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Accusation about Psychotherapy for "Dissidents", Falun Gong Practitioners Refuted
The accusation by Western media that China uses psychotherapy to suppress so-called "dissidents" and Falun Gong followers is totally a malicious slander.

The remark was made by an official with the Information Office of the State Council in an interview with Xinhua Friday.

Recently, certain news media groups in some Western countries have published articles saying China uses psychotherapy to suppress those "dissidents" and Falun Gong practitioners, the official explained.

"Some people with ulterior motives have also thrown stones at China about this for no reason by using international conferences as their platform, claiming China 'uses this method as a way to carry out political and social control of its citizens," said the official.

According to the official, the Chinese government has always paid great attention to psychological health. There are strict regulations about the administration of hospitals for the mentally ill and the admission of such patients. Hospitalization of mentally ill patients must follow the set procedures.

"The accusation made by some overseas organizations about China ‘using psychiatric hospitals for political purposes', or 'detaining different kinds of dissidents as psychopathic patients’, lacks evidence and is totally irresponsible," said the official.

In China, compulsory medical measures imposed on the mentally ill after causing disturbances or disasters are taken strictly in accordance with regulations, the official went on.

The first item of Article 18 of the Criminal Law stipulates any mentally ill person who has behaved in a dangerous way when he or she could not identify or could not control his or her behavior will not shoulder any criminal responsibility if he or she is diagnosed as being mentally ill according to set procedures. However, his or her relatives or supervisors must be told to watch the person carefully and have him or her treated, and government-financed compulsory medical treatment must be introduced when necessary.

Article 10 of the Regulation of the People's Republic of China on Administrative Penalties for Public Security also rules that mentally ill patients will not be punished for violations of public security when he or she cannot identify or cannot control his or her own behavior, but it necessary to order his or her supervisors to watch the person closely and have him or her medically treated.

Article 14 of Police Law stipulates the people's police with departments of public security may introduce protective restrictive measures when dealing with mentally ill patients who have posed a serious threat to public security or the personal safety of others. When there is a need to send mentally ill patients to designated establishments or centers for further supervision, it is necessary to inform and get approval from the people's government and departments of public security above county level, and to inform the supervisors of the mentally ill person as well.

The official believes compulsory hospitalization of mentally ill patients disturbing peace according to law is not only to safeguard the lives and property of the broad masses of the people and safeguard the order of social security, but also for the genuine care of the mentally ill persons and their relatives.

As for Wang Wanxing, Cao Maobin and some others named by Western media, the official said that they seriously disturbed the social order when they could not identify or could not control their own behaviors. They were later found to be mentally ill after medical examinations as required by legal regulations.

It is normal, necessary and an act fully in keeping with the law that related local government and departments of public security sent them to hospitals and had them treated there, said the official.

"These people like Wang Wanxing and Cao Maobin have never received any so-called 'inhumane treatment' during their stay in hospitals," the official emphasized.

According to the official, Cao Maobin and his relatives expressed thanks to the public security departments, the concerned hospital and the people who accompanied him from his former place of employment for having him treated in the hospital.

"When Cao Maobin was discharged from hospital, the local government and relevant departments helped him go through required procedures for retirement on illness so that Cao could obtain a pension each month according to set rules," said the official.

He said Cao now has a stable state of mind and lives a normal life.

The official went on to say that the cult is an issue that has aroused wide attention in today's international community and is also a major pest in the present world.

In the cult organizations, apotheosized cult leaders adopted fraudulent means to exercise spiritual control over their followers, which has severely destroyed the health of the followers and caused great harm to the state, society and the people, he said. "Therefore, the governments of different countries have always punished criminal activities committed by the cult organizations according to law."

"The Falun Gong organization has all the features of a cult and has been banned by the Chinese government according to law," said the official.

In China, there are certainly some "Falun Gong" practitioners whose behavior has become abnormal from being obsessed with the cult for long time and who have later been sent to hospitals by their relatives.

Hospitals only admit those patients who are diagnosed as being mentally ill according to the appropriate procedures. The phenomenon concocted by some people in the West and overseas media who say China "uses psychiatric hospitals and psychotherapy to suppress Falun Gong practitioners" has never existed, the official said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 5, 2002)

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