Le autorità cinesi indagano sull’uso della psichiatria a scopo di repressione

La stampa di Stato afferma che le autorità intendono indagare su alcuni casi di abuso della psichiatria a scopo di repressione nella provincia del Shandong.  Il quotidiano China Daily informa che almeno 18 persone sono state internate in ospedali psichiatrici perchè intendevano valersi del diritto di protestare a Pechino riguardo ad alcune ingiustizie commesse dalle autorità locali.Segue il comunicato di AFP in inglese.  

BEIJING (AFP) – – Chinese authorities are probing charges that a city in the east of the country locked up citizens in mental hospitals to prevent them complaining about local injustices, state press said Tuesday.

At least 18 people are believed to have been sent to such hospitals in Xintai city in Shandong province, with some being given debilitating drugs, according to an investigative report published Monday by the Beijing News.

The report said the victims were punished for trying to use China’s age-old system of petitioning to central authorities in Beijing for help over local injustices, typically involving abuses by government officials or businesses.

The Shandong government was investigating, the China Daily said, giving no other details.

The report highlighted the often barbaric methods used by Chinese local governments to quell dissent.

The abductions had taken place in Xintai since at least 2006, the report said, quoting a source saying at least 18 such cases had been counted.

However, the head of the Xintai Mental Health Centre, Wu Yuzhu, was quoted as saying “many” more cases may have occurred.

The report focused on the case of a 57-year-old man surnamed Sun, who for years had sought compensation for himself and fellow villagers over land subsidence caused by excessive coal mining that damaged homes and farmland.

Sun was abducted on October 19 on his way to Beijing to petition authorities.

He was held in a mental hospital for nearly a month, where he was bound, drugged and threatened by staff when he demanded his release, the report said.

Dating from the days of China’s emperors, the petitioning system has survived into the Communist era.

But it has become a perilous undertaking for petitioners, who are sometimes intercepted by local officials to prevent their complaints being aired in Beijing.

China earlier this year ordered local governments nationwide to prevent petitioners coming to Beijing to avoid embarrassment during the Olympics in August. It advised authorities to resolve their disputes locally.

A China Daily editorial called it a “bitter irony” that Xintai had been held up as a model city for reducing its number of petitioners.

“This is a particularly bad example of the ends justifying the means,” it said, denouncing the practice as “barbaric.”

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