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Startseite Urgent Actions 2020 05 Whistleblower doctor facing reprisals Whistleblower doctor continues vital work
FI 077/20-2
Abgeschlossen am 25. März 2021

Whistleblower doctor continues vital work

AI-Index: EUR 46/3908/2021

Tatyana Revva, an intensive care unit doctor from Kalach-on-Don, southern Russia, has been facing reprisals since March 2020 for exposing personal protective equipment shortages and other problems in her hospital in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, a court quashed one of the disciplinary reprimands imposed on her and ordered the hospital to pay her a nominal compensation. The court upheld her two other disciplinary reprimands. She is planning further appeals. In separate proceedings, the police did not find grounds to instigate criminal proceedings against her for libel.

In March 2020, Tatyana Revva, an intensive care unit doctor from Kalach-on-Don in Volgograd region, reported her concerns about shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) to an independent trade union, the Doctors’ Alliance, and recorded a video describing the issues the staff at her hospital had to confront. Soon after the video was made public, the hospital management took disciplinary actions against Tatyana Revva, which she claimed were unfounded and targeted her for her criticism. According to Tatyana Revva, within a month she received two formal reprimands and one written warning from the management, and on six occasions had to give written explanations about alleged irregularities in her work. She was at risk of losing her job. In July, she also learned that she was at risk of prosecution under libel charges (Article 128.1 of the Criminal Code) following a complaint from the Head Doctor of Tatyana Revva’s hospital in connection to her criticism of the hospital management.

Tatyana Revva contested the reprimands in court and on 2 December, the Volgograd Regional Court found one of the reprimands unlawful and ordered the hospital to pay Tatyana Revva a nominal compensation of RUB 5,000 (US$ 65). The reprimand concerned an incident in which Tatyana Revva and seven of her colleagues had to carry a patient weighing around 160 kg from the ground floor reception to the intensive care unit on the first floor as there are no lifts in the hospital. As lifting the patient and carrying him upstairs took some time, the hospital management reprimanded Tatyana Revva for «untimely filling in the medical documentation and provision of medical care to a seriously ill patient». The court found two other reprimands lawful. Tatyana Revva is planning to further appeal this decision. In separate proceedings, the district police found no grounds for opening criminal proceedings against Tatyana Revva under libel charges.

Tatyana Revva is grateful to Amnesty International and all the activists who wrote appeals on her behalf and believes that it has contributed to preventing her imminent dismissal. Tatyana Revva continues her work at the Kalach-on-Don hospital, including with COVID-19 patients, and continues to be outspoken about the working conditions.

No further action is requested. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.