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Kazakh Court Rules Lawyer's Forced Psychiatric Care Legal

BALKHASH, Kazakhstan -- A Kazakh court has ruled that the forced psychiatric hospitalization of a lawyer who complained about a government official is legal.

The court in Kazakhstan's central city of Balkhash ruled late on August 21 that Zinaida Mukhortova must remain in a psychiatric clinic.

Mukhortova, who was forced into nine months of psychiatric treatment last year, says she is mentally healthy and the legal actions against her are politically motivated.

Doctors have said she suffers from delusions. She claims authorities began investigating her mental competence after she filed complaints against a regional governor.

Mukhortova's latest forced psychiatric hospitalization began August 9.

The clinic's senior physician told RFE/RL last week that Mukhortova was forced into treatment after ignoring a court order.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement last week demanding Mukhortova's release from the clinic.
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