Displaying items by tag: dissidents

Thursday, 01 September 2022 20:53

China: torturing critics in psychiatric hospitals

In the Chinese ankang (peace and health) system detainees are strapped onto beds, pumped full of drugs, receive electric-shock therapy, and are left to lie in their own excrement. Some are confined for their entire lifetimes. The system is grounded in the Communist Party's optimistic totalitarian notion that medical treatment can make people obedient. Medics administer drugs that damage prisoners’ central nervous systems, intentionally overdosing them, apply extreme-strength electroacupuncture, and brutally force-feed them. This abuse of psychiatry has continued for seven decades in the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party has changed the organisational structures and the methods of how it destroys people in psychiatric institutions, but the destruction of life continues. Safeguard defenders, and the international community, must finally acknowledge that the Party is inherently murderous. The only way to end the abuse of psychiatry in China as well as the Party's other horrific crimes is to end its rule.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 06 January 2022 21:08

Russia: crackdown on ‘dissidents’

Russia declared Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (a member of the Pussy Riot band) and prominent satirist Viktor Shenderovich ‘foreign agents’ as authorities press ahead with a crackdown on dissent. The justice ministry also added to its list of ‘foreign agents’ journalist Taisiya Bekbulatova and art collector Marat Gelman. ‘These people systematically distribute materials to an indefinite circle of persons, while receiving foreign funds.’ the government said in a statement. Shenderovich is a prominent anti-Kremlin satirist and political observer. Anyone identified as a ‘foreign agent’ must disclose sources of funding and accompany all texts, videos and social media posts with a caption mentioning content from a ‘foreign agent’: this is reminiscent of the Soviet-era term ‘enemy of the people’. Independent media outlets including Rain TV and a popular Russian-language website have also been branded as foreign agents. Russia claims that there is increased interference from abroad, meddling in Russian affairs.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 07 November 2019 22:58

Saudi Arabia: punishing cost of change

Human Rights Watch reported on 4 November that important social reforms enacted under Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman have been accompanied by deepening repression and abusive practices meant to silence dissidents and critics. The 62-page report documents ongoing arbitrary and abusive practices by Saudi authorities targeting dissidents and activists since mid-2017 and a total lack of accountability for those responsible for abuses. Despite landmark reforms for Saudi women and youth, ongoing abuses demonstrate that the rule of law remains weak and can be undermined at will by political leadership. The authorities have locked away many leading reformist thinkers and activists. HRW said that detaining citizens for peaceful criticism of the government’s policies or human rights advocacy is not new in Saudi Arabia, but what has made the post-2017 arrest waves notable is the sheer number and range of people targeted over a short period, and new repressive practices.

Published in Worldwide