Amnesty International has turned to the United Nations' special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples regarding the situation faced by a Yakut shaman who is being held in a psychiatric clinic in Siberia against his will because of his attempts to march to Moscow with the stated goal to "drive Russian President Vladimir Putin out of the Kremlin."
The rights watchdog said in a November 29 statement that Aleksandr Gabyshev has been held "illegally" in a specialized psychiatric clinic under intense supervision in the city of Novosibirsk, some 5,000 kilometers away from his native city of Yakutsk, the capital of the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia.
"It is expected that the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, whose mandate includes communication with authorities regarding individual cases of human rights violations, will send an urgent demand to the Russian authorities to undertake measures to stop the violation of Aleksandr Gabyshev's rights," Amnesty’s statement said.
Gabyshev, who has been stopped several times by the Russian authorities since 2019 when he tried to march from Yakutia to Moscow, was transferred to the clinic in Novosibirsk in September.
WATCH: Police in Russia's Far East detain Aleksandr Gabyshev and take him to a psychiatric unit in May 2020:
The decision to confine Gabyshev to forced psychiatric treatment was made by a court in July after it found Gabyshev "mentally unfit" during a hearing where he had been accused of committing a "violent act against a police officer" when he was being forcibly removed from his home to be taken to a psychiatric clinic in late January.
The ruling was challenged by Gabyshev's lawyers and supporters, who say his detention is an attempt to silence dissent.
The Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Center has recognized Gabyshev as a political prisoner. Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling for his release.
In an interview with the media website Znak last week, Gabyshev said that his "attitude to Putin" had not changed.