[Editor's notes: according to the latest news, China has told WPA to postpone the trip for 3 months.]
According to the message sent out through an NGO established last year in New York, China Psychiatric Watch, that Further to last month message, a plan for WPA and SP joint meeting (visit) in Beijing on April 4, 2004 was accepted by the Chinese Minister of Health and the CSP for examining the records, interviewing patients and their families or doctors who were involved in the examination of those patients after obtaining their consent and access to what is required for those cases that allegedly were subjected to psychiatric abuse.
This delegation will be a technical, independent, unbiased taskforce
China Psychiatric Watch pointed out that in July 1999, the Chinese government under Jiang Zemin's leadership started a nationwide suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. During this political campaign in the past four years, with the goal of changing people's belief, the government resorted to its propaganda machinery, to financial control, terror and violence to savagely persecute Falun Gong practitioners in Mainland China. During this period, the government's use of mental hospitals and psychiatric misuse in the abuse of Falun Gong practitioners was the cause of great concern for international human rights groups, mental health organizations and professionals who are concerned with the development of psychiatry in China. The American Psychiatric Association, the Royal College of Psychiatrics in UK and the World Psychiatric Association passed resolutions to request China to stop persecuting Falun Gong practitioners and political dissidents through psychiatric means, and sent delegates to investigate the situation.
This delegation will be a technical, independent, unbiased taskforce, totally supported financially by the WPA central fund, aiming to achieve the appropriate answers for the alleged abuse of psychiatry on Falun Gong practitioners. Accomplishing this mission successfully will close a long-standing conflict and will lead to formulate recommendations to be presented to the general assembly during the XIII WCP in Cairo, Egypt from September 10-15, 2005.
Currently, people do not fully understand the Chinese government's psychiatric abuse of Falun Gong practitioners
China Psychiatric Watch further stated that The Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry, an organization that played an important role in ending psychiatric abuse of political dissidents in the former USSR, jointly published the book Dangerous Minds with Human Rights Watch, which describes in detail China's psychiatric abuse of Falun Gong practitioners. However, the average person is not yet aware of the scope and extent of cruelty carried out in this persecution.
The torture methods include forcibly locking healthy Falun Gong practitioners up in mental hospitals and injecting them with strong psychiatric drugs, which severely damage their central nervous systems, their liver functions and even lead to death. Large groups of Falun Gong practitioners are sent to drug rehabilitation centers, mental hospitals or labor camps, where they are isolated from the outside, deprived of sleep, forced to watch brainwashing videos and tortured to "reform" their minds. The government also passes off violent and sadistic psychiatric patients as Falun Gong practitioners on TV and in newspapers in order to mislead the public and incite hatred against Falun Gong. The government orders "experts" and "scholars" who lack professional ethics to make up theories and deceive the public in order to justify and cover the persecution.
Preliminary investigation of Falun Gong practitioners who suffered tortures in Chinese labor camps and were later rescued and moved to foreign countries shows, although they have lived in free and democratic countries for two or three years, they still exhibit post- traumatic symptoms, including nightmares and disturbed sleep. Their memory of past sufferings and reaction to and avoidance of things that remind them of their traumatic experiences severely affects their health and ability to live a normal life.
China successfully covered up crimes by organizing foreign reporters to visit pre-arranged labor camps
On July 7, 2001, the Taipei Times web version published an article by Zhang Qingxi, a professor in the Economics Department of National Taiwan University and Zhang Jinhua of the Journalism Department from the same school, which related the Chinese government inviting Western journalists to visit pre-selected labor camps. The article stated, "in order to prove to the outside they did not persecute Falun Gong practitioners, Beijing recently invited Western journalists, including journalists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, to visit the Masanjia Labor Camp in Liaoning Province and the Tuanhe Labor Camp in Beijing."
China accused overseas Falun Gong practitioners of making up charges against Chinese labor camps. During this visit, reporters from Taiwan didn't detect a trace of terror in the labor camps. In fact, they didn't look like labor camps at all. The South China Morning Post described the visit as "a magnificent show in a dreamy prison." The reporter heard soft music and smelt fresh air, docile deer was roaming in the rose garden, and chickens and rabbits were running around.
The article pointed out, "Other than this manipulated visit, what other freedoms do these journalists from free worlds have in China?"
Survivors in the free world remind people of whitewashed visits to labor camps
In November 1999, Falun Gong practitioner Dr. Tang Jian went back to China during her vacation. While she was at a friend's apartment in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, chatting with a few Falun Gong practitioners, the police broke in and arrested all of them without showing any legal documents. She was detained for fifteen days; first in the Tianhe Detention Center, and then in the Yuexiu Detention Center, simply because she was a Falun Gong practitioner. At the Tianhe Detention Center she started a hunger strike to protest her illegal detention and to get back her freedom. The guards pressed her on the ground and put shackles on her feet. They then inserted a large tube full of highly concentrated salt water into her mouth, and held her nose tight so that she couldn't breathe until they forced all the salty fluid into her stomach. She almost suffocated to death during this procedure, and her stomach hurt so much that she vomited for a long time afterwards.
