Political Psychiatry in Post-MaoChina and its Origins in the Cultural Revolution
R. J. Munro,
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
30(1): 97-106, 2002.
In the former Soviet Union during the Khrushchev-Brezhnev era, the KGB used its
forensic psychiatric institutions to brand, arbitrarily and for political reasons, large numbers of
political dissidents as suffering from "schizophrenia" and "paranoid psychosis," and then incarcerated
them for long periods in "special psychiatric hospitals." In 1976, the Soviet Union was severely
censured on this account by psychiatrists from all over the world at a conference in Hawaii of the
World Psychiatric Association. Only after Gorbachev's rise to power were these errors rectified. We
have now discovered that similar practices have also occurred in certain parts of China.