Person of the Week: Petr Pavlensky

posted 8 Feb 2016, 07:00 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 Feb 2016, 07:11 ]
On 2 February 2016, Moscow City Court ruled that performance artist Petr Pavlensky, accused of setting fire to the main entrance of the FSB’s headquarters on 9 November 2015, should remain in pre-trial detention until March. As The Moscow Times reports, earlier the Court had rejected an appeal by Pavlensky's lawyer that he be released on bail or placed under house arrest. Pavlensky himself did not attend the court hearing 'as he is currently undergoing assessment of competency to stand trial at the Serbsky State Scientific Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry.' Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Mansur Mirovalev quoted Maria Alekhina, of the prisoners' rights group ZonaPrava, as saying that 'Pavlensky is the first Russian artist forcibly sent to a psychiatric clinic since the 1991 Soviet collapse.' Mirovalev points out that 'The Serbsky clinic was the Soviet Union's most notorious center of "punitive psychiatry," which allowed the communist government to silence thousands of dissidents — and scare many more potential critics.' Pavlensky has said that his action, which he called 'Threat. The Burning Doors of Lubyanka', was a protest against repressive government policies. 

Photo of Petr Pavlensky: Wikipedia

'Moscow Court Rules to Keep Pavlensky in Custody Until March,' The Moscow Times, 2 February 2016
Mansur Mirovalev, 'Kremlin strikes back: Russian dissident artist ordered to psychiatric clinic,' Los Angeles Times, 6 February 2016