Document - China: Further information on: Falun gong practitioner at risk of torture



Further information on UA: 163/09 Index: ASA 17/043/2010 China Date: 22 October 2010


URGENT ACTION

Falun Gong PRACTITIONER AT RISK OF TORTURE

Qiao Yongfang, who is in prison in China relating to his peaceful practice of Falun Gong, is in need of medical attention. In September, he was transferred to a special prison unit, heightening Amnesty International's concern that he is at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

Qiao Yongfang is an elderly practitioner of Falun Gong, aged around 60. On 6 August, he was sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment on charges of “using a heretical organization to subvert the law.” He is imprisoned in the Hohhot ("Huhehaote" in Chinese) No 1 Men's Prison, but was transferred in September to a separate unit within the prison referred to as a ‘prison training team’. While it is not clear what the nature of this unit is, according to numerous accounts, Falun Gong practitioners are often held in separate facilities where they are compelled to relinquish their beliefs, including through torture and ill-treatment.


People who have visited him recently report that he is currently in poor health, including suffering from diabetes, for which he is not receiving adequate medical treatment. Qiao Yongfang’s lawyers have previously noted that he had been tortured while in detention, resulting in injuries to his head, for which he is not known to have received adequate medical treatment.


Qiao Yongfang's wife, Yan Donfei, also aged 60, was also sentenced on 6 August on the same charges to 14 months imprisonment. Because she had been held in detention for 14 months at the time the sentences were determined, she was released within a few days. Both had been tried at the Huimin District People's Court on 3 June 2010, having been held at No 1 Detention Centre in Hohhot since 8 June 2009.


PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Chinese or your own language:

  • Urging the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Qiao Yongfang, as he is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely because of his beliefs;

  • Calling on the authorities to protect Qiao Yongfang from torture and ill-treatment;

  • Calling on the authorities to ensure that he is given any medical attention and treatment he may require;

  • Calling on the authorities to end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 3 DECEMBER 2010 TO:


Huimin District People's Court

Huiminqu Renmin Fayuan

Yun Zhangsheng

Jin Chuan Kaifa qu

Huhehaote Shi 0471-3606010

Nei Menggu Zizhiqu

People’s Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Head of the Court



Huimin District People's Procuratorate

Huiminqu Renmin Jiancha Yuan

Yan Zhengwei

Gang tie lu 298 hao

Huhehaote Shi 010000

Nei Menggu Zizhiqu

People’s Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Head of the

Procuratorate


And copies to:

Political and Legal Committee

Zhengzhi Falu Weiyuanwei

Li He Shuji

Bei Mashenmiao Jie

Huhehaote Shi 010000

Nei Menggu Zizhiqu

People’s Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Secretary


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 third update of UA 163/09. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/029/2009/en, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/057/2009/en and http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/024/2010/en.

URGENT ACTION

Falun Gong PRACTITIONER 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, directed by a special organization called the 610 Office. Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained since the spiritual movement was banned as a "threat to social and political stability". Practitioners have been held in psychiatric hospitals, in Re-education Through Labour (RTL) facilities, a form of administrative detention imposed without charge, trial or judicial review, or sentenced to long prison terms.


Torture and other ill-treatment are endemic in all forms of detention, despite China’s ratification of the UN Convention against Torture in 1988. Falun Gong sources report numerous deaths of practitioners in custody, many caused by torture, in a variety of state institutions, including prisons, RTL facilities and police detention centres.


FU on UA: 163/09 Index: ASA 17/043/2010 Issue Date: 22 October 2010

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