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China

In China, Silencing Opponents With A Trip To The Psychiatric Ward

Chinese lawmakers have drafted a law designed to protect people from the so-called “made mad” phenomenon. As several high-profile cases have shown, people in power sometimes manage to force political opponents into mental hospitals.

Hubei Province, where several high-profile
Hubei Province, where several high-profile
Chao Sheng

A few days ago, China's State Council Legislative Affairs Office publicized a draft bill that deals with the nation's mental health policy. Chapter Six of the bill focuses on "liabilities." It stipulates among other things that "those who force others against their will to undergo medical examination to determine whether or not they are mentally disordered, as well as those who deliberately commit to medical institutions non-mentally disordered people as mentally disordered, are to be held liable under both criminal and civil law."

This article immediately sparked serious attention since it relates to the so-called "made mad" phenomenon, a serious – and apparently growing – problem in China. The term "made mad" refers to people of sane mind who are forced into mental health treatment and locked up in hospitals with restricted freedom of movement and communication. In order to be "cured" – and thus freed, the person must give in to the treatment by accepting whatever is required of him.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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