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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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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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