Chinese whistleblower wronged and detained in mental home for 14 years
On the popular Chinese online forum Tianya, a woman by the name of Guo Hanyun said that her father, Guo Yuanrong, a cadre at the Bureau of Construction in Zhuxi County of Shiyan, Hubei, has been locked up in Shiyan Mental Hospital for 14 years for blowing the whistle on two officials of higher rankings. She said she would marry whoever can extricate her father. “Who can save my father, I will be your woman. If you have a lover, I will be your slave,” says the post.
According to the Tianya post, her father informed on Liu Xizhou, then chief of Bureau of Construction, for his financial crimes. The county disciplinary supervision committee reached a conclusion after investigation that the bribe Liu took from under was all offered to his boss. The record of the conclusion is archived in the county police office. But the committee announced to the public that it was not true. Her father was unconvinced, and kept writing letters to the committee and the police. All his letters were in vain, because then county party boss Ming Bangqing was on good terms with Liu Xizhou.
Through investigation, Deng Fei, a reporter with Phoenix Weekly, has found that Guo Yuanrong does not have any daughter. Guo Hanyun, the name of the self-proclaimed Guo Yuanrong’s daughter, sounds similar to Guo Hanyuan, which in Chinese means “Guo crying injustice.” The author of the post meant to draw people’s attention, but Guo Yuanrong has indeed been treated as a lunatic and detained for 14 years with the local government footing the bill. He has undergone electric shocks multiple times. The hospital refuses to release him, saying that whoever sent in by the police should be taken away by the police.
Deng Fei also said Guo Yuanrong does not have any mental disorder. Even the mental hospital itself has requested that the local government let him go home and rest after paying all his bills for him. Guo reads many law books and documents in hospital and has written many letters to the county officials. However, his attempts to step out of the hospital.
What kind of hospital is that? How come it colludes with the government in hospitalizing petitioners? In September 2009, Jin Hanyan and Jin Hanqin, sisters of Yunxi County were respectively sent to two mental hospitals in the city of Shiyan. They were forced to take medications and receive injections and twice nearly died.
According to Zhang Hongfeng, an activist for human rights, Guo was hospitalized in 1996 after he informed on then Chief of Bureau of Construction for corruption. The record shows that he was released in 1998. But because he continued to write petition letters, the police sent him back again.
On April 9, 2010, Peng Baoquan was sent to Shiyan Mental Hospital after filming and photographing petitioners, and was given psychiatric medications for five days. The medications led to abnormality of blood pressure and hepatomegaly, or enlarged liver. His family were in the dark until it was exposed first by Zhang Hongfeng and covered by the media. Peng was then released together with the Jin sisters aforementioned.
The crew of the lunatic asylum said that anyone sent in would be treated as a mental patient. No exception. If they are obedient and do not create trouble, they will be given medication. If they are not, doctors and nurses will tie him onto bed and inject him with a sedative. After one shot, the person would be feeble and have no strength to fight. Psychiatric medications are very powerful. Those who have never taken any would become muddled and feel sleepy with even one pill. After being on medication for some days, memory gets hazy, and they would eat and sleep willingly and even gain weight.
It is said that Guo had got accustomed to life in the mental asylum. He slept on the third floor near the corridor, read three newspapers a week, showed up at exactly 6:50 p.m. in the television room to watch CCTV news that starts on 7:00, and then took a pill and went to sleep at 9:00. He got up at 6:20 a.m. the next morning, took a pill, had three meals, took a walk, took a pill…
From the evening of January 3, countless phone calls were made by the media and netizens to Shiyan Mental Hospital, condemning or demanding an explanation. Under great pressure, the hospital released him on the morning of January 4. However, the hospital conceded only 306 days of detention.