20 Sep 2019 14:50

Yakutia shaman Gabyshev says he is being charged with extremism, for calls to overthrow government

YAKUTSK. Sept 20 (Interfax) - Opposition shaman Alexander Gabyshev, who had been detained in Buryatia while walking to Moscow and put in a mental hospital in Yakutsk, told his supporters on the phone he was currently staying at his sister's apartment in Yakutsk.

An audio recording of the phone call was posted on social media in Yakutia.

"I will be tried on counts of extremism and call for overthrowing authorities. I have a lawyer, and I will bring legal action," the shaman said.

Gabyshev confirmed that he was taken to the mental hospital but was released for one day to visit his sister. "The house is being guarded," he said.

According to Gabyshev, he was not beaten or tortured by the police and he was well. "They are afraid of touching me because of disturbances across the country," he said.

The shaman invited his supporters to continue the walk to Moscow but they refused to do it. "You can go but do it calmly and quietly during the trial. I told them [law enforcers] they must not touch you," he said.

Interfax has yet to receive a formal confirmation to the opening of the criminal case against Gabyshev.