Ankang (asylum)

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Ankang (Chinese: 安康) is a name shared by a number of psychiatric hospitals or asylums in China. The term literally means "peace and health [for the mentally ill]". Many of these institutions are prison-hospitals for holding prisoners judged to be mentally ill, and operate directly under the local Public Security Bureau.[1] As a result, "ankang" is sometimes used in the Western press to denote the system of prison-hospitals in China. However, not all ankang hospitals are prison-hospitals, and some offer conventional psychiatric and medical treatment services.

Some patients sent to these institutions are political prisoners or Falun Gong practitioners. By some estimates 3,000 political prisoners are held in about 25 ankang institutions across China.[2]

List of ankang hospitals[edit]

According to the United States Department of State, there were 20 ankang hospitals in China in early 2009, which are overseen by the Ministry of Public Security.[3]

  • Beijing Ankang Hospital (北京市安康医院), Fangshan District (1800 beds), Psychiatric facilities: yes[4]
  • Chengdu Ankang Hospital (成都市安康医院) Sichuan (500 beds), Psychiatric facilities: yes[5]
  • Hangzhou Ankang Hospital (杭州安康医院), Zhejiang (520 beds)[6]
  • Jinan Ankang Hospital/Shandong province Ankang Hospital (济南安康医院/山东省安康医院), Shandong (1040 beds), Psychiatric facilities: yes[7]
  • Nanjing Ankang Hospital (南京市安康医院), Jiangsu (112 beds) [8]
  • Ningbo PSB Ankang Hospital (宁波市公安局安康医院), Zhejiang [9]
  • Shanghai PSB Ankang Hospital (上海市公安局安康医院)[10]
  • Tangshan Municipal Ankang Hospital (唐山市安康医院), Hebei (150 beds) [11]
  • Tianjin Municipal Ankang Hospital (天津市安康医院), Psychiatric facilities: yes[12]
  • Wuan Ankang Hospital (武安市安康医院), Hubei (Est 1988, 120 beds), Psychiatric facilities: yes[13]
  • Xian Ankang Hospital (西安市安康医院), Shaanxi (250 beds), Psychiatric facilities: yes[14]

Controversies[edit]

Wang Wanxing, a prominent democracy activist with a history of anti-government protest, was again arrested on June 4, 1992 when he unfurled a banner in Tiananmen Square on the third anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. He was swiftly arrested and locked up in a psychiatric hospital near Beijing, with a concocted diagnosis of "political monomania".[15] Following his release in 2006, Wang was examined for two days by Dr. Raes and Dr. van der Meer, who said in a statement: "He was not suffering from any mental disorder that could justify his admission." Human Rights Watch says it has documented 3,000 cases of psychiatric punishment of political dissidents since the early 1980s.[16]

In 2000, Robin J. Munro drew attention when he made allegations of abuses of forensic psychiatry in China.[17] In 2002, Human Rights Watch and the Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry issued a report which alleged that Chinese dissidents, independent labour organisers, whistle-blowers and individuals who complain about official misconduct have been labelled "political maniacs" and locked up in mental hospitals simply for opposing the government. Symptoms of "political mania" as defined by the police include "shout[ing] reactionary slogans, writ[ing] reactionary banners and reactionary letters, mak[ing] anti-government speeches in public, and express[ing] opinions on important domestic and international affairs". Such individuals may be detained indefinitely in ankang centres.[18][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Ankang: China's Special Psychiatric Hospitals". Human Rights Watch. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)". 2003 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 25 February 2004. Archived from the original on 15 November 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2008.  Section 1d: "Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile."
  3. ^ "2008 Human Rights Report: China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)". United States Department of State. 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2009.  "Respect for Human Rights" Section 1c: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
  4. ^ Beijing Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29, "医院占地面积12.17万平方米,建筑面积4.707万平方米,绿化面积4.26万平方米;开设床位1800张(精神科800张、戒毒中心1000张)。 医院现有在职职工510人,其中各类专业技术人员372人;高级专业技术职务24人,中级技术职务124人;硕士3人,大专以上学历264人。"
  5. ^ Chengdu Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29, "  医院定编床位500张,设有精神科、神经内科、中西医内科、外科、烧烫伤、骨伤科等;还开展药物依赖成隐治疗(戒毒、戒酒)、心理测试、心理咨询、心 理治疗、精神病人劳动能力鉴定、精神病医学鉴定、机动车驾驶员体检、健康体检、健康保健、预防注射、社区卫生服务、便民门诊、出诊、会诊;设有家庭病床、 对外配方、邮寄药物、出防随访等。   医院现有民警、职工250余人,技术人员130余人,占职工总数的72%,其中中高级技术职称占35%。每年都有在各级专业刊物上发表论文,参加各级学术会议的交流和国家级科研课题的开展。与法国合作开展“中法城市精神卫生社区服务”项目,并选派医务人员出国深造。"
  6. ^ Hangzhou Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29
  7. ^ Jinan Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29[dead link]
  8. ^ Nanjing Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29, 床位数:112 日门诊量:267
  9. ^ Ningbo PSB Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29
  10. ^ Shanghai PSB Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29
  11. ^ Tianjin Municipal Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29
  12. ^ Tianjin Municipal Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29
  13. ^ Wuan Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29[dead link]
  14. ^ Xian Ankang Hospital, Retrieved 2007-10-29
  15. ^ In the grip of the Ankang, The Guardian, December 20, 2005
  16. ^ Joseph Kahn, Sane Chinese Put in Asylum, Doctors Find, March 17, 2006
  17. ^ Sunny Y. Lu & Viviana B. Galli, "Psychiatric Abuse of Falun Gong Practitioners in China", The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 30:126–30, 2002
  18. ^ John Gittings, China 'sending dissidents to mental hospitals, The Guardian, August 13, 2002
  19. ^ McDonald, Hamish (November 7, 2005). "Former inmate tells of torture". The Age. Retrieved 2008-02-28.