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China: Hunger strike / health concern / prisoners of conscience: Chen Ziming and Wang Zhihong

, رقم الوثيقة: ASA 17/087/1995

Chen Ziming, a 43-year-old prisoner of conscience suffering from cancer, began a hunger strike in Beijing Prison No. 2 on 13 October 1995 in an attempt to persuade the authorities to provide him with proper medical care and to unblock his bank account to allow him to pay for his medical expenses. His wife, Wang Zhihong, was arrested on 22 October while holding a peaceful protest calling for medical treatment for her husband.

EXTERNAL AI Index: ASA 17/87/95
UA 245/95 Hunger Strike / Health Concern /
Prisoners of Conscience 25 October 1995
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC
OF CHINAChen Ziming and Wang Zhiong, husband and wife
Chen Ziming, a 43-year-old prisoner of conscience suffering from cancer, began a hungerstrike in
Beijing Prison No. 2 on 13 October 1995 in an attempt to persuade the authorities to provide him with
proper medical care and to unblock his bank account to allow him to pay for his medical expenses. His
wife, Wang Zhihong, was arrested on 22 October while holding a peaceful protest calling for medical
treatment for her husband. The demonstration was held in Shuangxiu Park in Beijing; the parents of
Chen Ziming also participated.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
After a closed trial in 1991, Chen Ziming was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment for
"counter-revolutionary" activities and for allegedly masterminding the pro-democracy demonstrations
of 4 June 1989. On 13 May 1994, Chen Ziming was released on medical parole, officially because of a
"skin disease", after having served four years of imprisonment. However on further medical
examination, he was found to be suffering from cancer, as well as skin, heart and liver ailments.
Surgical treatment for the cancer was carried out in November 1994 and subsequently Chen was given
radiotherapy while being held under virtual house arrest. After holding a one-day hungerstrike in
protest at the arrests of dissidents during the run-up to the sixth anniversary of the 1989 pro-democracy
protests, Chen Ziming was re-imprisoned on 25 June and his personal belongings were confiscated.
Since then, Chen Ziming's medical records have reportedly disappeared from the hospital where they
were kept and, on 27 August 1995, his bank account was frozen by the Public Security Bureau, thereby
denying him the means to pay for any necessary medical expenses. Restrictions have been placed on
family visits and Chen Ziming's health continues to deteriorate.
Before her arrest in October, Wang Zhihong suffered a number of restrictions on her freedom of
movement. She was recently ordered by the Chinese authorities to leave her home in Beijing and, for
the duration of the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women, she was held with her husband
in Beijing Prison No. 2. She was released on 15 September 1995 after the Conference had ended (for
further information, see Amnesty International ASA 17/84/95:
Harassment and Surveillance of the
Families of Dissidents in China during the World Conference on Women
).
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters in English,
Chinese or in your own language:
- stating that the circumstances which led to Chen Ziming's decision to go on hungerstrike are of
extreme concern, in particular that he is a prisoner of conscience, his health is deteriorating and he is
being denied proper medical care;
- expressing concern that Wang Zhihong has been arrested for carrying out a peaceful demonstration,
and urging that both Chen Ziming and his wife Wang Zhihong be released immediately and
unconditionally;
- appealing for the freeze on Chen Ziming's bank account to be lifted to allow him to buy essential
medical supplies.
APPEALS TO:
Premier of the People's Republic of China
LI Peng Zongli
Guowuyuan
9 Xihuangchenggenbeijie
Beijingshi 100032
People's Republic of China
2
Telexes: 210070 FMPRC CN or 22478 MFERT CN
Telegram: Premier Li Peng, Beijing, China
Salutation: Your Excellency
Director of the Prison Administration Department (formerly the Reform-Through-Labour
Administration) of the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China
YAO Yunhui Juzhang
Laodong Gaizao Gongzuo Guanliju
14 Dongchang'anlu
Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100741
People's Republic of China
Faxes: + 86 10 408 1046
Telegram: Director of the Reform-Through-Labour Administration of the Ministry of Justice, Beijing,
China
Salutation: Dear Director
Minister of Public Health of the People's Republic of China
CHEN Minzhang Buzhang
Weishengbu
44 Houhai Beiyan, Gulou Xidajie
Beijingshi
People's Republic of China
Telexes: 210070 FMPRC CN (add: please forward to Public Health Minister Chen Minzhang)
Telegram: Minister of Public Security Chen Minzhang, Beijing, China
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of the People's Republic of China accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section
office, if sending appeals after 6 December 1995.

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