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                      DANGEROUS MINDS 

Political Psychiatry in China Today and
its Origins in the Mao Era

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Human Rights Watch and
Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry

Copyright © August 2002 by Human Rights Watch. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
ISBN: 1-56432-278-5
Library of Congress Control Number: 2002109978

Wang Wanxing, a dissident held at the Beijing 
Ankang institute since June 1992 for unfurling a 
pro-democracy banner in Tiananmen Square. 





Recommendations  The Soviet Case: Prelude to a Global Consensus on Psychiatry and Human Rights

Judicial Psychiatry in China and its Political Abuses

I. Introduction 

II. International Standards on Ethical Psychiatry 

III. Historical Overview 

IV. A Short Guide to Political Psychosis 

V. The Legal Context 

VI. The Ankang: China's Special Psychiatric Hospitals 

VII. The Matrix of Theory and Practice: Readings from the Legal-Medical Literature 

VIII. The Falun Gong: New Targets of Psychiatric Abuse 

IX. Conclusions 


Appendix I: The Cultural Revolution and Late 1970s

Appendix II: The Deng Xiaoping Era and Beyond Appendix III: Crackdown on Falun Gong Appendix IV: PRC Draft Legislation
    Document 14: "Mental Health Law of the People's Republic of China" (Ninth Draft), October 1990


    This report was researched and written by Robin Munro, a London-based expert on China human rights issues who served as principal China researcher and director of the Hong Kong office of Human Rights Watch during 1989-1998. Munro also selected and translated the documents appearing in the appendices. Robert van Voren, secretary general of the Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry, wrote the section titled, "The Soviet Case: Prelude to a Global Consensus on Psychiatry and Human Rights." 

    The chapter titled "Judicial Psychiatry in China and its Political Abuses" was first published in the Columbia Journal of Asian Law, vol. 14, no. 1, 2000 (actual publication date: January 2001) and is used with permission. While writing it, Munro was a Senior Research Fellow at the Law Department and Centre of Chinese Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and a member of the School's Law and Public Health in Developing Countries Research Group. He gratefully acknowledges the kind assistance of Dr. James Birley, former president of the U.K. Royal College of Psychiatrists; Richard J. Bonnie, John S. Battle Professor of Law and Director of the University of Virginia Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy; Professor Donald C. Clarke of the University of Washington School of Law; Dr Frank Dikötter, Director of the Contemporary China Institute, SOAS; John Gunn CBE, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London; Professor Michael Palmer, Head of the Law Department, SOAS; Leonard S. Rubenstein J.D., Executive Director of Physicians for Human Rights, Boston; and Robert Van Voren of the Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry; all of whom provided valuable comments on earlier versions of the Columbia Journal article. Munro also gratefully acknowledges the generous assistance of Sir Joseph Hotung, member of the Governing Body of SOAS, in providing financial support for the research fellowship that produced the article. 

    Jim Birley also provided expert commentary on the documentary appendices to this report, and Richard Bonnie and Leonard Rubenstein gave important advice on the drafting of the Recommendations.

    Sidney Jones, then Executive Director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, and Cythnia Brown, consultant to Human Rights Watch, edited the report. Copy editing assistance was provided by Neelangani De Soyza and Liz Weiss, Human Rights Watch associates. 

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