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China: Protestors and petitioners penned up into madhouse

若干年后,整个人类都会为今天发生的事,而震惊!!!!!!!!!!!

Years later, the entire humanity will be astonished at what happens today!!!!!!!!!

This is a comment people left after a news story. It is a story about petitioning, protest and madhouse. Reading the story, I am almost drowned by a sense of desperation infused in what Mr. Sun has gone through all these years, but also very much touched by Mr. Shi’s courage to expose such a scandal to public. I know, this would be a story worth record, and translation.

In China, it’s a long tradition that people wronged by their hometown officials would trek to Beijing to appeal for justice. It is called petitioning, a mild way of protest. As mild as it is, however, no local government involved would easily let the petitioner go, and interruption, detain, threat are never unusual. And now, a more civilized way is employed, that is, asylum, or, madhouse. That’s where the story started.

57岁的农民孙法武一下车,就四处张望寻找。约好的同伴还没到。
  突然,一辆面包车“嗖”地停在老孙面前。车上下来三人,将他半包围了。
  老孙认得其中一人,新泰市泉沟镇信访办主任安士智。
  “干什么去?”
  “北京打工去。”
  “打什么工!你是去上访。不能让你走!”
两男子一左一右上来,老孙掏出手机报警,被劈手夺下。随后被塞进面包车。

Xintai Town, Shangdong.

Mr. Sun-fawu, 57, got off the car and looked around for his companion he was to meet. Yet no one was there. All in a sudden, a microbus rushed to him and stopped, 3 people coming off and closing him in. One of them was identified as An-shizhi, Sun recalled, who is the director of the Petitioning Office (the official agency handles complaints) in the town.
“what are doing?”
“to find a job in Beijing。”
“Looking for a job? No, you are to petition. You are not let go!”
Two men came up, snatched away the cellphone Sun was to use for police-calling, and pushed him into the microbus.

Sun’s nightmare started. The place he was sent to is exactly the City Asylum, where the mentally disordered stay. The government men left him there.

 老孙冲着那医生大喊:“我没病!我是上访的!”
  那天很多“病人”听到了这喊声,包括后来跟老孙关系密切的老时。
  “医生说,我管你有没有病,你们镇政府送来的,我就按精神病来治。”

Sun yelled to the doctor coming to him, “I am not lunatic! I am just going to petition!”
The shout was heard by many “patients” there, including Mr. Shi, a close friend to Sun later.
The doctor says, “I don’t care whether you are ill. You are sent by the town government, and I’ll treat you as of psychosis.”

What he later went through was that:

“手脚全绑在床腿上,外套蒙在了脑袋上。”老孙听到有人说快灌药,接着脸部被捏住,嘴被动地张开了。
医生捏了他下颌,几粒药“自己下去了”。
当晚7点左右,主治医生朱风信来给老孙打了一针,之后老孙“没了意识”

“I had all my limbs tied to the bed legs, and head wrapped up by a mask.” Sun heard some one saying “pouring the medicine quickly”, and his mouth was forced to open. Mandible clutched, the pills ran into his throat. At 7 pm, Dr. Zhu gave Sun a shot, and he then lost all his consciousness.

During his days there, Zhu has thought to escape, though he claimed time over time again he was normal. He pleaded the dean. But the answer was as cold as the patient room, that “only those sent you here sign an agreement, you are allowed to go”. And a “suggestion” followed, “ask your family to find the government.
But how to? Sun asked himself, with no phone with him.

Sun’s grief

Sun’s grief dates back to several years ago, when the land in his village sunk so much that it was no more arable due to the thriving mining at the place. Since 1988, the mine owners have compensated the affected villagers for a few times.

按补偿标准,老孙家可获4万多元。但据老孙及村民徐学玲等人讲,全村300多户都没领到补偿款。

According to the criteria, Sun’s family could get over 40 thousand. But as Sun and some other villagers said, over 300 households in the village got no compensation at all.