She felt very sad after reading the story, "China Shows Reporters'
Forbidden Camp," in the newspaper on May 23, 2001, because it is quite
possible that even more innocent people will be tortured and killed as a result
of this article's widespread publication in the Western press. She said,
"My own experience as a Falun Gong practitioner in a detention center tells
me that the Chinese
government staged the "media tour" of the Masanjia Labor Camp in order to deceive the world."
The Chinese Communist government has a long history of covering up any bad thing they don't want the world to see. They insist that no one was executed for politically incorrect beliefs during the Cultural Revolution, and that no students were killed at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Now they say that no Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured at the Masanjia Labor Camp. If a government is willing to paint the grass green to impress and deceive the International Olympic Committee, would it not also be likely to whitewash what it is doing to Falun Gong practitioners in its labor camps?
The Nazi government of the World War II-era Germany staged show tours of concentration camps in order to deflect growing scrutiny. That same government hosted the 1936 Olympic Games to bend world opinion its way. Now, just a few decades later, we see Jiang Zemin's government putting on a similar show in his labor camps. Meanwhile, China will stop at nothing to win the 2008 Olympics bid, because Jiang Zemin believes that the Games would, like an effective show tour of the camps, lend his brutal regime the legitimacy it seeks. We should know better by now.
SARS in China remains an enigma
According to Liberty Times' reporter Chu Jingwen June 6, 2003 report from Taipei, on June 5, Taiwan National Security Bureau held a cross-bureau meeting regarding the SARS epidemic. According to information the Taiwan National Security Bureau has in hand, the epidemic is still severe in Mainland China, yet the Chinese government continues to lie as it claims reports are made on bay areas, the inland regions have zero cases, and the World Health Organization didn't send inspectors to China. Using Datong, Shanxi Province, as an example, the death toll there according to the Taiwan National Security Bureau is greater than 70, but according to the Chinese government, it's seven.
The report says the Taiwan National Security Bureau officials pointed out explosive community infections hit Beijing, but China blocked related news. A community-wide pandemic hit Beiyuanjiayuan in Chaoyang District, Beijing, but the patients were transported out of town for treatment in order to cover up the epidemic. The situation in Shenyang City was also very serious, but the Chinese Ministry of Health did not have related information.
The May 26, 2003 issue of Time magazine revealed how Shanghai intentionally violated World Health Organization policies by using much more strict standards for diagnosing SARS to keep the numbers low. The magazine said the Shanghai government promised the WHO that it would change its standard for diagnosing SARS, but the real number of cases remains to be seen. One month before the report was published, WHO experts said Shanghai followed internationally agreed standards of sanitary measures, but two days later, local health officials in Shanghai notified hospital personnel that old diagnosis standards will not change. When China's commercial centers such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing were being severely affected by SARS, only eleven suspected cases, seven confirmed cases and two death cases were reported in Shanghai. In contrast, Beijing announced people who intentionally spread the SARS virus can be sentenced to death.
Also worth of mention is that the news of the SARS explosion in Guangzhou City was first sent throughout the country through private cell phones that the government had not yet censored.
Western journalists successfully expose previous cases of persecution
As the Chinese government clamps down on circulation of information, it publicly tells its citizens they can avoid contracting the deadly SARS virus by washing their hands and wearing a mask. It also claims that Falun Gong practitioners who were tortured to death in labor camps and brainwashing classes "died from heart disease or suicide."
Of course, not all truth was covered up. Ian Johnson, a former Wall Street Journal correspondent in Beijing won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for his journalistic essays on Falun Gong. He wrote a series of reports on the torture death of Ms. Chen Zixiu, a retired employee of a car parts company. These reports were published on April 20, 2000.
The Wall Street Journal's managing editor, Paul Steiger, commented that Johnson's reports were "a tremendous example of courage and determination, to get a story in the face of strong police force's pressures against the reporting, combined with very sensitive and powerful writing." He also pointed out that in order to prevent police surveillance and harassment, Johnson often had to make detours around other cities, constantly change his cell phone numbers and live in common family homes.
Finally, he was able to tell the world a tearful, blood-stained story about how common people were tortured and oppressed by China's state machinery. After completing the reports, Johnson left China, where he can never again be a correspondent.
Call for Dafa practitioners to provide more details on persecution in mental hospitals and drug rehabs
Stopping the persecution is the responsibility of Dafa practitioners, therefore, Clearwisdom editors hope more Falun Gong practitioners and their families in China can step forward and use their authentic names to provide details about their sufferings in mental hospitals and drug rehabs,
By Clearwisdom reporter Chu Tianxing