Father puts his son into rehab to cure his homosexuality

Ivan Kharchenko, a 16-year-old young man, was released from the clinic under the public pressure. Ivan's father forced him to go to the clinic having learned of his homosexual orientation, Novaya Gazeta wrote.

Mitya Aleshkovsky, a photographer and one of the activists of the campaign to release the teen boy from the clinic, tweeted: "Ivan stays with his mother, in a friendly family atmosphere. Hooray! We have saved him!"

A police vehicle took Ivan Kharchenko and his lawyer, Violetta Volkova, to his grandmother's at about 2:30 a.m. The boy's grandmother lives in the same apartment where his father is registered. However, the lady refused to let her grandson in. As a result, the man was taken to his mother's place.

TV crews of many Russian channels arrived at the clinic in the Moscow region to cover the story. Many Russian bloggers, journalists and human rights activists were saying that the forced hospitalization of the underage individual was illegal.

Aleshkovsky, who turned out to be Ivan's boyfriend, said that he and his supporters were going to stay near the hospital until the young man was going to be released. According to him, Ivan made "I love you" poster, which he hung on the window of his ward. However, hospital staff removed the poster and curtained the window.

The chief doctor of the hospital came out to journalists late at night and showed them a statement from Ivan, who supposedly wrote that he was 19 years old. The boy's friends immediately said that it was a fake document. Thy also said that that handwriting of the note was not that of Ivan.

The story of the 16-year-old boy, whose father placed him in a clinic after his son had confessed his homosexual orientation to him, was made public on April 20th. The story came along with a series of discussions of the so-called anti-gay laws, which regional parliaments of the Russian Federation started to approve. The Moscow Duma, for example, has recently put forward a suggestion to ban the propaganda or any sexual relations between underage individuals, which led to protest on the part of human rights activists.

Ivan came out to his friends as a homosexual on his 16th birthday. His classmates took the news normally. However, Ivan's father started threatening his son claiming that he would make him rot in a mental institution or jail to make him become "normal."

On April 13th, Ivan's father locked the boy in the flat, having taken awat his personal belongings and his shoes. The man offered his son to go to see a psychologist. The boy could not say no to his father. However, Ivan was taken to a clinic, where he was forced to stay. His father said that he would rather have his son as a "vegetable or a crippled person, rather than a gay."

Ivan's mother and friends visited him in two days. The boy told them that he was given some pills and injections, which made his memory messy. He said that he could not recollect the names of some of his friends. He also said that he was not allowed to use a hospital phone. Hospital employees removed door and window handles in his ward and started locking him at night.

The boy's mother took the news about her son's orientation peacefully. However, she decided that he should stay at hospital for treatment anyway. 

The teenager, who supposedly underwent treatment at Marshak's drug clinic in the Moscow region because of his homosexual orientation, signed the statement, in which he confirmed his intention to be hospitalized. The news was revealed from the chief doctor of the clinic, Dmitry Vakshin. His announcement became the first official comment of the clinic to the scandalous story.

The young man's friends assert that Ivan Kharchenko, 16, has never taken any drugs. He was forcefully hospitalized at the drug clinic after he had confessed his homosexual orientation to his father. The activists, who came to the town of Aprelevka in the Moscow region, where the clinic is located, managed to take the young man out of the medical institution. Ivan's father said that his son had been sent for medical examination because he had admitted his addiction to drugs.

"We receive all patients at their personal consent, which is documented in the statements that patients write themselves. The teenager arrived at the same conditions," the chief doctor of the clinic said. Vakshin also said that the young man was staying at the clinic on conditions of anonymity, like other patients.

Dmitry Vakshin also said that patients can be admitted to the drug clinic if they are either suspected of using psychoactive substances or if they indeed take such drugs.

According to Vakshin, the teenager did not deny consumption of alcohol, marijuana and codeine-containing drugs.  Ivan said that he would use them once or twice a week.

The doctor pointed out that the young man had been staying at the clinic since April 13. He arrived at the clinic together with his parents. His friends and relatives were visiting him while he was staying at the clinic; the patient could use the phone too, the chief doctor of the medical clinic said. There was no fact of forceful hospitalization of the patient, the official said. Moreover, the young man has never expressed his wish to leave the clinic prior to the completion of the treatment.

"Any patient, in accordance with the agreement that they sign, has a right to refuse from the treatment and leave the clinic any time. We have not received statements like that from the patient either in oral or in written form," Vakshin said.

He added that the young man was behaving adequately at the clinic. He did not violate the daily routine and was friendly and sociable with all patients.

"At night of April 25th, due to the things that were happening outside the clinic, he wrote a statement saying that he wanted to leave the clinic. He also said that he was lifting the status of anonymity. He was taken to his grandmother's being accompanied by an employee of the clinic, a police officer and his lawyer. For some reason, his grandmother refused to let the young man in, so he was taken to his mother's," the doctor said.

According to Vakshin, he had a conversation with the patient that day. "Before he left, he apologized to all patients and wished them a quick recovery," the doctor added. 

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov