采访/陈汉 编辑/黄亿美 后制/郭敬
Where are China’s Over 100 Million Mental Patients from?
Mainland Chinese media recently published a lengthy report
on the number of China’s mental patients and their situation.
Meanwhile, cases of mentally fit people being forcibly
placed in mental facilities have been often revealed.
Mental facility has always been a branch organization of
the Chinese Communist party’s Public Security Bureau.
Many rights activists and petitioners are placed
in mental facilities, and face torture and persecution.
Then, one may wonder: What’s the story behind the
100 million mental patients in China reported by the media?
Zhao Guirong from Harbin told NTD that her husband
Xing Shiku went to the National Petition Office to report on
his factory director for taking his work benefits.
He was then taken and forcibly placed in Harbin First Hospital’s
Mental Department after he reported the issues.
Xing was later transferred to Daowai District Mental Hospital,
and he’s been there for 7 years.
That is a typical case in modern China that
a person with a healthy mental condition
is forcibly placed into mental institutions.
Zhao Guirong, resident of Heilongjiang province:
“An official at the petition office asked us to post bail for [my husband].
We mortgaged our house, but still couldn’t get him out.
There are so many petitioners like my husband.
Many of them are like myself,
and many are even more miserable than me.”
Zhao Guirong’s friend Ma Bo accompanied Zhao
to visit her husband in the mental hospital once.
Ma Bo says that a normal person would have a problem
sooner or later while being detained there in the hospital.
Ma Bo, resident in Helongjiang province:
“He (Xing Shiku) was arrested in Beijing while petitioning.
He’s a very normal person.
He tried to escape many times, but was caught every time.
The hospital said that they didn’t have a mental department.
Whoever is sent to there must pay to negotiate.”
Anti-corruption and Activists Alliance members Liu Chunbao,
Ma Bo, and Xiao Pang accompanied Zhao Guirong twice
to the mental hospital to ask for her husband Xing’s release.
But the hospital director said that
he would listen to whoever brings money.
China doesn’t have specific mental health laws, which leads
to people being arbitrarily treated as mental patients.
Doctors and hospitals don’t need to ask for patients’ opinion,
nor do they need to have medical diagnosis before treatment.
Simply according to the description of whoever sends
the patient, the hospital will receive the patient, it would be the same as detaining someone.
Thus, local authorities place petitioners in mental hospitals.
In that environment, anyone could be labeled mentally ill.
Current official data says that there are over 100 million
people with various types of mental illnesses in China,
among them, over 1.6 million have severe mental illness.
How many petitioners among those mental patients
are “forced to be mentally ill”?
A group of 42 mental patients together escaped
the Third Hospital of Tengxian in Guangxi province on July 5.
According to the report, those so-called mental patients
captured care workers and snatched keys, cell phones,
and cash and then escaped.
Although the 42 mental patients were all caught again later,
people are eager to know: “Why did the patients run away?”,
“How does the hospital manage the mental patients?”,
and “Was anyone labeled mentally ill, and forcibly put there?”
Luo Changping, associate editor of financial website Caijing.com,
questions: “How could a group of lunatics plan an escape?”
“How could they convince so many other patients to join in,
and then, even get past the care workers?”
“Are there normal people being forcibly detained?”
“How many tragedies and crimes are being hidden here?”
A netizen says that as long as the judiciary isn’t independent,
even if the labor camp system is abolished, you can still be
labeled mentally ill, and placed in a mental hospital.
Hu Jun, founder of Human Rights Campaign in China:
“China’s mental hospitals have always been used for
suppressing dissidents, petitioners,
and Falun Gong practitioners.
But it hasn’t been paid attention to.
But now this thing must be highlighted.
More and more petitioners are arrested and end up missing.
Were they placed in mental hospitals?
If labor camps are abolished, what do they do to those people?”
Regarding a large labor camp in Beijing releasing inmates
in a low-key way, Hu Jun says that
whether the authorities abolish the labor reeducation
system, or just move those detained into mental hospitals.
Regardless of what method is used, aren’t they all superficial
changes to methods used to persecute the Chinese people?
This is a matter of great concern.