Leonid Plyushch - Trial and Imprisonment

Trial and Imprisonment

He was arrested in January 1972 on charges of anti-Soviet activity, and was jailed for a year before his trial began. During his trial, the court sat in camera and in the absence of the accused. Although no expert witnesses of any kind were called, Plyushch was declared insane, and was ordered to be "sent for treatment in a special type of hospital." He was locked up in a ward for severely psychotic patients in the Dnipropetrovsk Special Psychiatric Hospital where was administered high doses of haloperidol, insulin and other drugs, which temporarily made him incapable of reading and writing. Three commissions that examined him after a year of detention, one of which was chaired by Andrei Snezhnevsky, found him suffering from "reformist delusions" with "Messianic elements" and "sluggish schizophrenia."

While he was imprisoned, he corresponded with Tatiana Khodorovich. Plyushch's letters to her later formed the basis of the book The Case of Leonid Plyushch, first published in Russian in 1974 by an Amsterdam publisher, and translated in English two years later, which received attention in medical ethics journals. His imprisonment triggered international protests, including a letter by 650 American mathematicians addressed to the Soviet embassy. Henri Cartan brought the case to the attention of the participants to the 1974 International Congress of Mathematicians, which was held in Vancouver. Amnesty International sponsored an International Day for Plyushch in April 1975, and Andrei Sakharov also pleaded on his behalf.

Read more about this topic:  Leonid Plyushch

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