SOVIET UNION,THE WAR: Asylums or Prisons?


One of the most chilling tactics used by Soviet authorities to suppress dissent is enforced confinement in a mental hospital. Selected rebel intellectuals are declared insane by obedient psychiatrists, and can be held indefinitely or punished at will—all under the aura of medical treatment and with no need for a public trial that could embarrass the state. The practice dates back to 1936, when the Soviet secret police first established prison hospitals. But only now, in the face of overwhelming evidence, are Western doctors raising a storm of protest against the...

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