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LeBron James criticized over deleted tweet targeting a cop, previous defense of CCP

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Basketball player LeBron James posted and subsequently deleted a tweet on Wednesday about the fatal shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl in Columbus, Ohio, by a police officer. He later tried to explain why he deleted the tweet.

James’ actions on social media prompted backlash from conservatives, who brought up his previous Twitter controversy over tweets defending the Chinese government.

In the since-deleted tweet by the Los Angeles Lakers star was a picture of Columbus Officer Nicholas Reardon along with the caption, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” and an hourglass emoji, according to ESPN.

In the body camera footage released by the Columbus Division of Police on Wednesday, Bryant—after numerous warnings from the officer, identified Wednesday as Reardon, to “get down”—could be seen trying to stab another person with a knife before being shot by Reardon.

Bryant was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. Police did not say if anybody else was hurt.

The shooting happened on Tuesday, after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

On Wednesday evening, James explained why he deleted his earlier post about Reardon, saying it was “being used to create more hate”.

“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself!” wrote James. “Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”

“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police,” James continued in a separate post. “I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer.  it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY”

Conservatives were quick to bring up the NBA star’s previous controversy regarding his defense of China, who’s authoritarian regime has been putting Uighur Muslims in internment camps, as well as clamping down on democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.

RELATED: Sen. Hawley to LeBron James, NBA: ‘You are profiting off slave labor in China’

As The Daily Caller brought up, in October 2019, James criticized Houston Rockets general manager Dayl Morey for tweeting support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, igniting a firestorm for the NBA. All of the NBA’s official partner companies in China suspended their relationships with the league and China stopped broadcasting NBA matches. It was not until October 2020 that the country started broadcasting NBA games again.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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REPORT: China uses psychiatric institutions to suppress dissent

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China has a vast network of psychiatric institutions that it uses to suppress dissent, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. The report compiled data found on 99 victims involved in 144 instances on involuntary hospitalizations in 109 institutions from 2015 through 2021. Of the 99 victims in the report, 80 were petitioners [i.e., those who file complaints against officials] and 14 were activists.

But this is hardly a new phenomenon. “China’s regime has been torturing, maiming, and killing dissidents and others in psychiatric facilities for seven decades,” said Gordon G. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War. “The only way to end the horrific abuse is to end the rule of the Communist Party.”

The report detailed especially harsh treatments, which include: forced medication (in 77 percent of cases), physical restraints on the bed (60 percent), beatings by staff or other patients (25 percent) and electroshock therapy (14 percent). Otherwise normally healthy people were given anti-psychotic and psychotropic medications, causing severe side effects like memory loss, insomnia and tremors. Electroshock therapy was often administered to the victims as they were fully conscious, rather than under anesthesia in small doses as would be clinically appropriate for certain patients.  According to the report, “[Electroshock therapy] without anesthesia is not only unimaginably painful and frightening for the patient but carries serious side effects, including the risk of bone fractures, joint dislocation, muscle tears, disruption of the heart beat and lung damage.”

Family and friends are often used as weapons against the victims. They were not permitted to call or visit the victims in 76 percent of cases, which essentially makes these cases “enforced disappearances.” 11 percent of cases were committed with the assistance of family (either voluntarily or coerced by authorities). Family and friends who petition for the victim’s release are often faced with persecution, and involuntarily commitment themselves.

The peak of psychiatric detentions occurred from 2015 through 2016, which was around the same time as China’s “709 Crackdown” where the government persecuted hundreds of human rights lawyers.

Some of the detentions are rather draconian. As a petitioner who called for local authorities to investigate a robbery in his house, Zeng Jiping was detained for almost two years. For “live tweeting herself splashing paint over a portrait of Xi Jinping,” Dong Yaoqiong received 1 year, 4 months detention. Twenty-nine out of the 99 victims in the report were hospitalized more than once. In two-thirds of cases where data was known, the authorities did not perform a psychiatric evaluation, in direct violation of China’s Mental Health Law.

The report also gives the example of Andy Li, a member of the “Hong Kong 12” pro-democracy protestors, as falling victim to involuntary detention in Hong Kong’ Siu Lam Psychiatric Center in 2021. The report noted that, as Li’s family didn’t know about his detention, “Li’s cases appears to be a worrying sign that the political abuse of psychiatry practiced on the mainland is now being exported into Hong Kong…”

Those who are finally released from their involuntary committals face lasting physical and phycological pain, and stigma within their communities. People seeking damages for their treatment are often faced with doctors and attorneys who do not want to assist them for fear of retaliation from the government.

Conclusion

According to the report, China is using “peace and health asylums” and other healthcare institutions to “punish and remove activists and petitioners from society without the trouble of going through a trial.” While the report details various Chinese laws that are supposed to protect citizens from such involuntary hospitalizations, in reality Chinese authorities do not abide by these laws and the citizens are not protected. The policy of involuntary hospitalizations show the extent to which the Chinese Communist Party will go to suppress dissent.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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