Good and bad news from Germany

First the good news:
On September 22nd Germans will elect a new federal parliament, which is the strongest political force in the Federal Republic of Germany.
All parties are thus obliged to publish an election program as well as a list of all candidates.
Now for the first time in our history a party which is already in the parliament has included our core demands in it’s election program :-))
The party DIE LINKE (The Left) now has 75 out of 620 seats in parliament and could be compared with “post-communist parties” in the other former “eastern block” countries. Among those demands:
“This requires new thinking and action by policy-makers, citizens and by the individuals themselves who are affected by this. We want to work together with the persons affected and associations to further advance this: from a more effective anti-discrimination law on barrier-free living and choices, good work for people with disabilities, self-determined forms of living to a non-violent psychiatry.”
(German: Das erfordert ein neues Denken und Handeln bei politisch Verantwortlichen, Bürgerinnen und Bürgern sowie Betroffenen selbst. Dieses wollen wir gemeinsam mit Betroffenen und Verbänden weiter voranbringen: von einem wirkungsvolleren Antidiskriminierungsgesetz über barrierefreies Wohnen und Wählen, gute Arbeit für Menschen mit Behinderungen, selbstbestimmte Wohnformen bis hin zu einer gewaltfreien Psychiatrie.)
and further down:
“Legal discrimination, particularly via special psychiatric laws as well as legal powers of coercion by doctors or custodians, must be repealed.
(German: Rechtliche Diskriminierung, insbesondere über psychiatrische Sondergesetze und ärztliche oder betreuungsrechtliche Zwangsbefugnisse, ist aufzuheben.)
In my opinion that indicates two paradigm shifts:
  • The era of the eco-bio orientation comes to an end – what a relief that healthism and green gibberish is about to become a thing of the past.
  • The dichotomy within the left (labor) movement which separated communist/social-democrats and anarchists in the First International in 1872 might be overcome and replaced with an acceptance of a state with only minimal power but nevertheless resulting in a free and non-violent wealthy society.
    This signifies that a major portion of the party “Die LINKE” supports the right to laziness (basic income earth network) and now also the end of force and violence in psychiatry. That means that an individual’s will prevails over a rationality enforced by violence.
Now the bad news:
In January I reported that the federal parliament, despite our embittered resistance, introduced a law allowing (under certain circumstances and a judge’s consent) forced psychiatric treatment for people under custodianship (only DIE LINKE voted against it).
A week ago the regional state parliament of Baden-Wuerttemberg voted on a new law allowing (under certain circumstances and a judge’s consent) forced psychiatric treatment. It acted in a sudden and secret move with ALL political parties consenting (except the party “DIE LINKE” which presently has no members in this parliament). Significant is that this happened under the guidance of the prime minister of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann of the Green Party and initiated by a green and labor party government.
All members of this parliament were informed by a detailed joint expert opinion by a lawyer and a university professor that the draft of this law is unconstitutional. They were also informed that the UN special rapporteur on torture regards forced treatment as torture and that an “Alliance Against Torture” opposes any such law.
Last but not least, the German monitoring institution of the CRPD did state that such a law is irreconcilable with the CRPD.
Additionally, user and survivor organizations wrote a joint letter expressing their absolute rejection of this law. They included the open letter of a senior physician in psychiatry in which he stated that during the period in which forced treatment was ruled out by the supreme court, he had better results and less problems and that the duration of detention increased only mildly.
The members of the parliament committee were also informed about the deep difference of opinion between the APA and the NIMH and that the NIHM director had stated that all psychiatric diagnoses lack validity.All in vain!
So only afterwards could we publicly call this parliament a “human rights criminal gang”. Nevertheless we are confident that we will win an appropriate case in the supreme court and this new law will be annulled. But until we achieve this victory we are in the defense and we estimate that more of the 16 regional states of Germany will now follow this blueprint of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, even if their members of parliament are also warned that it is unconstitutional and that they are trying to introduce a law allowing torture.Best regards
rene talbot
(Secretary of IAAPA and member of the board of a national German user and survivor organization)