Psychiatric Torture in China
An Abundance of Reports
In December 2008, the U.N. Commission against Torture reported on China's overall human rights situation, its' first report on China in 8 years. In the report, "the Committee also notes with concern that this provision has been misused to detain some people in psychiatric hospitals for reasons other than medical."
After U.N. Special Rapporteur Prof. Manfred Nowak's two week country visit to China at the end of 2005, the U.N. published a report on the country mission to China. The report states that torture occurred in Chinese mental hospitals in 8% of the cases submitted to the Special Rapporteur's mandate over the 5-year period from 2000 to 2006.
Research indicates that cases of psychiatric "treatment" have spread to 23 out of 33 provinces under the direct leadership of the central government in China. At least 100 psychiatric facilities have been used in the effort to wipe out Falun Gong practitioner's belief. Clearly, the abuse of psychiatric drugs on those who hold a different opinion from the government has been a well-planned, systematically carried out, top-down policy.
Daniel B. Borenstein, President of the American Psychiatric Association, published a letter in the New York Times on March 27, 2001, entitled "Jailed in China: Confront the Abuse." He stated in the article, "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."
Robin Munro devoted an entire chapter of his book, Dangerous Minds: Political Psychiatry in China Today and its Origins in the Mao Era to the psychiatric abuse of Falun Gong practitioners. In "The Falun Gong: New Targets of Psychiatric Abuse," he describes how 42-year-old Tian Guihua was abused at the Jiaozhou Mental Hospital in Shandong Province. Eight mental patients held her down, while a doctor injected her with nerve damaging drugs. "Later the female doctor asked Tan daily whether she would continue to practice Falun Gong. Tan said, 'yes,' and the doctor shocked her with electrical needles."
The Political Use of Drugs at Mental Hospitals
Xuzhou Mental Hospital in Jiangsu Province is a typical example. Reports of abuse started coming in shortly after July 20, 1999, when the persecution started. In December 2000, these healthy Falun Gong practitioners were sent to the Xuzhou Mental Hospital: Gao Chuanyin, Gao Xiayun, Lu Bingling, Niu Shuxia, Wang Jinghua, Meng Qinquan, Wang Hui, and Wang Ping. In March 2001, practitioners Wu Di, Peng Zhongmei, Ding Jianhua, Yuan Ling, Guo Juanling, Bian Guiling, Wang Yumei, Dong Mei, Gao Chunmei, and Ma Jiling were sent there as well.
Practitioners have reported losing consciousness, being tied with ropes, given electroshock treatments, being deprived of sleep, staring blankly, drooling, trembling, losing their eyesight or hearing, the destruction of muscles or internal organs, loss of memory, physical or mental disability, and even death. One of them asked the medical staff, "Why did you inject and feed these drugs to us who are not sick? They answered, "It is not up to us; people at the top instructed us to do so. We don't want to treat you like this but we don't want to lose our jobs either."
Prolonged Practice of Psychiatric Torture
Since the object of psychiatric treatment is not the "patient's" well being, it may take place in mental hospitals, forced labor camps, or any detention facility. The following accounts remind us of what takes place under China's expanding economy.
- Mr. Zhao Peijie, male, 32 years of age, from Xiaonigou Village, Datong Town, Rongcheng City, Shandong Province, was beaten, tortured, and forced to take drugs that destroyed his central nervous system. As a result, he became mentally ill. He died in the wilderness on June 28, 2008.
- In April 2006, officials from the Chibi City Police Department, Hubei Province arrested Ms. Liu Xiaolian, 69, and sent her to the Psychiatric Department of the Pufang Hospital. At the hospital, Ms. Liu was brutally beaten, injected with toxic drugs, fed with mentally debilitating drugs, and shocked with high-voltage electric batons. For 24 hours, they continuously injected her with the mental drug. She lost consciousness for two consecutive days and her whole body became dark and swollen. After she woke up, she temporarily lost the ability to speak. She died on the afternoon of October 26, 2008.
- Ms. Li Dongqing, 46, lived in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. On May 24, 2008, she was arrested and put into the Dongling District Mental Hospital in Shenyang. She was injected with drugs, which made her suffer severe psychological damage.
- Ms. Han Ming was an employee of the Pingshui Machinery Factory in Pingba County, Guizhou Province. On February 28, 2001, she was sentenced to two years of forced labor. While detained in the Guizhou Province Women's Forced Labor Camp, she was injected with an unknown drug, which caused her entire body to suffer muscle atrophy. Her condition deteriorated and she died on March 20, 2003, at the age of 30.
- Ms. Zhang Wuying and her husband Mr. Wu Dianhui are from Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province. In February of 2000, the Changzhou Public Security Bureau arrested Mr. Wu. Although Mr. Wu and his wife were not mentally ill, after he was released from the detention center, the two were forcibly taken to the Changzhou Liberation Army's 102 Mental Hospital. Ms. Zhang was tied to the bed, injected with drugs and force-fed, even though she was over five months pregnant.
To cover up their crimes, the perpetrators typically blame the victim. In one example, Ms. Meng Lijun died after she was injected with poisonous drugs and had harmful drugs mixed in her food and water. Her family asked the police why they used drugs on a healthy person. They replied, "She had a mental problem because of practicing Falun Gong and she contracted the mental illness before her imprisonment."
Ms. Meng is just one of the many thousands.
- Robin Munro on Falun Gong (See Page 158)
- Ibid. Page 163
Category: Psychiatric Torture