Mentally ill patients in Indonesia held in chains


All around a compound at the Galuh Foundation there are men and women lying on wooden platforms that are doubling up as makeshift beds.

Many of them have been chained to their beds.

One man does push-ups in the corner, his feet tied by iron ropes to the side of his bed.

Another plays with the links on the chain, talking to himself, oblivious to the people around him.

Tucked away in a suburb of Jakarta, Galuh is a home for Indonesia's mentally ill.

It's not easy to find – hidden down a dirt road, behind a bunch of shacks and a horse shed.

When you enter, it's like walking back into the dark ages, leaving modern Indonesia behind.

The people who work at Galuh say at any given time about 10% of the 280 residents here are shackled – but they say it's for their own good.

I spot Ii in the corner. The young man sits quietly, with an almost yogic expression of calm on his face.

Wearing only a pair of shorts, he says nothing, does nothing, just sits. He has been shackled in Galuh for two weeks.

Written By: Karishma Vaswani
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  1. ” ” And praise God, we’ve seen people healed from this, and we are happy with the results. But we can’t say what our success rate is here, because people come and go.” “

    Ah, religion, always praising, always underwriting barbarity.

  2. Indonesia has been on my, growing, list of countries never to visit for quite some time.

  3. I’m sad to say that here in the Netherlands you probably need your whole hand to count the patients that are permanently restrained. It is not a form of therapy, but ‘for their protection and that of the staff’. A few years ago however, an investigation brought to light how a lot of these cases were the result of the staff simply being not equipped/trained to handle severe cases, leading to unnecessary uses of this measure.

  4. In reply to #3 by Alternative Carpark:

    Indonesia has been on my, growing, list of countries never to visit for quite some time.

    Also Maldives, Pakistan & 50 others?

  5. “Indonesia says stamping out shackling is a priority – but admits it will miss its 2014 target.”

    Remember Indonesia’s genocidal invasion of East Timor in ’75 under the leadership of Suharto and green-lighted by Ford and Kissinger (ref: The Trial of Henry Kissinger by C. Hitchens)? It’s estimated they “stamped out” the lives of up to 100,000 people within a year. In four years, half (300,00) of the population were moved into camps under military control. In five years, it was estimated up to 230,000 people had been “stamped out” by “military action”, starvation or disease.

    Come on guys, you’re gonna miss that 2014 milestone? Look at what you can accomplish when you put your minds to it.

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