Document - China: Further information: Detained Chinese activists denied medical care

title

Further information on UA: 117/11 Index: ASA 17/035/2011 China Date: 07 July 2011 Date: 14 January 2011

URGENT ACTION

detained CHINESE ACTIVISTS denied medical care

Ni Yulan, housing rights activist and former lawyer, and her husband Dong Jiqin have been formally arrested on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. They c ould now be tried at any time and could face up to five years in prison. This is a cr ucial time to pressure the Chinese authorities to immediate ly release the couple .

Police detained Ni Yulan, 51, and Dong Jiqin on 7 April on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. They were formally arrested on the same charge (Criminal Law article 293) on 17 May. If tried and convicted, they could face up to five years in prison. It is believed that they have been targeted due to her continued peaceful human rights and legal aid activities.

The couple’s lawyers have met with Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin three times: twice in May and once in June. According to Ni Yulan’s lawyers who last visited her on 17 June, Ni Yulan has hurt her back because the police failed to lock her wheelchair into position during transfer to a detention centre. As the car was driving her wheelchair kept hitting and bouncing off the walls of the van. When she complained to the police that this was causing her pain the police ignored her.

Ni Yulan suffers from respiratory, heart and digestive problems, and cannot walk, due to previous police torture. Prior to her detention in April, her health had been improving as she was receiving regular medical treatment and she was able to walk with crutches. In detention she has no access to medical care. She now feels pain even when sitting down and is unable to stand even with the help of crutches. Her family has not been allowed to meet with her. Dong Jiqin suffers from high blood pressure for which he needs to take medicine. The authorities have refused to deliver him the medicine his family has bought for him.

Both Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqing are held at Beijing Xicheng District detention centre.

Please write immediately in English, Chinese or your own language calling on the authorities :

to release Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin immediately and unconditionally;

to guarantee that Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated while they remain in custody;

to ensure they have immediate access to their families and any medical care they may require;

to stop the harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment and imprisonment of human rights lawyers and legal activists peacefully carrying out their work.

P LEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 AUGUST 2011 TO :

Director of the Beijing Public Security Bureau

Fu Zhenghua Juzhang

Beijingshi Gong'anju

9 Dongdajie, Qianmen

Dongchengqu, Beijingshi 100740

People's Republic of China

Fax: +86 10 65242927

Salutation: Dear Director

Minister of Justice of the People's Republic of China

WU Aiying Buzhang

Sifabu

10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie

Chaoyangqu, Beijingshi 100020

People's Republic of China

Fax: +86 10 65292345

Email: pfmaster@legalinfo.gov.cn

Salutation: Dear Minister

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)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 117/11. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/020/2011/en

URGENT ACTION

detained CHINESE ACTIVISTS denied medical care

ADditional Information

Lawyers are increasingly in the forefront of human rights activism in China as more and more people turn to the law to push for democracy and basic rights. The Chinese government’s response has been uncompromising. Human rights lawyers are subject to escalating silencing tactics - from suspension or revoking of licences, to harassment, enforced disappearance or even torture. The persecution has kept the number of human rights lawyers down. Out of more than 204,000 lawyers in China, only a brave few hundred risk taking on cases that deal with human rights.

Ni Yulan worked as a lawyer for 18 years. She took on many politically sensitive cases of petitioners and people protesting the demolition of their homes.

This is the third time Beijing police have detained Ni Yulan for an extended period of time. In 2002, as Ni Yulan was filming the demolition of a Beijing home, authorities took her to a nearby police station and tortured her for several days, breaking her feet and her kneecaps. Her injuries were so severe that she remains in a wheel chair. When Ni Yulan attempted to petition the authorities over the beatings, she was arrested, convicted of “obstructing official business,” and sentenced to one year in prison. When convicted, she also lost her professional licence to practice law. Dong Jiqin was barred from attending her trial.

When Ni Yulan was released in 2003, she continued fighting for the rights of people whose homes faced demolitions ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2008, just before the Olympics, Ni Yulan was arrested and imprisoned for two years after trying to stop the demolition of her own home. While in prison, she was tortured and suffered from other ill-treatment. She was also denied adequate medical care.

Upon her release from prison in April 2010, Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin were homeless. They lived in a hotel before police forced them onto the street and blocked them from renting accommodation or even staying with friends. In June 2010, after dozens of supporters held a demonstration in solidarity with Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin, police moved the couple into Beijing’s Yuxingong Guesthouse. However, the authorities continued to subject them to surveillance and other forms of harassment, including cutting off their water and electricity supply, as well as their Internet access.

While living in the guesthouse Ni Yulan continued to stay in touch with activists, lawyers, and journalists and to publicize human rights abuses on her microblog. In his 2010 film, Emergency Shelter, documentary maker He Yang brought widespread attention to Ni Yulan’s persecution.

Name: Ni Yulan

Gender m/f: f

Name: Dong Jiqin

Gender m/f: m

Further information on UA: 117/11 Index: ASA 17/035/2011 Issue Date: 07 July 2011

How you can help

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE