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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Opposition Spokeswoman Sent to Psychiatric Hospital

A member of former world chess champion Garry Kasparov's opposition group has been forcefully put in a psychiatric clinic in what activists said was revenge for critical reporting.

Marina Litvinovich, a spokeswoman for Kasparov's United Civil Front, said Sunday that the forced treatment of Larisa Arap was the first such move by authorities against a member of the group, which has angered the Kremlin with street protests.

"This smacks of Soviet-era practice of locking dissenters in psychiatric clinics," Litvinovich said.

Arap, 48, a member of Kasparov's group in Murmansk, was bundled into an ambulance by police on July 5, her daughter Taisia said. She had been visiting a doctor to obtain documents attesting to her mental health required by law in order to receive a new drivers license.

When the doctor realized Larisa Arap was the author of an article published in an opposition newspaper in June that criticized conditions at a local psychiatric hospital, she returned with police, her daughter said in a telephone interview.

A receptionist at the clinic where the daughter said Larisa Arap was being held would not confirm she was there, saying she could only provide the names of patients to their relatives.