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Rights Group Concerned About China's Mental Health Law

Human Rights Watch report on China's Mental Health Facilities.
A U.S.-based rights organization is criticizing a new mental health law in China, saying it does not end the country's system of involuntary confinement.

In a report issued Friday, Human Rights Watch said the involuntary confinement of people with mental disabilities falls far short of the requirements of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which China adopted in 2008.

HRW China director Sophie Richardson said the new law does not close loopholes that allow government authorities and families to lock up people in psychiatric hospitals against their will, and without legal recourse.

HRW cited cases of beatings, forced medications and shock treatments, and said psychiatric institutions are often used to imprison political dissidents, activists and petitioners.

The rights group called for the immediate release of political prisoners from such facilities.