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Embattled Lawyer Reportedly Leaves Kazakhstan

Kazakh lawyer Zinaida Mukhortova
QARAGHANDY, Kazakhstan -- Embattled Kazakh lawyer Zinaida Mukhortova has reportedly left the country, a day after a Qaraghandy regional court rejected her appeal to cancel her forced psychiatric treatment.

Mukhortova, 56, had appealed a medical conclusion made by doctors in August that found that she suffered from delusions and needed treatment.

Mukhortova's sister, Natalya Abent, told RFE/RL on December 4 that Mukhortova left the country to avoid forced psychiatric treatment and that her current whereabouts are unknown.

Mukhortova was released from a psychiatric clinic in Astana on November 1.

Last year, she was forced to undergo nine months of psychiatric treatment.

Mukhortova insists she is mentally fit and that the legal actions against her are politically motivated.

She says authorities began investigating her mental competence only after she filed complaints against a regional governor.
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