A woman is being held in a “mental hospital” because she applied for political asylum in Belarus
Ilona Legeckaitė-Šimonienė has been detained in a mental hospital in Rokiškis for more than a year. She answered the editorial questions:
How did you get here?
I would like to say that experiments on human beings are definitely carried out in this hospital. I am constantly being moved around the various wards of the hospital, and finally I was placed in the observation ward on the ground floor. I was dragged there by force, grabbed by the arms by two men and dragged there, while a third man stood there looking on and laughing. Together with another young girl, we were pushed into the observation ward and locked in.
And why were you thrown into a psychiatric ward there, what did you do?
My father died and Belarus gave me asylum, but two months later they took it away. I came back to Lithuania, and the Lithuanian Embassy in Minsk gave me the documents to return to Lithuania. In Minsk, the Belarusians examined my asylum application and rejected it on the grounds that Lithuania was a safe country. This was the position of the Belarusian Prosecutor General’s Office that Lithuania was a safe country. In addition, the father of my son, Laurynas, died in Lithuania, and I returned to sort out my legal documents. However, Lithuanian officials were already waiting for me at the border and immediately detained me. I have been detained in the Rokiškis psychiatric hospital since 15 April 2022. This was in a detention centre in Kaunas, then transferred to the women’s prison in Panevėžys.
But why were you detained? Was it because you applied for political asylum in Belarus?
Yes, basically because of that. The detention was extended by three months, then by two months. The orders were unsigned, but the fact is that we ended up in hospital as perfectly healthy women. Me and Angela Karchevskaya. Andžela has worked in business for 20 years and is very fond of tidy documents. She refused to pay the electricity bill because she insisted that the documents be legal and in order. The authorities did not like that, and they threw her in here too. In a word, we are both victims. There is also a young girl who lives with us, and she was caught while she was still at school and brought here. Without any documents or orders, and for a whole month she was ‘angered’ with all sorts of drugs. The girl barely recovered. She used to play basketball, so now she goes to the hospital yard to play ball. She even started to stutter from the medication. Angela’s family brought us the Penal Code and I started writing appeals to other women. As a result, the authorities “got on my case”. But after my complaints, the women were discharged from the hospital. The court in Rokiškis does not uphold the appeals, but the regional court releases them. Imagine – a postage stamp and an envelope releases a woman. I read the Code, I started writing complaints to other women, and the court started releasing them. I have not taken any medication for a long time, I feel better. I am still locked up because the children’s rights service wants to cover up the fact that they had taken my son Laurynas away from me. He had become almost a zombie because of those computer games, and he ended up in the ‘Shelter’. However, after just six days, they started to ‘anger’ him again with all sorts of drugs, like haliperedol and so on. We applied to the Belarusian Embassy again for asylum, because it is really not safe for us in Lithuania. Because they can come and inject you with drugs that will make you a vegetable at any time.