MISA Yoga Practitioner Wins Case at European Court of Human Rights 2

Posted: January 15, 2015 / in: Blog / 13 comments

The MISA Case Delivers Another Slap on the Face of Romanian Justice (part II)
by Decebal Avramescu

After being kidnapped by her own parents, Dana Crăescu (now Dana Atudorei) was taken to a relative in the countryside, to a village called Asău (in Bacău county), where they kept her until they found a psychiatrist ready to apply a treatment “efficient” enough to “heal” her from her desire to practice yoga. During this time her family took her personal money and ID cards, and burnt her clothes which they considered to be cursed with “yoga spells”. They then called upon a priest to perform a religious service on her and a witch woman to cast magic spells over her. Her mother took unpaid holiday leave in order to constantly keep an eye on her to make sure she would not practice yoga or run away. She was guarded even when she went to toilet. At night her mother slept in the same bed as her.

Read the first part HERE

Two weeks later her parents found a psychiatrist at Nifon hospital (Buzău county) who assured them that he will “take yoga out their daughter’s mind.” The hospital was approximately 40 kilometers from the city of Buzău, from where it would have been very difficult to flee and there were no means of transportation in the area. When Dana Crăescu was forcefully brought there, the hospitalization file had already been made without her being consulted at all. The hospital director, Ştefan Adrian Ionescu, admitted the young girl against her will, thereby defying the Code of Medical Ethics and the Laws of medical practice. From the very first day, Dana was forced to take Leponex three times a day – a very strong antipsychotic medicine which, according to medical ethics, is only given in cases of severe schizophrenia when the initial medication does not work.

Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that medical statistics have shown that as a result of treatments with Leponex some patients can die. The treatment was personally administered by the doctor who inserted his finger into her mouth to make sure she was not hiding the pill under her tongue. As a result, in a short time Dana became a “vegetable”. She slept for 12 hours a day, suffered from urinary incontinence, saliva poured out of her mouth at night, she had to support herself on the walls in order to reach the toilet, and parts of her memory became blank. Any communication with the exterior world was forbidden (phone calls, letters, and visits). She was kept in that hospital for 8 weeks, after which her mother and father took her back, once again without her approval, to the relative in Asău. Her mother continued to take unpaid holiday leave so she could survey her and give her Leponex, while continuing to sleep in the same bed as her.

dana craescuThroughout this period of approximately 9 months, the young girl was practically held captive or, in other words, was illegally deprived of freedom. She was kept in total isolation from the outside world and had no possibility to contact her fiancé or any other person who could have saved her. As a result of the treatment she was subjected to, Dana started to have hemorrhaging menstruations for several months, almost without any break, and her stomach and liver were seriously affected. However, in October 2005 the young girl managed to run away with the help of some friends and her fiancé, whom she managed to alert when the family members who were continuously surveying her were not paying attention.

Soon after, Dana married Mugurel Atudorei, settled down in Bucharest and returned to her university classes at the Faculty of Law. However, to this day the family conflict has not eased off at all.

With regards to the medical treatment given to this young girl, the CEDO stated the following: “the young girl was administered treatment against her will in a state psychiatric institution where complete control was effectively exerted over her. The government did not dispute the fact that she was administered Leponex and other antipsychotic medication during her hospitalization. The government has failed to demonstrate – and there is no proof attached to the file – that the psychiatrist checked her decision to start such a treatment before a revision commission. Considering the abovementioned, the Court finds that the given intervention was not in accordance with the law.”

Coming back to the unfolding events… Throughout the period that Dana was subjected to this inhuman treatment, her fiancé Mugurel Atudorei alerted all the institutions that could have intervened: the Police, Mayor’s Office, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (in Bârlad, Bacău and Bucharest), the Ministry of Administration and Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, National Committee for the Fight against Discrimination, People’s Advocate, National Agency for Family Protection, the Police Office for the Civil Society, and several others. None of these institutions intervened to stop the horrifying ongoing abuse. As a result of the criminal complaints made by Mugurel Atudorei, a considerable number of attorneys and judges were required to intervene in this situation. Among these were the first attorney of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Bârlad – Rodica Fântână; attorneys Elena Sandu and Marius Iacob from the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Bucharest, and the then leader of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Bucharest, Laura Codruţa Kovesi. All appealed authorities, up to the High Prosecutor’s Office for Justice, refused to begin any criminal proceedings towards the girl’s parents, the policemen, the doctors and all the other state officials implicated and accused in the case.

As an example of the way in which state officials answered to the complaints against them, here is the response of Sergeant Gheorghe Anghel Compotecras who gave his explanation for not starting the criminal prosecution, stating that: “in this case, it has not been possible to find reasons to conclude that Dana Crăescu’s parents were acting against their daughter’s will”, even though he knew Dana was an adult and that she was held against her will (because he had seen her at Nifon hospital and had spoken to her).

danacraescu11Along the same lines, here is a fragment from the decision of Rodica Fântână (from the Bârlad Public Prosecutor’s Office) to not begin criminal prosecution: “In the context in which her parents found out from the press and saw on TV what happens to young persons of feminine gender at MISA’s quarters it was natural that they brought their daughter back home by any means possible to start her recovery from both the physical and psychological standpoints.”
Dana Atudorei addressed the European Court of Human Rights on 10th October 2008, after she ended her latest action for procuring justice, one of the very many that lasted for several years, towards the Romanian justice system in order to obtain an equitable solution regarding the abuse she was subjected to by her own family with the cooperation of the authorities. Represented by Adina Solomon from the Bar Association of Bucharest, the young woman claimed to CEDO no less than six violations of the Convention for defense of fundamental human rights and freedom. With only one exception, CEDO declared admissible all requested counts. The court unanimously ruled that in the case Atudorei vs. Romania two of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the European convention for human rights were violated: the right to freedom and impunity, as well as the right to the respect of private life and family life.

