PRESS CONFERENCE EXPOSES MENTAL HEALTH GENOCIDE DURING APARTHEID, 14 June 1997
THE CITIZEN'S COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS' (CCHR) submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a no-holds barred look at how psychiatrists and psychologists committed mental health genocide during apartheid. It names names, it exposes the government groups that promoted it and shows how it still affects South Africa today. CCHR will formally release its submission at a press conference at The Mount Nelson Hotel at 10am Thursday 19 June 1997. Chairman of CCHR, Mr Paul Sondergaard, said, Unless the subject of our submission and the 'scientific' source of apartheid is addressed and isolated, apartheid could happen again.
The conference will be attended by several psychiatric workers who have 'blown the whistle' on abuses they have witnessed and will speak out about the appalling conditions in South African psychiatric hospitals. Four leading US Human Rights activists, including three African Americans with hands-on experience working with inner-city youth and gangs, as well as international and local members of CCHR, will also talk about how programs being adopted by South Africa could propel the country into greater crime and violence.
The TRC submission highlights the hateful ideological, intellectual and political rationale provided for apartheid by both psychiatry and psychology. The CCHR has shown that psychiatric and psychological groups were not mere passengers under apartheid but that they designed, built, manned, navigated and advised the apartheid ship. The submission shows the justification for these ideas was imported from the experimental psychology laboratories in Germany in the 1920's and 1930's. The intellectual and scientific links between apartheid and Nazi Germany are also discussed.
It also documents the role of systems, individuals, health and government sectors, health science faculties, statutory bodies, professional organizations and custodial institutions in human rights abuses and is a compilation of affidavits, statements and analyses gathered over five decades from psychiatric nurses, commentators, studies and investigators.
Since CCHR discovered, in the 1970's, that the apartheid government had incarcerated up to 10 000 black people in private psychiatric institutions in disused mining compounds, CCHR has documented countless cases of abuse, neglect, excessive drugging and violence. CCHR is a social reform group established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.
For more info call Andrea Vinassa on 0832901447 or Celeste Vinassa on 0828554849.
Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission