World Psychiatric Association Members Strongly Condemn China's Abuses of Psychiatry to Persecute Falun Gong Practitioners

On May 21, 2003, members of World Psychiatric Association (WPA) held a news conference in front of the Chinese Consulate at San Francisco to condemn the Chinese government's abuses of psychiatry and strongly urge the Chinese government to unconditionally accept WPA's independent inspection.

Professor Abraham Halpern
Doctor Jingduan Yang
Clinical psychiatrist Dr. Viviana Galli
A VOA reporter interviewing a Falun Gong practitioner

Attendees of this news conference included a past president of American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and professor Emeritus at New York Medical College, Dr. Abraham Halpern, a clinical psychiatrist from Ohio, Dr. Viviana Galli and Dr. Jingduan Yang, a Thomas Jefferson University Hospital psychiatrist.

At the news conference, Professor Halpern read a statement that WPA published on May 20, in which the WPA "Strongly demand the Chinese government 'unconditionally' accept WPA's 'independent inspection' regarding the misuse of psychiatry to violate human rights."

Professor Halpern said, "This is really an historic day for Falun Gong and for supporters of human rights throughout the world. The WPA has finally declared unambiguously and clearly a call for the admission to the PRC of an investigative mission to look into the serious allegations of abuse and misuse of psychiatry in connection with the hospitalisation and other kinds of psychiatric treatment involuntarily of non-mentally ill Falun Gong practitioners and political dissidents as well. The statement is much stronger than the one made in Yokohama Japan last year. This statement is much stronger than anybody could have expected---Demanding the unrestricted opportunity to visit any hospital that the investigative mission would want to go to; having their own translators without relying on translators within China itself....This is a very, very good news to all of us who respect human rights. This statement is much stronger than the one passed by WPA at Yokohama, Japan last August. The U. S. Congress will carefully consider this statement. I also hope that the U. S State Department would negotiate with the Chinese Foreign Ministry regarding this issue. More and more countries request to carry out investigations of the misuses of psychiatry by the Chinese government. The Chinese government can not runaround this fact." Professor Halpern called upon the U. S. government and other world organisations that care about China's human rights to support WPA's this action.

Ohio Clinical psychiatrist Galli said, "Despite the resolution of the WPA at the 12th WPA conference in Yokohama Japan to proceed with a third party investigation of the ongoing psychiatric abuse in China there have been new cases of abuse and torture of Falun Gong practitioners in mental hospitals, some concluded in death, after almost four years of persecution the torture and killing of the practitioners continue. Over 1000 practitioners have been involuntarily detained in mental hospitals at least 91 hospitals have been identified for being engaged in this psychiatric abuse of the practise. Today the number of normal healthy Falun Gong practitioners incarcerated and abused in mental hospitals way way way exceeds one thousand." She enumerated some of the investigated cases at the news conference. The miserable situation of some Falun Gong practitioners who were tortured to death were shocking by the sight.

Dr. Jingduan Yang, a psychiatrist from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital expressed that to safeguard the professional dignity of psychiatry, international organisations would not tolerate anyone or any country to arbitrarily misuse curing methods for political persecution. He said that last year, the American Psychiatric Association proposed to China to investigate cases in this regard, the Chinese government seemed on the surface to adopt a cooperative attitude, but it simple played the game of wording. In actuality, they used various means to hinder the investigation and also refused Dr. Halpern to participate in the investigation. He also said, "China is anxious to negate outside's requests on its political persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by means of misuses of psychiatry."

When reporters asked what this statement meant to the Chinese people, Professor Halpern said, "Well, I'm sure word will get around to that, and they will hear about this and they will finally know that the outside world is making this strong demand and I don't think that the Chinese government will ignore it. I personally feel they will respond in some way... I'm hoping that this investigation does take place."

About 30 people attended this news conference. A number of media including KTSF 26 TV station, New Tang Dynasty Television, Voice of America, KQED Radio station and Epoch Times came to cover the news

Chinese version available at

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