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HRW Calls on Russia to Investigate Abuse Videos on 'Mercy Ward'

Trubchevsk Psycho-Neurological Institution near Briansk Department of Family, Social and Demographic Policy of Bryansk Region Press Service

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on Wednesday calling on the Russian authorities to properly investigate reported abuses at a psychiatric facility in the Bryansk region near the border with Belarus.

In mid-July, Alexander Kupriyanov, a psychiatrist in the region anonymously received video footage of patients in the Trubchyovsk Psycho-Neurological Institution chained to their beds and chairs.

The psychiatrist told HRW researchers he had been receiving reports about the mistreatment of residents at the facility for years.

Former staff members have subsequently spoken on state television to verify conditions at the clinic saying “unruly” patients were sometimes shackled or that residents were sometimes chained to each other during mealtimes.

HRW’s report cited Kupriyanov as saying the Russian authorities' investigation into the facility has focused on determining who filmed and leaked the video footage.

“Shackling is prohibited under Russian and international law, and Human Rights Watch has called for an absolute ban on shackling and other forms of prolonged restraint,” HRW wrote on its website on Wednesday.

“Authorities should properly investigate these damning allegations and make sure that people in such institutions around Russia are treated with the dignity they deserve.” 

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