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Rights Defender Recounts Incarceration in Psychiatric Hospital

January 11, 2012

Li Jinping (李金平), from Shilipu Village, Changying Township, Chaoyang District, Beijing, worked as a police officer at the Chaoyang Branch of the Beijing Public Security Bureau until he resigned in 2000. After Zhao Ziyang, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, passed away in 2005, Li set up a devotional stand in his home to commemorate Zhao. In early 2008, the authorities, without reaching a relocation agreement with Li, demolished his home, wrecked the devotional stand, and destroyed the tree nursery on which he depended for his livelihood.

Li had advocated for Zhao’s political rehabilitation for years. He has written many letters to the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and has held up banners in Tiananmen Square. He has been detained multiple times by the police and kept under prolonged surveillance for his efforts.

Li Jinping was taken into police custody on October 8, 2010, the day of the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize for Liu Xiaobo, and sent to a psychiatric hospital on November 30, 2010. There, he was forced to take anti-psychotic drugs with potentially fatal side effects. In less than six months at the facility, he developed cerebral blood clots and cerebral atrophy. On June 22, 2011, he was transferred to a general hospital for treatment and was discharged on July 28.  

Below is Li’s account of what happened to him, translated into English by Human Rights in China.  

An Account of Psychiatric Incarceration by Li Jinping

January 6, 2012

English Translation by Human Rights in China

I am Li Jinping, a 47-year-old man from Beijing. On the morning of October 8, 2010, I received an overseas phone-call telling me to go to Tiananmen Square, saying that that after Liu Xiaobo won a human rights award, a lot of people were being detained. I did not go.

At 11p.m. that night, domestic security police from the Chaoyang District Public Security Bureau and the Changying local police substation took me from my temporary home in Shibalidian in Chaoyang District to the Changying Hongrui bathhouse. I was detained there and met Yang Jing who was also detained there.

After about half a month, Yang Jing was released. I asked the head of the police substation when they would release me, and he said, “You don’t have a place to live, right? So just live here for the time being!” Two police officers and a security guard kept me under 24-hour surveillance.

On November 30, 2010, the head of the local police substation said: “Stop saying that Zhao Ziyang was innocent.” I said I would not stop. He then said: “Sign your name on the demolition agreement.” I said no, I did not agree with the terms: they were giving me 100 square meters worth of compensation for 800 square meters. “Since you don’t agree, let’s take this discussion somewhere else!” Ten police officers dragged me into a police vehicle and handcuffed me. They took me to Chaoyang District Shuangqiao No. 3 Hospital, also known as the Chaoyang Mental Health Center, a psychiatric hospital. When I saw the sign, I started to cry. I tried to control my emotions—I said I didn’t break the law and wasn’t ill. They said, “If we say you’re sick, you are sick.” They took me into a room for the seriously disturbed.

There were a total of three people in this room. The other two were not lucid so I had nobody to talk to. There were nurses in this room whose job it was to keep watch on us round-the-clock and who separated me from other patients, not letting me have any contact with them. During lunch on the first day, they let me eat at the cafeteria. The head nurse, named Wang, brought me a bowl of rice with soup and vegetables. I didn’t want to eat but was also afraid.  They said I was paranoid. So I ate five or six mouthfuls. After coming back to my room, I felt discomfort in my stomach and felt nauseous and vomited. After that, I had headaches and couldn’t fall asleep. It took a week for me to feel better. 

A diagnostic document issued by Beijing Chaoyang District No.3 Hospital on January 5, 2012, stating that Li Jinping has cerebral blood clot, high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia.

Twenty days later, they wanted to do a blood test, but I wouldn’t let them. They tied me down onto the bed and took my blood forcibly. After the test, they said I had Hepatitis B and forced me to take medicine. It was Risperdal [an anti-psychotic drug known to have potentially fatal side effect]. They told me it was medicine to regulate my moods. After I took the medicine, I had a numbing pain in my whole body, and I felt pain in my head and my heart.

On May 3, 2011, my head hurt and the left half of my body was numb, and I pleaded for medical attention. They refused. The following day, when I felt it was really severe and again begged for a doctor, they then took me to Shuangqiao Hospital for a CT scan. The scan showed that I had a cerebral blood clot (脑血栓) and cerebral atrophy (脑萎缩). It wasn’t until June 22 that domestic security officials came and transferred me to the Chaoyang No. 2 hospital to treat my cerebral blood clot. On July 28, they finally released me. [After that] I went on my own to the Dongfang Gantai Hospital to get treatment for my liver problem. One week of treatment cost more than 3,000 yuan [approximately $475.50].

They forbade me to contact foreign journalists or anyone “outside” (外界) after my release, and told me to keep my mouth shut. Otherwise, they said, they would send me back to the psychiatric hospital. Currently, life is very difficult for me, I don’t have a home and I don’t have money for medical treatment. I hope that warmhearted friends from everywhere will take note of my case and give me support.

Li Jinping
Phone number: +86 135 5257 1554

For more information on Li Jinping, see: