The University of Paris played host to the 29th International Congress on Law and Mental Health from July 2nd to 8th 2005. Experts, academics and witnesses to the persecution of Falun Gong were invited to attend the mental health summit..
|The seminar room|
Throughout the duration of this congress, over one thousand experts, lawyers, judges psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors in the fields of mental health and social science attended 182 forums concerning mental health and human rights. The attendants came from North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Compared with previous congresses, this year the 29th Congress expressed more concern over human rights abuses, particularly over the topics of torture, refugees and children. human rights abuses in China drew intense attention from all present. In China, many dissidents are being tortured in psychiatric units; forced psychiatric treatments of Falun Gong practitioners who have no problems with their mental health serve as a prominent example.
The 29th International Congress on Law and Mental Health was under the auspices of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IAL MH), headquartered in Montreal, Canada. David The host of the congress took the initiative to invite academics and experts on Falun Gong to attend the Falun Gong seminar. The IALMH has been expressing concerns over China’s persecution of Falun Gong. “It is necessary to inform more international experts and academics of the facts of the persecution,” David N. Weisstub was cited as saying. He also expressed his willingness to consult those present about certain concrete projects to help bring an end to the persecution.
On the afternoon of July 7th, the following speakers made contributions to the Falun Gong seminar: spokesperson for Falun Gong Zhang Erping, psychiatrist and Chairperson of China Mental Health Watch Viviana Galli, representative lawyer for the Global Association to Bring Jiang to Justice Theresa Chu, professor of National Taiwan University Chu-Cheng Ming and three Falun Gong practitioners who had been subjected to psychiatric persecution — Zhao Ming from Ireland, Chen Ying from France and Liu Xioatian from Denmark.
Statements by the speakers enabled those present to have a further understanding of the reason for, the social background to and the brutality of China’s persecution against Falun Gong, particularly the psychiatric persecution inflicted on Falun Gong practitioners, and global lawsuits against former Communist leader Jiang Zemin. National Taiwan University professor Chu-Cheng Ming and human rights lawyers on behalf of Falun Gong David Matas and Theresa Chu talked from various angles about China’s psychiatric control over its people and the progress of global lawsuits against Jiang Zemin.
|Three persecuted Falun Gong practitioners as witnesses to the persecution: Liu Xioatian (second from the left), Chen Ying (central), Zhao Ming (second from the right).|
The three persecuted practitioners testified to the brutal psychiatric persecution inflicted on them by China’s dictators. Their painful experiences deeply touched those present who afterward expressed their deep concern and encouragement to the persecuted practitioners.
|Psychiatrist Viviana Gall|
After the seminar, Doctor Galli told a reporter, “China’s mental institutions are never independent ones, but are under complete control of the government. This is the very reason why international organisations keep being denied admission to the PRC on an investigative mission...To change this situation, some changes must be brought about inside China. It was Russian psychiatrists that exposed Soviet’s abuses of psychiatry to persecute dissidents. Here we are supporting and calling on psychiatrists of conscience and righteousness, such as the military doctor Jiang Yanyong, who exposed China’s SARS cover-up, to tell the facts based on their conscience and to stand against totalitarianism with rationality.”
|Falun Gong practitioners invited to attend the cocktail party on the evening of July 7th, Zhang Erping (left photo), Theresa Chu and Sunny Lu (right photo).|
The one-week discussion among international experts and academics raised everyone’s concerns over China’s persecution of Falun Gong. During a cocktail party on the evening of July 7th, Dr. Weisstub conversed with the practitioners, giving credit to their efforts to stop the persecution and promising to keep in contact with them and work together with other professionals in the field of mental health. Hopefully, more people of conscience and righteousness will also help to bring an end to the persecution.
The following is the testimony given by Falun Gong practitioner Chen Ying:
My name is Chen Ying. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to describe my personal experiences of psychiatric persecution in China’s detention centres and forced labour camps.
In 1996 I started to practise Falun Gong. The belief in “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” filled my heart with sunshine and a sense of fulfilment and also upgraded my thoughts and morality. I adopted a peaceful and tolerant attitude towards others. In the office I was hardworking and dutiful. My family enjoyed domestic felicity. I felt confident and hopeful. At that time, there were over 100 million people practising Falun Gong in the parks in China every day. But all of a sudden, things changed. On July 20th 1999, China launched the persecution against Falun Gong. As a witness to the persecution in China, I am willing to narrate the facts of the persecution.
In December 1998, I arrived in France to be reunited with my ex-husband working in France. At the end of December 1999, I returned to China to visit my parents. Since then, I was illegally detained three times without any legal trials or procedures because of my firm belief in “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” For the third time the police lied to me that Beijing Chaoyang Police Station wanted to talk to me to gain a better understanding of the situation and I would be allowed to go home twenty minutes later. By lying to me, the police kidnapped me to Xin’an Female Forced Labour Camp where I was unlawfully imprisoned for one year.
In the labour camps, torture and atrocities against Falun Gong practitioners are common and severe. During my illegal detention I was subjected to ill treatment and torture. For example, I was stripped naked with a basin of icy cold water being poured all over my body, in the presence of many others; I was ordered to sit on the freezing ground for two days and two nights, not allowed to stand up and deprived of sleep; I was beaten by the other inmates and the police ordered the inmates to torture me. Once I was beaten so mercilessly that all of the inmates involved in the torture burst into tears.
Physical pains also caused mental pains. For me, mental pains were greater than physical pains. Physical wounds will heal gradually, but mental wounds can never heal. In China’s labour camps, the psychiatric persecution inflicted on me almost choked me, leaving me feeling the coming of death. As a human being, I was deprived of my dignity, my personality, and my basic physical needs. My body was under forcible control. In this way, I lost my human conscience and belief. Then I underwent a mental breakdown. China uses forcible brainwashing as a form of psychiatric persecution to weaken a being’s conscience.
During my illegal detention, my ex-husband was under various kinds of pressure. He worked as a government agent in China. All his coworkers, blind to the facts, agreed and even encouraged him to divorce me. Under pressure and threats, he divorced me, which caused me great spiritual and mental pressure. I often suffered from insomnia and nightmares.
In China, the police forced me to renounce my belief in “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance”. I was injected with psychotropic drugs that caused harm to my nervous system, deprived of sleep, forced to labour for long periods of time and forced to watch and read Falun Gong-slandering tapes and books. These methods were used to “brainwash” me. The police had my hands cuffed to a window, and both my legs cuffed, and then they forcibly injected psychotropic drugs into my body causing harm to my nervous system. At the moment when the drugs were injected into my body, my heart beat fast, each turbulent movement of my heart coming with panic; seemingly each heart beat would have my chest burst open; my heart and veins seemed to be torn into pieces.
After that, I had a hard time thinking clearly about matters, my reactions retarded, and my memory deteriorated. I was always in a sleepy state, feeling that my head was getting so heavy that I could hardly turn it. The left part of my body started to move uncontrollably and I was gradually losing the control of my body movements. Now the left part of my body still feels numb and moves uncontrollably. The torturing led to loss of part of my memory, which happened to be what I had painfully experienced in the labour camps. Not until my arrival in France were my fragmented memories recalled bit by bit; when I viewed photos and read articles about persecuted Falun Gong practitioners, my numb nerves were shocked and painful memories were awakened. Throughout the duration of the extended atrocities, I was mentally and physically weakened.
China’s forcible “brainwashing” went beyond what I could stand. I was forced to give up my belief and conscience. The mental pains resulting from this forced “transformation” were beyond description. I felt I was transformed into a soulless being. They deprived me not just of my thoughts and freedom of belief but also of my life conscience and basic rights to live in this world. This persecution murdered human souls and conscience; the persecuted were mentally sentenced to a death penalty. In China’s labour camps, Falun Gong practitioners were forced to make a choice between a physical death penalty — safeguarding with nobility the belief in “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance — and a mental death penalty, betraying their consciences and feeling guilty for the rest of their lives. As far as I was concerned, the deprivation of my freedoms and rights equalled the destruction and the death of my soul. This persecution is brutal and inhumane.
The persecution is sustained by lies and deception. After I was forcibly “brainwashed” to give up my belief and conscience, I lived in fear that I would be “re-brainwashed” once the police found that internally I did not give up my belief in “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” To prove that my “transformation” was “sincere,” the police forced me to “transform” other Falun Gong practitioners who had a firm belief in Falun Gong. My “transformation” after I was brutally tortured was cited as a good example to torture and deceive my fellow practitioners who determinedly safeguarded their belief. Living in fear and under threats, I mentally collapsed, my soul being painfully distorted. In this manner, I proved that “I was saved by the Chinese Communist Party,” and “sincerely” said good-bye to “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” In China someone like me was arranged by the police to be interviewed by foreign and Chinese reporters and the media. China used this method to deceive the international community, international human rights organisations and those blind to the truth.
After leaving the labour camp, I arrived in France. I was unwilling to recall my painful experiences because the damages to my mind and my soul scared me. The fear was such that I was on the edge of mental collapse. Distortion of my personality and loss of my conscience kept me feeling mentally abnormal. I usually felt that I suffered from mental disorders. I no longer trusted the society and humans, feeling life was meaningless. The thought often came across my mind that I wanted to separate myself from the society. I even often mumbled, “I am dying. I am dying. I am dying.”
Fortunately, I came to France, a nation of freedom, where I started to practise Falun Gong. Today I have the courage to speak out about all of these painful memories. It really means a rebirth to me. I voice out the truth for my fellow practitioners in China who are being subjected to more severe persecution than I was. I voice out the facts to inform worldwide kind people of the physical and psychiatric persecution happening in China. Let us stand together to bring an end to the persecution and the brutal torture and murder of Falun Gong practitioners.
The seed of peacefulness and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” are growing again in my mind. I feel thankful and happy that I am a Falun Gong practitioner again.
Thanks for your attention.
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