In the report sent by the complainant to CEDO, the general circumstances which triggered the behavior of the parents and authorities were taken into account. As a result, it was found that: “due to the irrational attack of the written and audio-visual press towards the MISA association, as well as to the discriminating convictions of a certain sector of the public authorities, an increasing number of magistrates (attorneys and judges), as well as auxiliary personnel (policemen, gendarmes and court clerks) became one-sided, lacking the ethical requirement of impartiality when they were appointed to investigate and judge cases involving yogis.”

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Comments (13)

  1. Terry says:

    Its like something from another century, they imprisoned their own daughter, denied her basic human rights, in fact tortured her, seriously damaged her mental, emotional physical health – to stop her practicing yoga – how weird is that…

    • Advaita Stoian Advaita Stoian says:

      @ Terry
      It is unfortunately the result of a system that failed to adapt to the new era of humanity and constantly generates such aberrations. Everyone that is different and cannot be fully integrated into a totally predictable society will experience in a way or another such events.
      And this is only the tip of the iceberg… A very significant one however.

  2. Terry says:

    Thank you for your reply. Interesting blog by the way, very diverse :-).
    Its a seriously sick society in an ‘upside down world’ if this is just the tip, it makes me shudder to think what lies beneath. How can the ones who want to break free,make it out?

  3. Helen says:

    A good slap on the romanian ”justice” system indeed. As it is the slap received 2 days ago, when in Cluj Napoca’s trial, Gregorian Bivolaru and others falsely accused were found Once again innocent. Will this end here or not?

  4. stein says:

    I am very happy with the verdict from Cluj on 11 February 2015:Verdict: rejected as unfounded accusations.Gregorian Bivolaru and 19 other yoga instructors and practitioners were acquitted. At least there are honest people in Romanian justice. I sincerely hope that the truth will prevail and this verdict from Cluj to be the definitive

    • Advaita Stoian Advaita Stoian says:

      Yes, its a great moment, with a lot of interesting messages in it. I am putting some comments on the court decision here on the blog. Stay tuned,.

  5. stein says:

    thank you and look forward to yours comments. In Romania, a member country of the European community, justice is apparently separated from political power, but ‘behind the scenes’ facts clearly show that, in many cases, justice is still subservient to the Romanian politicians. The ghosts of communist era, not long gone, still haunt this country where democracy has not yet really matured. In addition the media is totally subservient to the politics and economics, largely in order to survive. However we noticed lately, clearly, a certain “effervescency”, a tendency of dissociation from the political class- inheritor of the communist political police ‘securitate’. The new generation of justice,being supported by European structures, begin now to impose increasingly ,in front of the old communist and “securisti”- inherited from the communist era.This is why I believe that Romanian justice is facing now a maturity test and that this verdict from Cluj:”rejected as unfounded accusations.Gregorian Bivolaru and 19 other yoga instructors and practitioners were acquitted” will be the final one.

  6. johannes says:

    Great to hear about the recent verdict of proven innocence-all the best, there is only one way-forward!

  7. rinat says:

    really it is a very great moment,a turning point moment. But what is really strange the Romanian press and televisions does not say anything about acquitted Gregorian Bivolaru and the others yoga teachers. And if I remember correctly not long before most major newspapers and television romania incriminated him with obstinacy …

  8. johannes says:

    Well somehow i do not think that the finnish media here will celebrate the occasion despite of the past showings of “great interest” to the subject in the form of garbage-journalism. It is indeed so very…predictable:)

    • Advaita Stoian Advaita Stoian says:

      @ johannes
      The finnish media, just like most of the mainstream media around the globe, is faithfully serving the puppeteers that economically own them. They are only posing as independent and free but in reality the censorship today is internalized, the puppet journalists are wireless 😉
      The rejection of spirituality (and the fight against it) is not always an explicit command from these structures of power but rather a combination of journalist’s mediocrity and a general tendency of the mediocre to unite against anything that might offer an alternative to their way of life, showing their mediocrity.
      On top of this the culture of institutionalized hypocrisy that is spreading among most nations today and “educating” these individuals is canceling the moral sense and … there you have it: a fully grown cancer of the human character that manifests as intolerance to anything that is not according to their view in life.

  9. stein says:

    Unfortunately journalists from Romania, Finland, Italy etc serve now a same master. The mass media all around the globe has become,in the last century, an important power in the state toghether with justice and politics. But the price paid was the loss of independence, which should be fundamental in a genuine democracy. This noble profession, which was once the journalist, put in the service of truth ,degenerated into a tool serving the interests of ”puppeteers behind the scenes”. The lie in the media has almost become a daily habit. But what is more serious is that the contemporary society is asleep and not react to these lies as happened a century ago…

  10. Radu says:

    In my opinion we are already in a war but still we do not realize. It is a war between light and darkness. It is up to us to decide on which side to be, but unfortunately for now we are still well asleep and the darkness takes hold of us slowly and cunningly. It is the moment to wake up !!!

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