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Chinese government is locking up its critics in psychiatric hospitals: report

Chinese government is locking up its critics in psychiatric hospitals: report

The Chinese communist government is silencing critical voices. But a new report has stated that actions of dissent will get a citizen locked up in psychiatric hospitals.

A report by Madrid-based NGO Safeguard Defenders says that posting a political comment on a platform, submitting a complaint against a corrupt official, or shouting slogans in the street are some actions that will put a person at risk.

Chinese police and government agents are sending petitioners and activists to psychiatric wards for medically-unnecessary compulsory treatment. "In 2022, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is still routinely locking up political targets in psychiatric hospitals despite implementing legal changes to stop this barbaric practice more than a decade ago."

People are wasting away in these institutions for years before they are released.

The report added that the CCP is doing this in the name of stability maintenance. "The party is able to remove petitioners and activists entirely out of the justice system with no hope of seeing a lawyer or going to trial." They are diagnosed with mental illness so society isolates them even after release.

Some victims are repeatedly sent to psychiatric commitment, both within the psychiatric system and in general medical facilities. The report stated that a woman was sent to the system 20 times. Almost a third of the 99 victims in the study had been locked up two or more times.

Once they are sent to the asylum, victims are locked up for months or even years. Nine of the victims in the study have been in the system for over 10 years. Doctors and hospitals are either coerced to cooperate or collude with the authorities.

The NGO said that many "patients'' are physically and mentally abused in these hospitals. They are given painful electroconvulsive therapy without anesthesia. The practice of tying them to their beds for hours so that they lie in their own waste and feel humiliated is also a prevailing practice. These victims do not get to speak to their families.

Once released, many suffer from serious physical and psychological trauma. Dramatic weight loss, scars, and loss of muscle strength are common symptoms in survivors of psychiatric asylums. Forced and unnecessary medication has left even young patients with signs of dementia. Many suffer from night terrors, tremors, and suicidal thoughts.

The NGO has urged the international community to intervene and put a stop to the political abuse and help those who are unjustly imprisoned.

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TAGS:China Chinese government psychiatric hospitals ankang system asylum 
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