Vladimir Bukovsky is an author, activist, and former Soviet dissident. He spent a total of 12 years in Soviet prisons, labor camps, and forced-treatment psychiatric hospitals. Bukovsky was arrested and confined to a psychiatric hospital for possession of photocopies of anti-Soviet literature. After he successfully smuggled documents to the West detailing the Soviet authorities’ use of psychiatric institutions as a weapon against political prisoners, Bukovsky was again arrested and convicted of “slander of Soviet psychiatry.” While in prison, he co-authored “A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissidents” to help other dissidents resist forced psychiatric treatment. He was exchanged by the Soviet government for the imprisoned Chilean communist leader Luis Corvalán and later found refuge in the U.K. He is a member of the international advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Bukovsky has been an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin. He was an original signator of the online anti-Putin protest “Putin Must Go” and continues his campaign against Putin today. In May 2015, shortly before testifying in the inquiry of the assassination of his friend and Soviet defector, Alexander Litvinenko, Bukoskvy’s home was raided and he was subsequently prosecuted by the British Crown Prosecution Service for having “prohibited images” on his computer. It is widely believed that Bukovsky was framed and a victim of KGB kompromat, the planting of fabricated and compromising evidence. His trial has been postponed until July 2017 due to his failing health.