Skip to content Skip to navigation

Petitioner Liu Xinjuan Forcibly Admitted to Mental Hospital for the Fifth Time

June 22, 2006

Human
Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Shanghai petitioner Liu Xinjuan has
been forcibly admitted to a mental hospital for the fifth time in three years
following her latest attempt to petition the government in Beijing over forced
evictions for urban redevelopment.


Sources in China told HRIC that on June 20, Liu’s son, Feng
Liangxi, received a phone call notifying him that his mother was receiving
psychiatric treatment at the Bijiang branch of Shanghai’s
MinxinDistrictJiangchuan
DiduanHospital
.
On June 22, Feng Liangxi was allowed to visit his mother in the hospital, where
she reportedly told him that she had been detained in Beijing
on June 13 and escorted back to Shanghai.
Liu said that upon her return, a local public security official, Gu Fenggao,
and about a dozen other officers forcibly escorted her to the Dichuan branch
hospital.


Liu
reportedly told her son that upon being admitted to the hospital, she was put on
24-hour watch, and that when she refused to take medicine, doctors concealed it
in her food. Liu said a doctor named Cheng Xiaofeng threatened that because she
was a longtime petitioner, she would be made to take medicine to treat her “good
memory.”


This is the
third time that Liu has been forcibly admitted to psychiatric treatment this
year as part of a long pattern of unlawful institutionalization:

·

On
February 12, shortly before the National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese
People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) sessions in
Beijing,
Liu Xinjuan and several other petitioners were detained in
Beijing while attempting to petition the
government. Shortly after their return to
Shanghai
on the morning of February 24, public security police from the Minxin District
Qibao Dispatch Station forcibly admitted Liu Xinjuan to the
MinxinDistrict
MentalHealth
Center
.

·

Liu
had previously been released on January 20 from a treatment session that Feng
Liangxi said left her with contusions on her head and bruises covering her
body.

·

Liu
has been forcibly admitted two other times since 2003. In all, she has spent a
total of 280 days in mental hospitals since that time.


According
to HRIC’s sources, Liu’s forced incarceration for psychiatric treatment has
always been carried out under the orders of Gu Fenggao, a police officer with
the Qibao branch of the Minxin District Public Security Bureau. Sources say
hospital officials told Feng Liangxi that Liu cannot be released without the
permission of the Public Security Bureau.


China has a demonstrated record of
targeting dissidents for forced psychiatric incarceration. These individuals
are incarcerated for indefinite periods without trial, have no process to
appeal their detention, and are forced to accept unnecessary psychiatric
treatment, including shock therapy. In one of the best documented cases,
Wang Wanxing was incarcerated in a
mental hospital for 13 years after unfurling a banner calling for greater human
rights and democracy on June 3, 1992. Following his release earlier this year, Wang
was examined by psychiatric experts in
Germany and found to be free of
mental illness.


HRIC
condemns the long history of misuse of the Chinese mental health system to
incarcerate dissidents and other citizens. Forcibly admitting Liu Xinjuan for
psychiatric treatment as punishment for her petitioning activities for the
fifth time is a form of arbitrary detention and an egregious human rights
violation. HRIC calls on Chinese authorities to investigate this pattern of
abuse against Liu Xinjuan, secure her immediate release and ensure she
is no longer targeted for harassment by the Shanghai PSB.


The
telephone number of the Bijiang branch of
MinxinMental
HealthCenter

is 021-5472-4356 (Director: Dr. Zhao).