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Overview of Psychiatric Torture

Judicial psychiatry against religious or political dissidents is emphatically prohibited by internationally agreed-upon standards of legal and medical ethics. The exposure of political and abusive psychiatry in the former Soviet Union was once a major human rights concern. It eventually forced the withdrawal of the Soviet All-Union Society of Psychiatrists and Neuropathologists from the World Psychiatric Association.

Similar punitive misuse of psychiatry exists in China, but has received far less attention than that of the Soviet Union. Part of the reason is that while the Chinese authorities routinely use torture on prisoners of conscience in special psychiatric hospitals, few reports on this abuse have come to light.

Since July 1999, however, Falun Gong practitioners have, at great risks to their own lives, been sending substantial and detailed reports on the incarceration and violent abuse of thousands of peaceful Falun Gong practitioners in psychiatric hospitals by the Chinese government. These reports have now exposed the Chinese government's systematic exploitation of psychiatry for despotic repression. The abuse far exceeds in scope and severity even that of the former Soviet Union.

In addition to turning mental hospitals into veritable brainwashing institutions and torture camps to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their beliefs, the Chinese government also seeks to incriminate Falun Gong for the tragedies that the Chinese government itself has caused. There have been more than a few reports on how the heartless police and "doctors" shouted at practitioners: "We are going to make you lose you mind, make you commit suicide, and publicize your cases as examples of 'Falun Gong' insanity."

Due to limits of space, we can only report a few of these horrifying stories of the suffering of Falun Gong practitioners in Chinese mental hospitals. We call on the international community, and in particular the World Psychiatric Association, to pressure the Chinese government to put an immediate end to its abuse of psychiatry to repress dissidents and persons of faith.

Daniel B. Borenstein, President of the American Psychiatric Association, wrote a letter to the New York Times entitled "Jailed in China: Confront the Abuse" published March 27, 2001, in which he stated:
"The WPA [World Psychiatric Association] Committee on the Use and Abuse of Psychiatry has moved too slowly in the face of serious accusations about psychiatric imprisonment of Falun Gong members, union and student leaders, and others who are diagnosed as "political maniacs" and subjected to shock therapy and psycho-tropic medications."

That was written almost one year ago. No sanctions have been issued, and the atrocities committed in these Chinese "psychiatric prisons" continue unabated.

Many More Cases

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  • Death from Psychiatric Torture
  • Torture in Mental Hospitals
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    Results 1 - 2 of 2
      Overview of Murder and Execution (13 items)
      Overview of Torture (11 items)
      Overview of Violence Leading to Disabilities (16 items)
      Overview of Violence against Women (3 items)
      Overview of Psychiatric Torture
      Overview of Enslavement (2 items)
      Overview of Persecution of Families (3 items)
      Overview of Violence against Persons with Disabilities (18 items)
      Deprivation of the Right to Education (3 items)
      Overview of Violence against Foreign Citizens (1 items)
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