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Gay Teen Forcibly Taken to Drug Rehab Clinic Released

The Marshak Clinic, where Kharchenko was forcibly held for almost two weeks.

A 16-year-old boy was released Wednesday night from a drug rehabilitation clinic where he had been taken after his father threw a fit over his announcing he was gay.

Ivan Kharchenko was taken by his grandmother to a psychiatric clinic in the Moscow region on April 11, after Kharchenko's father learned he was gay, Novaya Gazeta reported.

The boy fled the facility and returned home the next day. On April 13, Kharchenko's father took him to the Marshak Clinic, a drug rehabilitation center.

At the rehab center, Kharchenko was barred from using the telephone and given pills that he said affected his memory. A doctor at the clinic told Kharchenko's mother that no traces of drugs were detected in his system.

Television cameras gathered outside the clinic earlier this week, and State Duma deputy from the Just Russia party Ilya Ponomaryov said he was ready to help the boy, BBC Russian Service reported. Lawyer Violetta Volkova, who also represents a jailed member of punk band Pussy Riot, took on Kharchenko's case.

The boy's friends complained to police that only people above the age of 18 could be held at the clinic. A clinic official showed journalists a document saying that Kharchenko was 19 years old, Novaya Gazeta reported.

On Wednesday night, the clinic released Kharchenko into his mother's custody.

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