A Russian woman woman faces prosecution after she sewed her mouth shut in protest about censorship of protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Nadezhda Sayfutdinova, an activist in her 30s, had sewn her own mouth shut, before taking to the streets of the city in a one-woman protest.
She held up a sign which read: “You cannot keep silent!!! You cannot keep silent!!! The price is our consciousness. War is not peace!!! Freedom is not slavery!!! Ignorance is not power!!!”
She hit out at the “moral code” in Putin’s Russia which gagged people over the war.
She was later grabbed by police in the eastern city of Yekaterinburg, using “brute force” to try to get her locked in a psychiatric facility.
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Ms Sayfutdinova has managed to avoid being sectioned but she is still expected to face prosecution for discrediting the Russian armed forces.
She told representatives of the OVD-Info human rights group: “My mouth was really sewn with a needle and thread.
“An ambulance was called to the [police] station to inspect the damage and remove the threads.
“I sewed it myself.”
She was taken first to a trauma clinic, and then to the city’s psychiatric clinic No.3.
Her lawyer Fedor Akchermyshev and OVD-Info called for public support to secure her release.
The statement from her lawyer reads: “You can ring the clinic’s reception or the prosecutor on duty and demand the illegal detention and forced hospitalisation of Sayfutdinova is stopped.”
Ms Sayfutdinova said: “The police treated me without violations, but they called a psychiatric team, which used brute force against me…I refused to go.”
She termed what was done to her “punitive psychiatry”.
She said:”I was in shock – this was punitive psychiatry. It was very scary.”
She was set free after a massive public outcry, adding: “I am very grateful to the people who tried to help me and rang the [clinic’s] reception, demanding to let me go.”