Wanting Freedom Means You Are Insane
The Communist crackdown on the Internet goes on.
A Chinese blogger and a rights activist are being held in mental institutions, rights groups and activists say, sparking fears for their well-being.
Authorities in the southeastern province of Fujian detained outspoken blogger Shi Genyuan at his home on June 3 and forcibly committed him to the mental health ward of the Quanzhou No. 3 Hospital, according to the Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch website.
|Some folks believe the wrong|
people are committed and that
we are ruled over by the insane.
Shi's committal means that only Quanzhou state security police have the power to release him from the facility, although nurses there said he didn't consent to his detention there reports Radio Free Asia.
A campaign by Shi's family and friends for his release has come to nothing in the face of threats from Quanzhou state security police, the group said.
Shi is being held on the basis of a "psychiatric evaluation" carried out by police in August 2013, after he was held on suspicion of "incitement to subvert state power" the previous May, it said.
"They are using mental illness as an excuse to detain him," Shi's friend, who gave only his surname Pan, told RFA.
He said nobody believes that Shi is suffering from a genuine mental illness.
"Mental health patients have normally lost at least some of their capacity to function in society," Pan said. "But his notes say he wants to appeal."
"Perhaps he wants to appeal against being labeled a mental health patient?"
'A form of reprisal'
Meanwhile, it has emerged that authorities in Beijing have been holding veteran pro-democracy activist Song Zaimin at the Pinggu Psychiatric Hospital, since he "disappeared" on Aug. 27, activists said.
"We have received reliable information in the past couple of days saying that that [Song] is being held in a mental institution," Beijing-based fellow activist Hou Xin told RFA.
"I am very worried about his situation. I never thought they would use a psychiatric hospital to detain him," Hou said.
He said Song's friends and family are getting together to campaign for his release.
"We want to see if we can get lawyers involved, because people don't get released from psychiatric hospitals quickly," he said.
According to Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, Song was detained after taking part in activities marking the 25th anniversary of the military crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square..
The overseas-based Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) group, which collates and translates reports from a number of Chinese rights groups, said both Song's and Shi's detentions are illegal.
"Their detentions constitute a deprivation of liberty that directly violates China's Mental Health Law, which went into effect in May 2013," the group said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday.
"The law has not stopped the use of involuntary psychiatric commitment as a form of reprisal against members of civil society," it said.