Shocking undercover footage shows how gay people in China are being subjected to drugs and electric shock therapy in a barbaric attempt to “cure” them of their sexuality.
The nation officially declassified homosexuality as a “mental illness” 15 years ago, yet the horrific video shows how men are still regularly being subjected to the horrific “treatment”.
As reported by SBS, to get the footage, undercover activists went for the treatment at Tianjin Mental Health Hospital and secretly filmed their ordeal as part of the Dateline programme.
A psychiatrist at the hospital told campaigner John Shen he could “take a cold shower or go jogging to release the excess hormones” when “urges” arise, before suggesting other more sinister treatments, including drugs which make patients nauseous when they have “urges” and potentially harmful electric shock therapy.
The warped idea behind the “treatment” is that when the men experience homosexual “urges” they will associate them with the pain of the electric shock.
The psychiatrist added:
It’s a small electric rod. When you have these urges, you shock yourself with the rod. Then you know you should avoid these urges.
Another activist visited the Huashan Hospital, which is also in Tianjin near Beijing, and secretly filmed himself getting the electric shock therapy. Electrodes are attached to his head and he’s told the £370 treatment will rebalance his nervous system. He is then seen writhing in pain as the volts course through his body.
Explaining the treatment’s damaging effects, psychotherapist Johnny Li said:
I think aversion therapy can hurt anyone, especially gay people. Aversion therapy reinforces their lack of self-identity and their feelings of rejection the damage can be long-term or even last a lifetime.
Despite homosexuality being legal in China, the activists say they’ve been spoken to by the police in response to their investigations. According to reporter Shaunagh Connaire, the nation still doesn’t tolerate public dissent and any opponents are regularly threatened with jail.
It’s all a horrible reminder that outdated attitudes towards sexuality and people’s human rights still exist around the world.