But the village officials insisted the fund has been distributed. Since 2001, villagers voted Sun as one of their delegates, to complain to the town government. The city inspection group, however, alleged that the fund has indeed been allocated after investigation. The villagers defied, sending more complaints and inquiry of further probe.

三天后,当年10月1日晚,十多人闯入老孙家打砸。当时老孙没在,老孙的儿子、新婚第五天的孙贵强被砍成重伤。据孙妻张学芳回忆,那些人喊着,“再上访弄死你们全家”。

Three days later, 1, Oct, at night, over 10 people broke into Sun’s home when he was not there, and hacked down Sun’s son, who got married only 5 days ago, to be seriously injured. Sun’s wife, Zhang-xuefang recalled, those people yelled “We’ll kill out your family if you keep on petitioning.”

Sun didn’t stop. He haunted around town, city, and provincial Petitioning Offices, and even to as far as Beijing. In 2004, he was detained for 14 days, the prosecution being “disrupting social order”. In 2005, he was sentenced to prison, again, but for over 1 year this time.

Then in 2007, a new weapon was put in use. He was put in the asylum.

“开始天天吃药,打针”。老孙对药物敏感,“头一直晕,站不起来”。

“Every day I took pills and injection.” Sun was sensitive to medicine. “I felt dizzy, and can’t stand up.”

He stayed there for 3 months, 5 days. Only did he pledged that no more petitioning would he committed was he released.

In 2008, Oct, the story at the beginning of the article happened. This has been his second time to be a “mad man”.

A secret recorder

老时秘密进行着自己的“任务”,迄今,他记录了18名被关进医院的上访者

Mr. Shi, 84, has his own secret mission. Up till now, he has recorded 18 petitioners penned up into the hospital.

He used to go to Beijng to complain the negligence of duty of the local government. In 2006, he was sent by Tianbao government (another one) to the same hospital.

He was called to go out later, but he refused. He required an explanation of such a treatment, and holds that if there is none, he would stay.

No explanation was given, and he stayed. In the 2 years 5 months he spent there, he has been collecting evidence about the petitioners contained in the madhouse.

老孙做了许多记录,记在纸片上,甚至旧药盒上。
老时说,一切都是“秘密进行”的,因为护士不让“上访病人”间交谈。
日记和记录的纸片,老时藏在褥子底下。

Sun made a lot of record, writing them on paper slips, sometimes even on used pill boxes. He said, all this was secret, because nurses didn’t allow the “petitioner patients” to talk. The diary and papers were hidden under quilts.

One of his diaries writes:

“一些精神病人老是打我,只要我和医生、护士顶了嘴,等他们走后,几个病人一定会打我,掐我脖子。肯定是这些医生指使的。”

“some patients kept beating me up, as long as I quarreled with doctors and nurses. After they were gone, the patients would come up and hit me, clutched my neck. They must have been ordered to do so by the doctors.”

进来第二天开始,每次吃药,他都将药压在舌下,等护士走了再吐掉。
  护士很快发现,后来吃药会检查舌头。老时和“上访病人”李元亮也这样说

Since the second day in the asylum, he was forced to take pills. He would hide the pill down the tongue, and spit them after the nurses turned away. It was soon found out, however. And then, nurses would inspect their tongues every single time. Shi and another patient both said so.

This is the end of the news story. It was released by the well-known Beijing-based paper New Beijing on 8, Dec, and very soon, it has caught the attention of the Chinese blogsphere. The comment at the beginning gained as many as 10000 support clicks on 163.com, and what we see is a gloomy picture of a muzzled world by methods as ridiculous as you can expect. How long has this happened? Would this keep on going if it was not revealed? And we have enough reason to doubt how many more remain undiscovered.

And we are more than shocked. The life in madhouse is expected to be so horrible, that every word, every pleading, every complaint you yelled out would be considered a mad word, and no one would trust you. That's why those petitioners are more than admirable.

Or, the entire society has already been such a madhouse? And finally, will we lose our sense of judgment, that we ourselves would doubt “are we mad”? Is this what we are hoped to be?

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