EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 17/24/91
UA 59/91 Health/Ill Treatment/Legal Concern 18 February 1991
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA : SHA Zhimei
Amnesty International has recently received information about Sha Zhimei, a
72-year-old woman imprisoned in Shanghai since 1987 who is reported to be in
poor health due to the conditions of her imprisonment.
(Photograph of Sha Zhimei included in print version)
Sha Zhimei, a former primary school teacher and member of an independent
protestant church in Shanghai, is reported to have been arrested at her home
on 3 June 1987 and accused of "counter-revolutionary" offences for allegedly
encouraging her son to run away from Shanghai. Her son was apparently wanted
by police for demonstrating in favour of religious freedom in November 1986
in Shanghai, and publishing his family history in January 1987. At the time
of her arrest, Sha Zhimei was reportedly beaten by police with an electric
baton, and police took away some letters and bibles from her home.
Sha Zhimei was tried in November 1987 and sentenced to 5 years'
imprisonment. Held at Shanghai municipal prison, she has reportedly been
beaten by prison guards on several occasions for not finishing the work required
of her when she was ill. She is reported to be in poor health due to an
insufficient prison diet and long hours of work. She was imprisoned previously
for six years during the Cultural Revolution because of her family background
and their involvement in religious activities.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern that Sha Zhimei, a 72-year-old woman, is reported to be
imprisoned at Shanghai municipal prison for alleged "counter-revolutionary
offences", and that she is said to be ill and to have been beaten in prison;
- urging the authorities to investigate without delay her situation and alleged
ill-treatment, and to release her immediately and unconditionally on