself. He understood what
he wrote and where he appealed to.
Head of the Executive Committee: I have the impression
that the human rights advocates are clearly recording our session.
(She asked to switch off the phone)
Daughter: In 2007, he was placed in the hospital
and examined by the greatest doctors. My mother was in hospital at that
time. The doctors offered to examine him. I also want to emphasize the
illegal influence by the third persons. They interfered with our life
and set him against the family. When the guardianship was formalized I
tried to appeal to the Village Council, to the police. But it didnít bring
any results: they only had preventive administrative talks with Buzo.
I couldnít perform my duties as a guardian. He lived in insanitary conditions.
She hid him and didnít let anyone in. We could not visit him. She went
everywhere, to all the institutions and slandered our family. I visit
him in the asylum, bring him stuff. (Crying) I feel bad for him.
When I was the guardian, I gave all the money to the administration, and
it is all recorded in the documents.
Kryzhevich. I live in terrible conditions. They have
been taunting and beating me. Recently, I have lost consciousness because
of that. I made an appeal to be recognized as legally capable. I wrote
to the public prosecutorís office of the Region and the Republic.
Judge: Which year is it now? Kryzhevich:
Judge: how do you feel? Kryzhevich:
not good at all
Judge: Iíve heard you are aggressive... Kryzhevich:
I have never even touched anyone.
Judge reads the decision of the medical commission: Psychopathization.
In 2008, he was recognized as legally incapable, in 2009 placed in
the asylum for the elderly people with mental deviations. During the stay
in the asylum the condition hasnít changed. Nevertheless, the court decides
to recognize Mikhail Kryzhevich as legally incapable and keep him in the
Comments of the lawyer directly involved in the case (Andrei Demidovich):
He was put in the mental asylum as he had some conflict with his children:
daughter and son. He found out about some illegal schemes and frauds and
to get him out of the way they claimed him insane. The court decided that
he is legally incapable. On March 25, 2009 compulsory hospitalization
followed. Heís been in hospital since that time. He repeatedly points
at facts substantial for starting a criminal case but no one pays attention.
For example, illegal placement in a mental institution. They had to have
an examination according to Article 174 of Criminal Procedure Code but
that wasnít done. Kryzhevich himself made numerous complaints and appeals.
The public prosecutorís office submitted an appeal to the court on his
recognition as a legally capable person. However, it renounced its claims
as the medical commission concluded that he needed a compulsory treatment.
Moreover, his health was said to be deteriorating and not improving. That
is not true. Even in the court everyone could see that although there
are some deviations there is no reason for compulsory treatment. The daughter
was clearly interested and in fact, demanded that he should be kept in
the asylum. Although any normal child would want their parents out. She
was strongly against, as was also his official wife. Thus, they demonstrated
their interest in the court decision. Itís clear that thereís a renunciation
of the suit by public prosecutorís office, violation of legal rights as
he canít initiate this issue being legally incapable. Nevertheless, prosecutor
renounces its claims. And the case is closed despite requests by Buzo
who stated that itís illegal. But no one wants to react. Although according
to Criminal Procedure Code the judge had to set at least a forensic medical
examination. There should be an independent examination that would determine
whether he is mentally ill or not, whether he needs compulsory treatment
or not. There should be an expert that would be warned of criminal responsibility.
And everything would be different. The document would be absolutely different
from the one issued by the medical commission. He was not just thrown
in the asylum, he was beaten up there.
Our Generation representative (TatsianaZelko): I
couldnít believe that he is getting worse. We visited him a year and a
half ago but he recalled my name and my patronymic name. He talked as
intelligibly and reasonably as it is possible in his situation (during
the ďtreatmentĒ he has lost almost all his teeth).
We will keep informing you about this case. We are also intended to publish
the notes that he sent to AlinaBuzo.