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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Russian clinic releases activist
Larisa Arap in hospital
Ms Arap complained of medical abuse (Pic: The Other Russia)
A Russian opposition activist, Larisa Arap, has been discharged from a psychiatric clinic where colleagues said she had been imprisoned.

Ms Arap, 48, was sent to the clinic in the northern region of Murmansk on 5 July. She later went on hunger strike.

Her case was taken up by human rights defenders, who saw in it echoes of the Soviet-era practice of locking up dissidents in psychiatric hospitals.

She is a member of the United Civil Front (UCF) group.

The group's leaders include the former chess world champion, Garry Kasparov.

"Her husband Dmitry phoned me from the car and said they were travelling home," said Yelena Vasilyeva of the UCF's Murmansk branch.

Ms Arap's release came after a Russian human rights ombudsman had looked into her case and found no reason for her to be kept in the clinic, in the town of Apatity, 300km (180 miles) from Murmansk.

Ms Arap had told the Western media and fellow activists she was being forcibly held at the clinic. She also claimed to have been injected with drugs against her will.

She saw it as punishment for having criticised health officials.


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