2020-05-26 13:56:00

Defense team for Yakutia's shaman Gabyshev asks ECHR for urgent effort toward his release

Moscow, May 26, Interfax - The defense team for shaman from Yakutia Alexander Gabyshev has asked the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to undertake urgent interim measures given the risk to Gabyshev's health in the psychiatric hospital where he has been committed, human rights organization Pravozashchita Otkrytki coordinator Alexey Pryanishnikov told Interfax.

"We've filed an appeal consistent with Rule 39 of the European Convention (interim measures) and called for urgent interim measures to be undertaken and for Gabyshev to be set free," Pryanishnikov said.

The ECHR may order interim measures in the coming days, he said.

"Gabyshev has been held in a psychiatric hospital since May 12 and medicated without a valid court order," Pryanishnikov said.

Gabyshev, who calls himself a shaman, began an 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.