Russia: call to reject changes to law on psychiatric care
More than 25,000 people and 60 CSOs ask for changes to the law on Psychiatric Care to be rejected
18 July 2023
A few days ago, Russian CSOs appealed to the Russian President, asking him to protect the rights of those being cared for in psychoneurological institutions (PNIs). A petition has been launched which anyone can sign.
An appeal to Vladimir Putin asking him not to approve amendments to the law on Psychiatric Care has been signed by more than 25,000 people and 60 CSOs, said Nyuta Federmesser, Head of the Centre for Palliative Care and founder of the Vera (Faith) hospice charity, on the Telegram channel.
“60 CSOs and 25,513 people and counting have signed our petition. 25,000 is a mere drop in the ocean but these are real people who care! Thousands are refusing to look away, calling on others to change the way they think about those whom we should all be trying to help”, said Federmesser.
She explained that the Psychiatric Care legislation makes provision for the protection of the rights of people in psychoneurological institutions (PNIs) through a specially created department which these amendments would abolish. “No-one cares about these institutions or wants to know about their problems – they are left without help within their own four walls”.
Federmesser added that without such a department the protection of the rights of those being cared for in PNIs would be significantly worsened.
She will be attending a regular meeting at the State Duma on the morning of 18 July to hand over the list of signatures to officials. “Hopefully, our appeal will be able to change the situation but more signatures would make it easier for us”. At the time of writing, the petition has been signed by more than 29,000 people and 68 CSOs.
On 14 July, CSOs issued an appeal to the President asking him not to approve a Bill to amend the Psychiatric Care legislation as they believe it “significantly worsens the legal protection of people with mental illnesses and in so doing, would turn the clock back to how things were in Russia during the last century”.