'Protester' who nailed his scrotum to ground now cuts off earlobe

The Russian protester who nailed his scrotum to the pavement last year has publicly cut off his earlobe with a giant knife to demonstrate against a return to Soviet-era policies.

Pyotr Pavlensky climbed on to a wall of the Serbsky psychiatric centre in Moscow yesterday to protest against the forced psychiatric treatment of dissidents.

He was removed by police and taken to a nearby hospital where doctors initially feared he was suffering from pneumonia.

On Monday, his lawyer told the Guardian that he was not suffering from pneumonia but was having problems with, perhaps unsurprisingly, his ear.

Pavlenskly, who describes himself as a performance artist said of his stunt last November:

A naked artist, looking at his balls nailed to the Kremlin pavement, is a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference, and fatalism of contemporary Russian society.

Following his latest act he underwent a psychological examination but was declared sane.

Pavlensky has previously wrapped himself in barbed wire outside a government building in St Petersburg and sewn his lips together in protest at the treatment of dissident group Pussy Riot.

The Guardian reports that the Serbsky centre was notorious in Soviet Russia for politically-motivated psychiatric diagnoses - a trend which Mr Pavlensky believes Putin's government is beginning to use again.

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