China sends activists to mental hospitals to punish them China “Routinely” Uses Psychiatric Hospitals To Punish Activists

Human rights groups say China routinely uses psychiatric hospitals to detain activists without trial. The organization also alleged that doctors and the healthcare system are colluding with the authorities in punishing the differently-abled.

For decades, Beijing authorities have used the country’s system of mental hospitals, known as Angkang, to punish political prisoners. The information is contained in a report released on Tuesday by the Madrid-based NGO Safeguard Defenders. The practice is said to have continued despite increased judicial oversight and necessary reforms to China’s mental health system in early 2010. Much of the report’s data comes from interviews with victims and their families posted online by Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, a Chinese NGO founded by activist and citizen journalist Liu Feiyu.

“Doctors and hospitals are attempting to subject victims to medically-unnecessary involuntary hospitalization and forced medication. Detainees were often subjected to physical and psychological torture. The report quoted detainees as saying they were beaten, electrocuted and held in solitary confinement. However, the Chinese Ministry of Health has yet to respond.

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