World summit ends in disappointment
- By: Mirza Muminovic
The World Psychiatric Association intends to investigate charges that psychiatric hospitals in China are being used to silence political and religious dissidents. A team of experts from the association hopes to visit China and report back by May 2003.
The decision was taken during the association's recent triennial world congress in Yokohama after psychiatrists and human rights groups put forward a resolution calling on China to cease these abuses and fully cooperate with an investigation. The systematic psychiatric abuses in China are rampant, they say, and may be even more severe then they were in the former Soviet Union.
Britain's Royal College of Psychiatrists has demanded a more independent commission and has urged the World Psychiatric Association to consider barring the Chinese Psychiatric Association if evidence of abuse is found.
Before the congress, Human Rights Watch and the Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry published a report that compared the treatment of