Document - China: Falun Gong practitioners at risk of torture

URGENT ACTION

UA: 152/12 Index: ASA 17/018/2012 China Date: 31 May 2012

URGENT ACTION

FALUN GONG PRACTITIONERS AT RISK OF TORTURE

Falun Gong practitioners Wang Xiaodong and his sister Wang Junling have been detained, and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. They are prisoners of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and association.

Wang Junling, also known as Wang Xiaomei, was detained on 26 May in Cangzhou City, in the north-eastern province of Hebei, in connection with her efforts to free her brother, Wang Xiaodong, who had been detained on 25 February for his belief in the spiritual group Falun Gong.

After Wang Xiaodong’s detention, Wang Junling had actively sought her brother’s release, including through a petition signed by members of 300 families from their hometown, Zhouguantun village, in Hebei, representing nearly all the families in the village. These villages were later intimidated into retracting their support. Wang Junling also wrote an open letter and posted it on the internet, after which she was threatened and went into hiding. Unusually, the petition was stamped as authentic by members of the Zhouguantun village committee. Both the petition and the letter are reported to have been circulated at high levels of government. Wang Junling was detained in front of a building in Cangzhou where she is said to have been in hiding. Two other people, Kang Lanying and Tan Jianying, who may have been sheltering her, were detained at the same time.

Wang Xiaodong is a teacher. He has been held in the Botou City Detention Centre since he was detained on 25 February by 40 police officers who entered his home without a warrant, and confiscated cash and other possessions. He has been charged in connection with possessing a CD containing information on the Falun Gong spiritual practice. After a number of attempts, the family are reported to have been able to hire a lawyer.

Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language urging the authorities to:

Release Wang Xiaodong and Wang Junling immediately and unconditionally, unless they are charged with internationally recognizable criminal offences, as they are prisoners of conscience, held solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and association.

Ensure that neither Wang Xiaodong nor Wang Junling is tortured or otherwise ill-treated;

Guarantee both Wang Xiandong and Wang Junling access to lawyers of their own choosing.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 12 JULY 2012 TO:

Governor of Hebei Province

ZHANG Qingwu Zhuren

Hebeisheng Zhengfu

46 Weimingnandajie

Shijiazhuangshi 050051

Hebeisheng

People's Republic of China

Email, via website: http://www.hebei.gov.cn/interaction/mail/index.jsp

Tel: +86 0311 8790 8448

Salutation: Dear Director

Premier

WEN Jiabao Guojia Zongli

The State Council General Office

2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu

Beijingshi 100017

People's Republic of China

Fax: +86 10 65961109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Email: cnzongli@126.com

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Mayor, Botou City

Xie Rongke Shizhang

Yuhuazhonglu

Cangzhoushi Botoushi

Hebeisheng 062150

***Please note that the phone number for the Hebei governor is for use by fluent Chinese speakers only***

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

Falun Gong Practitioners at risk of torture

ADditional Information

Falun Gong is a spiritual movement which gained large numbers of supporters in China during the 1990s. After it staged a peaceful gathering in Tiananmen Square in July 1999, the government outlawed the group and launched a long-term campaign of intimidation and persecution. Practitioners have been held in psychiatric hospitals, re-education through labour (RTL) facilities (a form of administrative detention imposed without charge, trial or judicial review), sentenced to long prison terms, and been held in specialized detention centres whose mission is to “transform” Falun Gong practitioners, a process through which they are coerced into renouncing their spiritual beliefs, often through the use of torture and ill-treatment. Torture and other ill-treatment are endemic in all forms of detention, despite China’s ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1988. Falun Gong sources have documented numerous deaths in custody of Falun Gong practitioners, believed to have been caused by torture and other ill-treatment..

Lawyers that represent politically sensitive cases, including practitioners of Falun Gong, are at risk of having their licenses revoked. The case against Wang Xiaodong has recently been returned to the Botou City Public Security Bureau by the prosecutor on the grounds that it lacked evidence. Following Wang’s detention, his elderly mother who lives with him has been left alone in sole charge of his seven-year-old son.

Name: Wang Xiaodong, Wang Junling.

Gender m/f: Wang Xiaodon: m, Wang Junling: f

UA: 152/12 Index: ASA 17/018/2012 Issue Date: 31 May 2012

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