Russian court sentenced Sherman to criticize Putin for psychiatric treatment: lawyer


Moscow-Russian court ordered Siberian Sherman, who criticized President Vladimir Putin, to be treated in a mental hospital for attacking members of the Russian National Guard, his lawyer said.

Alexander Gabishev caught the attention of the media when he said he would walk 8,000 km (5,000 miles) to Moscow in 2019. The journey he said culminates in the expulsion of Putin, whom he described as the devil.

Gabishev tried several times on this trip, but was always stopped by police, who brought him back to his hometown of eastern Siberia, Yakutsk.

In January, he was arrested at his home, allegedly assaulting a guard who came to detain him, when he announced his latest attempt.

On Monday, a city court in Yakutsk sentenced him to compulsory treatment in a psychiatric facility, his lawyer Alexei Prianisnikov said.

“This means he will be kept in a prison-like state,” Pryanishnikov said, adding that the duration of treatment will be determined by the doctor.

“Experience shows that no one will leave within two and a half to three years,” he said, saying the sentence was disproportionate. He said Gabishev would appeal.

Rights activists said Russia has reinstated the Soviet practice of exposing some of its political dissidents to forced hospitalization and psychiatric treatment.

Shamanism is the belief that it is possible for practitioners to communicate with what they perceive as the spirit world and harness that energy, and it is practiced in certain parts of Russia.

By Olzhas Auyezov