"Mr President, I am Mikhail Kosenko’s sister"

posted 25 May 2014, 10:23 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 25 May 2014, 10:25 ]
20 May 2014

Source: HRO.org (info)
The sister of one of the Bolotnaya prisoners who has been sentenced to compulsory psychiatric treatment asks for her brother to be released. There are legal prerequisites for this. Two years in prison and hospital have proved that his mental state is stable. Mikhail Kosenko has been recognised as a prisoner of conscience.

This appeal was published in Novaya Gazeta:

"Mr President!

My brother, Mikhail Kosenko, is one of the prisoners in the Bolotnaya case. Zamoskvoretsky district court sentenced him to compulsory treatment at psychiatric hospital No. 5.

During the course of the proceedings, clear evidence was given to prove that my brother was innocent but the court did not take into account any of the evidence presented by the defence and found Mikhail Kosenko guilty. As my brother suffers from a psychiatric disorder caused by a head injury sustained while he was in the army, specialists from the medical commission at Serbsky Institute concluded that he was of unsound mind and a threat to society.

He was in pre-trial detention for almost two years. For nine months, while court proceedings continued my brother was not allowed any contact with his relatives. Even when our mother died, he was not allowed to say goodbye to her, no matter how much we tried to get through to the officials who had the power to grant permission for such things. He wasn’t allowed out for even one hour… We were turned away by everyone with the words: ‘there is no applicable legislation for this situation.’ This is how we found out that you get the opportunity to say goodbye to your loved ones when they die if you’re a prisoner but not if you’re just awaiting trial.

Since 25 April 2014 my brother, Mikhail Kosenko, has been held in psychiatric hospital No. 5 under a general regime. He is not receiving any special treatment other than the medication he was getting before his arrest, during regular outpatient appointments with the attending doctor at his local hospital. No incidents with medical personnel or patients have occurred during this time, just as there were no such incidents during his time in pre-trial detention, which proves that his mental state is in a stable condition, even after all he has had to go through during the past two years.

I know that under the Criminal Code a patient receiving compulsory treatment is allowed to be transferred to outpatients if the medical administration at the hospital address a written petition to that effect to the court.

I don’t know why in our country, when officials at every level have rejected your pleas, one usually writes to the Head of State. But I am asking you, Mr President, to take note of this situation and look into the possibility of my brother being allowed to go home and receive outpatient treatment as he was doing for many years previously. I can say with certainty that his recovery at home will be aided by some of the leading specialists from clinics in Russia and Europe and this will no doubt achieve better results than holding him in hospital.

Hoping for an answer, Misha’s sister


Translated by Irina Zolotareva