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 attendance, 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, former 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:

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MITUK’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for fundamentally re-thinking theory and practice in the field of mental health in the UK, and promoting positive change. We believe that the current diagnostically-based paradigm of care has comprehensively failed, and that the future lies in non-medical alternatives which explicitly acknowledge the causal role of social and relational conflicts, abuses, adversities and injustices.