PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 17/012/2009
26 March 2009
UA 85/09 Fear of torture and other ill-treatment
CHINA Wei Liangyue (m), aged 44] husband and wife
Du Yongjing (f) ]
Human rights lawyer Wei Liangyue and his wife Du Yongjing were detained on 28 February in the city of
Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, reportedly for attending a Falun Gong meeting. They are currently held at
Nangang District Detention Centre in Harbin. The authorities have warned the family not to discuss the case
publicly and not to hire a lawyer to represent them. Amnesty International believes they are at risk of torture
and other ill-treatment.
Wei Liangyue is held under investigation on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order”. Du
Yongjing is held under investigation on suspicion of “using a heretical organization to undermine
implementation of the law”.
Wei Liangyue is a lawyer with the Heilongjiang Jiaodian Law Firm. He has been practicing law for more than
21 years and has often provided legal aid to local people who face human rights abuses, including Falun
Gong practitioners who have been detained by the Chinese authorities simply for their beliefs.
Human rights activists in China who attempt to report on human rights violations, challenge policies which
the authorities find politically sensitive, or try to rally others to their cause, face serious risk of abuse. Many
are jailed as prisoners of conscience after politically motivated trials, while growing numbers are being held
under house arrest with the police conducting intrusive surveillance and standing guard outside. Since the
beginning of 2009, a year that marks several sensitive anniversaries in China, the crackdown on human rights
activists has intensified. Family members of human rights activists, including children, are increasingly
targeted by the authorities in the crackdown.
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" in July 1999. Those accused of being Falun Gong
leaders or organizers have been jailed. Others have been held in psychiatric hospitals, but the vast majority
have been held in Re-education Through Labour facilities. Re-education Through Labour is a form of
administrative detention imposed without charge, trial or judicial review.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English, Mandarin or your
own language urging the Chinese authorities:
- to release Wei Liangyue and Du Yongjing immediately and unconditionally;
- to guarantee that they will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated while they remain in custody;
- to ensure Wei Liangyue and Du Yongjing have access to legal assistance, their families and any medical
treatment they may require;
- to take effective measures to ensure that all human rights defenders can carry out their peaceful activities
without fear of arbitrary detention, imprisonment, hindrance or intimidation, in line with the UN Declaration
on Human Rights Defenders.