Raisa freed from psychiatric hospital, thanks to you

Raisa Radchenko, a 70 year old human rights activist and grandmother from the Ukraine, has been released from the psychiatric hospital where she was being forcibly treated. More about this case

Raisa’s daughter, Daryna Radchenko, has expressed her thanks for your support.

She said the situation started to improve after you began to take action in response to our Pocket Protest texts and Urgent Action alerts, culminating in her mother’s release on 26 July.

Thank you for responding so quickly to our calls for help. If you’re not already in Pocket Protest, our text action network, you can receive actions like this direct to your mobile phone by texting PROTEST and your full name to 70505 (over 14s only*) or by signing up online

Recovering at home

Raisa is currently recovering from her ordeal at home with her daughter and grandson. According to Daryna, Raisa is receiving medical care for physical complaints which worsened after she was given strong psychiatric drugs while being treated in the hospital.

It remains unclear on what basis Raisa was given this ‘treatment’.

We strongly suspect that Raisa’s detention was less to do with ensuring her wellbeing or because she posed a danger to society, and far more to do with the fact she is an anti-corruption campaigner with a history of causing trouble for the authorities in the Zaporizhzhya region where she lives.

The authorities still haven’t actually told Raisa or her family what psychiatric illness she was meant to be suffering from. However, on 25 July officials from the Ministry of Health ruled that the treatment for this mystery illness had been successful.  

The head doctor at the hospital where she had been held since 11 July announced this was why she would be transferred to ‘outpatient treatment’ instead.  Call us cynical, but we again suspect it was the pressure you placed on the authorities that led to her release, rather than a miraculous recovery.  

Thank you for responding so quickly to our calls for help. If you’re not already in Pocket Protest, our text action network, you can receive actions like this direct your mobile phone by texting PROTEST and your full name to 70505 (over 14s only*) or by signing up online

While Raisa is safe, the wrong she suffered has yet to be righted.

Until the authorities cancel the original treatment order, there is always a chance Raisa could become an ‘in-patient’, detained against her will and without any legal or medical basis, once more.  

Criminal investigation needed

We’re continuing to call for a criminal investigation into why a woman with no history of psychiatric illness was subjected to treatment against her will.  

We also want the authorities to confirm exactly what they were treating Raisa for, and for her to be given an impartial examination by a recognised psychiatrist outside the Zaporizhzhya region.
And what we want most of all is for Raisa Radchenko to be well enough to get back out on the streets of Zaporizhzhya with her megaphone, defending human rights without fear of being harmed or silenced.

To support our ongoing call for justice for Raisa Radchenko, please send a message to Ukraine’s prosecutor general using the details in the Urgent Action casesheet below. 

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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