Xing Shiku tortured ‘with chains’ and ‘electric shocks’ in psychiatric hospital
The Chinese government routinely uses psychiatric confinements as a tool to control dissidents, a Chinese human rights group said on Monday.
Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) highlighted the case of Xing Shiku, a Chinese petitioner who has been involuntarily detained at the Daowai District Psychiatric Hospital in Harbin City since February 2007.
CHRD says Xing was arrested in Beijing for filing complaints to government authorities about corruption and labor violations that occurred due to the privatization of the state-owned company where he once worked. He was then immediately transferred to the psychiatric hospital in northeast China.
The Chinese government claimed that Xing suffered from schizophrenia and “could have posed a threat to or adversely affected the maintenance of public order in Beijing.” CHRD maintains that doctors at the hospital have acknowledged that he does not suffer from any mental illness.
The group said Xing’s detention is politically motivated.
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) determined in May that Xing’s forced commitment was “arbitrary.” WGAD called on the Chinese government to release him and “grant him compensation for the harm he has suffered during the period of his arbitrary detention.”
“In this case, the Working Group considers that Mr. Xing has been deprived of his liberty for over seven years because of the peaceful expression of his views,” the group wrote in its opinion.
Renee Xia, CHRD’s international director, said China’s practice of forced psychiatric detentions represents a gross human rights violation.
“In most of these cases, activists were taken to a psychiatric hospital to punish them after they acted in ways that irked government officials, such as petitioning higher authorities or publishing articles criticizing the government,” the report said.
Wealthier citizens are also now able to pay privatized psychiatric institutions to incarcerate “troublesome” close relatives and employees, the report added.
The U.N. group ruled that Xing’s arbitrary detention violated multiple articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. China is a current member of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
China’s mental health law, effective since May 2013, assigns “guardians” to involuntary psychiatric detainees and deprives them of legal rights, CHRD says. Hospital authorities reportedly say that Xing can only be released if permitted by local officials who committed him and have guardianship rights over him.
The accusations against China resemble the Soviet Union’s practice of using psychiatric treatment to punish political dissidents.
Full article: China Using Psychiatric Treatment as Punishment for Political Dissident (Washington Free Beacon)