Over the past 14 years, psychiatric abuse has become one of the most common tortures used against Falun Gong practitioners. Completely healthy practitioners are often sent to psychiatric wards for the purpose of discrediting Falun Gong and bringing great pressure to bear on those who resolutely adhere to their faith.
The most recent case is Mr. Luo Jiangping, who passed away on December 28th, 2013 at the age of 51 after telling his family that he had been injected with poisonous drugs during his final days.
However, cases of psychiatric abuse are very difficult to document, partly because survivors are often unable to recall a lot of details. Ms. Tan Guihua's case was one of the few documented in a joint report by the Human Rights Watch and the Geneva Psychiatric Treatment Committee. She died in July 2007 as a result of seven months of psychiatric abuse.
The August 2002 report “Dangerous Minds: Political Psychiatry in China Today and its Origins in the Mao Era” indicates that China's diagnosis of Falun Gong practitioners who are firm in their belief as "mentally ill" violates international standards of psychiatric analysis.
Ms. Tan Guihua was born in 1955 and retired from the No. 3 Jiaozhao Shoe Factory in Qingdao City. While returning home from visiting her son in Yantai City in July 2007, she suddenly fell to the floor in the train station and died. The doctor said she had died from a stroke, but many people thought differently.
This story began in 1997 when Ms. Tan began to practise Falun Gong. She followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and both her physical and mental health greatly improved. She told her family and friends about the benefits and wonders of Falun Gong.
Many things changed when Jiang Zemin, [former leader of China and instigator of the persecution] began to persecute Falun Gong in July 1999. Ms. Tan went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. She was arrested and taken back to her hometown by agents hired by the local government. She was detained in the Nantan Detention Centre in Jiaozhou City.
Because she refused to give up her belief, she was severely beaten. Ms. Tan was transferred to the Jiaozhou Psychiatric Hospital (now the Jiaozhou City Kangfu Hospital) in October 1999 for further persecution.
Under the directions of Li Yanxi of the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong), she was pushed down by several mentally ill patients. The nurse injected some unknown substance into her with a large needle normally used for glucose injections.
She immediately felt nauseous and experienced physical side effects, including heart palpitations, tongue and lip twitching, headache, and biting sensations all over her body. She experienced memory loss and began to hallucinate. She recovered quickly, however, and was able to do the Falun Gong exercises the following day.
Seeing her speedy recovery and her ability to perform the exercises upset the doctors. They forced her to take unknown pills and then kept increasing the dosage from 2 to 10 pills. They monitored her intake of such drugs three times a day. They would simply force the drugs in if she refused to take them.
After two months, her hair turned grey, and her period stopped. She developed a tremor and could not move her hands. Ms. Tan was pale, in a daze and could not stand up straight. The psychiatric hospital had turned a healthy person into someone that was mentally disabled.
The hospital finally released her seven months later after repeated requests by her family. However, her mental disability caused her to act strangely. Her family members were tricked into believing that the change in Ms. Tan's behavior was a result of her practising Falun Gong.
She was then diagnosed with late stage breast cancer and forced to have a mastectomy. This worsened her already fragile mental condition.
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