To: General Assembly of the World Psychiatric Association
OPEN LETTER OF THE IDEPENDENT PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION OF RUSSIA
Taking all the responsibility for
the action involved in this statement, we consider it
indispensable to draw the attention of the WPA General Assembly
to the recurrent use of psychiatry for non-medical purposes,
which has been renewing in Russia since 1994-1995 and has been
going on a large scale up to now without slackening. This time -
for suppressing not persons of a different trend of thought, but
of different religious beliefs.
On August 21, 1996 the Ministry of
Health of the Russian Federation in cooperation with the Ministry
of Interior distributed the letter of instructions to “heads of
health protection bodies of the RF subjects and to rectors of
medical and pharmaceutic establishments of higher school of the
RF”. The regions were instructed to send data on “inflicting
harm on mental health of people” by activities of new religious
organizations. As a result, enlisting the services of
psychiatrists for evaluation of video- and press-materials and
guided by their private opinions, not corroborated by scientific
and/or expert evidence, the offices of the Public Prosecutor have
initiated for the last three years scores of suits against
various religious organizations supposedly for inflicting gross
harm on mental health and for unhealthy changes of personality
with the aid of covert hypnotic influence (zombiing, coding and
programming). These cases are being deliberately delayed for a
long time and everything that is going on has characteristic
features of internal political campaign and its center as in 1960-1980,
is the Serbski State Center of Social and Forensic Psychiatry.
The Appeal of the Permanent Chamber for Human Rights at the RF
President of December 27, 1996 to the Health minister T.Dmitrieva
(the Director of the Serbski State Center) with request to recall
the above mentioned letter of the Ministry of Health was ignored.
Several appeals of the IPA to the WPA have not been supported
Numerous appeals and materials,
which has been coming to the IPA of Russia, the results of
participation in trials against the Unity Church (ST-Petersburg),
the International Federation of Families (Ekaterinburg), Jehova’s
Witnesses (Moscow), Church of “Last Generation” (Yaroslavl),
“Word of Life” Church (Magadan) and so on, ignoring our
statements, attempts of coercion and passive attitude of state
psychiatry in this connection compel us to request the General
Assembly of the WPA to adopt the following Appeal.
The World Psychiatric
Association expresses its concern in connection with numerous
suits against various religious organizations in Russia for
supposedly “inflicting by them gross harm on mental health and
for unhealthy changes of personality”.
The World Psychiatric
Association expresses its solidarity with the attitude of the
Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia and Russian Society
of Psychiatrists in regard to inadmissibility of involving
psychiatrists in solving inter-confessional and political
problems and conflicts outside their professional competence.
On behalf of the IPA Council -Yuri Savenko, M.D.
President, Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia