El juicio de Pavel S.

ESTRASBURGO – En un día de invierno de 2004, un joven ruso llamado Pavel Shtukaturov descubrió que un juez lo había privado del derecho a hablar por sí mismo. Privado de capacidad legal, le impidieron actuar de manera independiente, o como fuera, en la mayoría de los aspectos de la vida. Ya no pudo trabajar, viajar, elegir su lugar de residencia, comprar o vender propiedades o incluso casarse.

El juez le quitó estos derechos sin ni siquiera informarle –por cierto, Pavel sólo lo descubrió un año después-. Cuando buscó un abogado para defender sus derechos, su madre, quien había sido nombrada su tutora legal, lo hizo encerrar en un hospital psiquiátrico durante siete meses. Este giro kafkiano de los acontecimientos fue posible porque Pavel tiene problemas de salud mental en un sistema que se niega a proteger sus derechos.

En Rusia, aproximadamente 125.000 personas con discapacidades mentales están confinadas en instituciones –de por vida-. Existen otras 165.000 camas en hospitales psiquiátricos, con unas 650.000 hospitalizaciones por año. Pero estas estadísticas no cuentan la historia real. Sólo rara vez historias como la de Shtukaturov salen a la luz. Es sorprendente lo poco que se sabe sobre el tratamiento de la gente con problemas de salud mental en Rusia.

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