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People's Republic of China: torture / ill-treatment: Yu Zhijian, Li Wangyang, aged 36, worker, Zhang Jingsheng and other political prisoners at Hunan province no 1 prison

, Index number: ASA 17/036/1995

In a letter smuggled out of Hunan no. 1 Prison, a prisoner of conscience, Yu Zhijian, has alleged routine use of beatings and ill-treatment of political prisoners, and of the likelihood of "disastrous consequences" for himself when the letter is published. The letter, dated 23 May 1995 and in the form of a petition to the National People's Congress, gives information about beatings of two prisoners, Li Wangyang and Zhang Jingsheng. It contains details of 12 political prisoners; another 41 political prisoners reportedly asked to be represented in the petition but were too fearful to give their names. The Chinese authorities have questioned the authenticity of the letter. AI believes that there is cause for action because of the seriousness of the allegations and because of past report of ill-treatment of prisoners in Hunan province (cf. ASA 17/55/92).

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