According to reports by Human Rights Watch and others, in China, psychiatric abuse is shockingly common against dissidents, who are jailed and silenced under the guise of psychiatric treatment. In one well-known case, Wang Wanxing was held in an Ankang for 13 years, for staging a brief, one-man pro-democracy protest on Tiananmen Square on the third anniversary of the massacre there. He was released unexpectedly in 2005 and sent to Germany, where he was evaluated by a team of psychiatric experts, who found no mental disorder. Wang told Human Rights Watch about the conditions he had endured. He stated, for example, that he had been forced to watch staff members administer “electric acupuncture treatments” in which the current used was excruciating. One inmate died of a heart attack during such a “treatment.”
Although Beijing has always denied charges of psychiatric abuse of dissidents, the National Conference of Ankang Asylums held by the Ministry of Public Security in Wuhan, Hubei Province, on May 26 and 27 has inadvertently admitted these charges.
Four officials of the district government of Luohe (Henan) were removed for having interned a petitioner in a psychiatric hospital for over 6 years. Protests are growing in the country over local authorities systematic abuse of protesters.
During the thirteen session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group, together with the Conscience Foundation, submitted a report on the Chinese government’s psychiatric torture of Falun Gong practitioners to various human rights mechanisms of the United Nations and to members of UN Human Rights Council.
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 over the 5-year period from 2000 to 2006.