This handout picture received on March 16, 2016 from Russia's human rights group Memorial shows an undated portrait of Alexander Yesenin-Volpin. AFP PHOTO / RUSSIA'S HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP MEMORIAL
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Alexander Esenin-Volpin, a poet and mathematician who became one of the first Soviet rights activists in the 1960s and spent years incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals and in exile, has died at 91 in Boston, his friends in Moscow said Wednesday.On Dec. 5 1965, Esenin-Volpin organised a protest in Moscow with around 200 people taking part calling for an open public trial of two writers arrested a few months earlier.After studying mathematics in Moscow, Esenin-Volpin was first committed to a psychiatric hospital in 1949 for writing "anti-Soviet" poems.Esenin-Volpin was held in psychiatric hospitals because he suffered from "pathological honesty," his fellow dissident Vladimir Bukovsky was quoted as saying.
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