2020-05-12 19:07:00

Yakut shaman Gabyshev forcibly taken to mental hospital

Moscow, May 12, Interfax - Shaman Alexander Gabyshev from Yakutsk, who became famous after undertaking a journey to Moscow on foot, has been forcibly taken to a psychiatric hospital, the human rights group Pravozashchita Otkrytki said.

Gabyshev was taken from his apartment by special forces police officers, the group said.

The man had received "three visits from people who introduced themselves as medical workers and wanted to test him for coronavirus," but Gabyshev refused, it said.

Gabyshev, who calls himself a shaman, began his 8,000-kilometer journey to Moscow in March 2019, in order to "drive Putin away" and "restore the people's power." The trek was supposed to last two years.

Last fall, Gabyshev became the subject of a criminal inquiry into public calls for extremism, was arrested several times, and eventually had to call off his journey.

A mental examination found him unfit to stand trial.