Reuters reports: A Russian court on Tuesday ordered a critic of President Vladimir Putin confined to a psychiatric ward indefinitely over clashes with police at a protest, a ruling likened by rights activists to abuses of psychiatry during the Soviet era to jail dissidents.
Mikhail Kosenko, who had undergone outpatient psychiatric treatment before his arrest, was among more than two dozen accused of rioting at a protest in Moscow on May 6, 2012, the eve of Putin’s inauguration to a new six-year term.
They are held up by the opposition as victims of a Kremlin crackdown on dissent. Critics accuse Putin of using the courts to sideline opponents since he rose to power in 2000, citing the imprisonment of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and members of punk group Pussy Riot.
A Russian judge sentenced Kosenko, who has been in pre-trial detention for 16 months, to indefinite detention and compulsory treatment in a psychiatric institution. [Continue reading…]