Online free symposium on Political Abuses of Psychiatry - Ongoing Cases Worldwide

International Symposium: Political Abuses of Psychiatry - Ongoing Cases Worldwide

Sessions on the 1st, 2nd and 27th of October, and 10th and 11th of November. Online, free attend ance, 16-20h CEST (Berlin time), 10-14h (New York time).

Political abuse of psychiatry, characterized by the inappropriate application of psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, and institutionalization for political or social motives, remains an urgent and globally relevant concern. Despite widespread condemnation, these alarming practices persist in various forms across the globe. In response to this critical issue, this symposium has been organized as a platform for in-depth discussions, comprehensive talks, and insightful presentations, fostering a robust exchange of knowledge and experiences. By bringing together leading experts, survivors and advocates, the event aims to raise awareness, promote dialogue, help focus the spotlight on the problem and inspire concrete action to address this pervasive issue and its most dire consequences.

Over five days, the event will feature more than fifteen high-profile speakers, including authorities such as Professor Dainius Pūras, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Professor Derek Summerfield, former Government Medical Officer in Zimbabwe and current member of the Executive Committee of the Transcultural Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatry; Dr David Matas, former Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada, member of Stop Organ Transplants Abuse in China and Senior Counsel to B’nai Brith Canada; professor Hel Spandler, editor of Asylum magazine and expert in the emerging field of Mad Studies, Professor Manuel Llorens, psychologist from Caracas, Venezuela, author of the influential book “Politically Reflective Psychotherapy”; along with other expert voices from academia, dissident and activist groups alike, with Safeguard Defenders and MindFreedom International being some of the most notable and influential to present at the symposium.

For event details and registration, please visit:

For media inquiries, please contact: Enric G. Torrents (

PhD candiate at the Medical Anthropology Research Center, University Rovira i Virgili.

Entire event meeting sessions link:

Suggested promotional video:

Suggested promotional poster:


Addendum, of interest for anyone present in Vienna during the World Psychiatry Congress: professor of Soviet and post-Soviet studies Robert Van Voren and other colleagues from the Global Initiative on Psychiatry will be presenting in-person on the 30th of September from 8 to 13 hours in the morning of that day. The session is called “Psychiatry 2023: Times of War and Political Repression” and will be held, free of charge for atendees, at the Tech Gate Vienna (Donau-City-Straße 9). The aim is to spread the word about ongoing cases of political abuse of psychiatry in Russia and Ukraine, and will be hosted together with the Human Rights in Mental Health group. GIP is an well known organization devoted to political abuses of psychiatry, HRiMH is a group founded in 2003 to share information about mental health and human rights violation in emergency, war and conflict areas. Both this twin satellite event and the online one I organized were born out of the same session proposal inside the main World Psychiatric Association congress.

Appreciating all help spreading the word to any practitioner or person who could wish to attend.

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Seems very interesting!

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Thank you for the interest, Olov! Tomorrow is the second day, everyone is welcome to join in. Soon, as in a week or so, we will be posting recordings on the first.

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Could you update us with links to the recordings, once they are out?

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I will definitely do! Taking some days to add subtitles, transcripts and references.

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Olov, the recordings are now available pending two more days of live sessions: tomorrow and Saturday from 15h and 16h CEST respectively. All free, links and roster of speakers are all in this post: Sessions on the state of European mental healthcare, gender violence, LGBTQ+ and restorative justice

I will be posting there all transcripts and summaries with linked references and relevant materials, to expand on the materials already available. I hope it is of your interest!

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