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Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom

Alexander Podrabinek

During his studies to become a doctor in the former Soviet Union, Alexander Podrabinek witnessed the Soviet system’s tyranical use of psychiatry to repress its own people. Alarmed at what he saw, Podrabinek investigated further, his dissident activities eventually causing the authorities to dismiss him from medical training. In 1977, he published his observations in the groundbreaking book Punitive Medicine, which led to his arrest the following year and eventually a sentence of five years’ exile in Siberia. Since then, Podrabinek has written and edited for several dissident publications and published Alexander Litvineko’s landmark book Blowing Up Russia. Podrabinek has endured multiple arrests and imprisonment in his struggle against repressive Russian governments, from the Soviet system of the past to Vladimir Putin today.