Indonesia acts to end practice of shackling the mentally ill

Mr Sodikin, 34, who had been confined to a shed for more than eight years, watching television with his family. When he was rescued by disability rights advocates in May 2016, he had to be carried out of the hut because his muscles had atrophied.
Mr Sodikin, 34, who had been confined to a shed for more than eight years, watching television with his family. When he was rescued by disability rights advocates in May 2016, he had to be carried out of the hut because his muscles had atrophied.PHOTOS: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Community health workers chatting with residents of Banjarsari village as part of government efforts on mental health. Over 7,000 medical workers across Indonesia have been trained to deal with people with mental health issues.
Community health workers chatting with residents of Banjarsari village as part of government efforts on mental health. Over 7,000 medical workers across Indonesia have been trained to deal with people with mental health issues.PHOTOS: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
A man lies with his ankle chained to a bed at the Syamsul Ma'arif faith healing centre in Central Java. Human Rights Watch has called for regular inspection and monitoring of such centres.
A man lies with his ankle chained to a bed at the Syamsul Ma'arif faith healing centre in Central Java. Human Rights Watch has called for regular inspection and monitoring of such centres.PHOTOS: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

His waist was sore and chafed, ringed with bruises from a chain that kept him trapped in a dilapidated shack where he ate and slept in his own waste for three years.

Mr Asep's captivity finally came to an end last year when health workers on house visits in Banjarsari village, West Java, discovered his plight.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2018, with the headline 'Indonesia acts to end practice of shackling the mentally ill'. Print Edition | Subscribe