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By BosNewsLife News Center

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Raisa Radchenko was sentenced to forced psychological treatment.



ZAPORIZHIA/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- An elderly human rights activist who was forced to spend more than two weeks in a Ukrainian psychological hospital for "socially dangerous behavior" said Wednesday, August 14, she remains confined to her home amid fears of more persecution.

Last month, the court in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia ordered Raisa Radchenko, 70, to undergo psychological 'help', including forceful treatment with drugs, a method used against dissidents and devoted Christians when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union.

Though she was released on July 27 after some 15 days detention, Radchenko told reporters that she remains confined to her home "fearing more provocations" from prosecutors who cooperate with local authorities.

Her ordeal began July 12 after she publicly criticized alleged police brutality in her city and the rest of the country, and collected 10,000 signatures for the resignation of the mayor, her daughter, Daria Radchenko, said earlier in remarks monitored by BosNewsLife.

"Three people, including police and a psychiatrist, arrived at my mother's apartment citing a court order that she should be admitted to a psychological hospital for compulsory treatment," her daughter explained at the time.

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Activist Radchenko refused to open her door but decided to ask for clarification at the local Leninsky Court where she was "immediately detained", her daughter said.

Daira Radchenko said the court initially refused to reveal her mother's whereabouts. "Instead two big security men in civilian clothes began to attack me and my five-year-old handicapped child after we arrived at the court," she recalled.

Officials from the psychological hospital and local prosecutors have decline to comment on the case, which has raised concerns among human rights groups.

Radchenko and her supporters have demanded an independent medical examination and threaten legal action. "This is not an organized medical facility, but a punishment unit of the government," said Radchenko about the mental hospital where she was held. Her case has underscored what rights activists view as a wider crackdown on dissent under current President Viktor Yanukovych and previous administrations.

Fellow activist Svetlana Milchevich, an evangelical Christian who became a voice of the voiceless with her public fight against abuse of power and corruption died in November 2009 after Ukrainian officials refused to allow her to seek medical treatment in neighboring Hungary. She was 64.

(BosNewsLife, the first truly independent news agency covering persecuted Christians, is 'Breaking the News for Compassionate Professionals' since 2004).

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