Psychiatric sentence for anti-Putin protester is ‘return to Soviet tactics’
Tuesday 08 October 2013
A Moscow court has found a protester guilty of assaulting a police officer at an anti-President Putin rally last year, sentencing him to forced psychiatric treatment in a trial that has been widely seen as politicised.
Mikhail Kosenko, 38, was one of 27 people arrested and charged with inciting mass riots after protesters clashed with police at a May 2012 protest on Bolotnaya Square against the re-election of Mr Putin to a third term as president. He was the only one charged with assaulting a police officer. Although two of those charged previously pled guilty and were sentenced to prison terms, Kosenko is the first to be convicted of those who pleaded not guilty.
Kosenko was sentenced to forced treatment in a psychiatric hospital for an indefinite period, even as his lawyers called for him to placed in prison instead. Kosenko is disabled, having suffered a brain injury after being beaten in the army in the 1980s, but has previously been treated on an outpatient basis.
Prosecutors argued that Kosenko suffers from schizophrenia and requires treatment, while the defence maintained his innocence and said his condition does not merit forced treatment. The prosecution of the Bolotnaya defendants has widely been decried as an intimidation and Soviet-like tactic against the rash of street opposition protests that broke out in 2011 and 2012. Amnesty International recently declared Kosenko and two other Bolotnaya Square defendants as “prisoners of conscience” and Human Rights Watch has called for the charges against Kosenko to be withdrawn.
Video footage from the Bolotnaya protest on 6 May 2012 showed Kosenko standing harmlessly while other protesters clashed with riot police. And the riot policeman Kosenko allegedly assaulted refused to testify against him, saying he didn’t remember the faces of his attackers and that Kosenko shouldn’t go to prison. In a survey conducted by the independent Levada Centre, 55 per cent of Russians who knew about the Bolotnaya case viewed it as an attempt to intimidate opposition sympathisers.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...
£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...
£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: SEN TA's apply now! West Midlands