A Chinese newspaper report alleging authorities locked up people in mental hospitals for criticizing the state and filing complaints about corruption has focused rare attention on the usually taboo topic of psychiatric abuse in .
An article appearing in the Beijing News on Monday has been widely reproduced by other media and prompted a highly critical editorial Tuesday in the English-language, a newspaper targeted at foreigners.
According to the Beijing News, Shandong provincial officials in the city of Xintai south of the capital committed people who were seeking to attract the attention of higher authorities to their complaints over local corruption or land seizures.
Some were forced to take psychiatric drugs and all were told they would not be released until they signed pledges to drop their complaints, the paper said.
A rare example of freedom in China: A bird flies over the Forbidden City in Beijing. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
Those allegations could not immediately be verified independently, but local officials said they were investigating.
Read the rest from the Associated Press: