A 16-year-old boy from Moscow has been medicated against his will at a drug rehab clinic – for being gay.
The measure was the idea of the boy’s father, who hoped that the clinic would change his son’s mind – or least force him into changing his mind.
Ivan decided to break the news to his friends and relatives on his 16th birthday. But while his classmates reacted calmly, the boy’s parents were furious.
“I’d better have a son in prison or in the psychiatric ward than a gay son,” Ivan’s father was quoted as saying by the boy’s friends.
The day after his birthday, Ivan was locked in his room with all his clothes and shoes hidden. Then the father took him to a “psychologist” – the boy was so afraid he did not want to refuse.
Instead of visiting a psychologist, however, Ivan was taken to a drug rehab hospital known for its strict discipline. When visited by his friends and mother, the boy told them he was given some unknown medications and injections after which he loses his memory.
The incident caused wide outrage in the Russian blogosphere and mass media. Friends and human rights activists began gathering outside the clinic. As a result of blogger activity, the boy was released on April 25 – after 12 days of "rehab." The doctors say the tests revealed no drugs in the boy’s blood.
“I saw how the boy was handed over to his mother,” lawyer Violetta Volkova told RT. “We drove to his grandparents at four in the morning – but they wouldn’t even open the door. Then we decided to go to his mother’s and she turned out to be a completely normal, reasonable woman. They get on well, though he’s been living with his father for the last three years. Anyway, the boy wants to be free of the custody of his parents before he turns 18 – and this is possible under Russian law.”
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