Soviet scientist who exposed the use of psychiatric hospitals to silence dissent
Zhores Medvedev, who has died aged 93, was an outstanding geneticist and microbiologist. In 1970, after using underground publications to denounce political repression and the manipulation of science in the Soviet Union, he was forcibly detained in a psychiatric hospital. Other leading critics of the system, the physicist Andrei Sakharov and the writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, as well as western colleagues, protested strongly and Medvedev was released after 19 days.
Emboldened, he promptly co-authored, along with his twin brother, Roy, a dissident historian, A Question of Madness, an account of how such hospitals were being used to silence dozens of critics of the political system. The book was published in the US and Britain in 1971.