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China and the Falun Gong

Letter to New York Times
May 03, 2009

Re “After 10 Years and 2,000 Deaths, China Still Presses Its Crusade Against Falun Gong” (news article, April 28):

At a meeting of the World Psychiatric Association in 2004, the Chinese Psychiatric Society agreed to allow an independent review committee to investigate reports of involuntary psychiatric “treatment” of non-mentally ill Falun Gong practitioners.

In short order, however, the Chinese government forbade such interference in its internal affairs.

In subsequent years, many American and other foreign psychiatrists have visited China, but no inspection of any of the maximum-security psychiatric institutions has taken place. Reports of misuse of psychiatry in China persist.

Abraham L. Halpern
Palm Beach, Fla., April 28, 2009
The writer is emeritus professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College.

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