Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Turkey: 'half the children at the country's biggest child psychiatric hospital die every year'.,12700,1579874,00.html

The Guardian, September 28, 2005, quotes a report on Turkey by Mental Disability Rights International:

The report estimates that half the children at the country's biggest child psychiatric hospital, near Ankara, die every year.

"Staff reported children dying from starvation and dehydration."

"Infants were locked alone in small rooms. Others were tied by their hands and legs to their cots."


Thousands of people are detained arbitrarily and illegally, often for life.

"Inhuman and degrading conditions of confinement are widespread throughout the Turkish mental health system.

"People with psychiatric disorders and people with intellectual disabilities are subject to treatment practices that are tantamount to torture.

"The prison-like incarceration of Turkey's most vulnerable citizens is dangerous and life-threatening.

"What's unique about Turkey is the abusive use of shock therapy and the conditions for children which result in high mortality rates."

The authors single out the abuse of ECT as especially alarming. The treatment is used routinely without anaesthetic, a practice that the authors describe as torture inducing feelings of terror.


Turkey's military, 'the power behind the throne', is closely allied to the USA and Israel.


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