Psychiatrists Urge Amnesty for Exiled Soviet Colleague

A petition asking for the release of Dr. Semyon Gluzman, the first Soviet psychiatrist to speak out against the use of psychiatry to incarcerate political dissidents, was signed by over one hundred psychiatrists who were attending the International Psychiatric Symposium, held here last week. The psychiatrists were responding to a special appeal on behalf of Gluzman, which they received from Andrel Sakharov, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The appeal stated in part:”…Gluzman’s expert opinion played an important part in drawing the attention of world public opinion … to the evil exploitation of psychiatric science in the USSR …. I call upon all of Gluzman’s colleagues… to rally to his defense and appeal for his release.”

In 1972, Gluzman refused to diagnose insanity in the case of leading dissident Gen. Pyotr. Grigorenko, refuting the official diagnosis of paranoia. The 33-year-old Kiev psychiatrist was sentenced to seven years in a strict regime labor camp, to be followed by three years of internal exile. Upon being transferred to his place of Siberian exile in May, 1979, Gluzman was immediately hospitalized for malnutrition. This condition was due to his being placed in punishment cells on starvation rations for two consecutive six-month periods prior to completion of his prison camp term.

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