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Further information on UA 149/93 (ASA 17/18/93, 10 May) - People's Republic of China: death resulting from torture / fear of torture: Lai Manping and other Christians

, N° d'index: ASA 17/025/1993

The Chinese authorities have denied allegations that a group of Christians were severely beaten by police in late March 1993 in Shaanxi province. They also deny that Lai Manping's death was caused by these beatings. Amnesty International is concerned at the perfunctory response to the serious allegations, and urges the government to disclose the details of the investigation reportedly carried out into the Xunyang incident.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 17/25/93
Distr: UA/SC
18 June 1993
Further information on UA 149/93 (ASA 17/18/93, 10 May 1993) - Death resulting from
torture/fear of torture
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC):Lai Manping and other Christians
The Chinese authorities have denied allegations that a group of Christians were severely
beaten by police in late March 1993 in Shaanxi province. They also deny that Lai Manping's
death was caused by these beatings. Amnesty International is concerned by the government's
perfunctory response to the serious allegations made about this incident. The organization
is further concerned that the Chinese authorities have in the past consistently dismissed
well-documented reports of torture of prisoners, when these concerned political prisoners
or members of ethnic or religious groups detained by police. It urges the government to
disclose the details of the investigation reportedly carried out into the Xunyang incident,
including the time at which the investigation took place, the authorities which carried
it out and the procedures followed.
In written responses to letters of concern about the incident, diplomatic representatives
of the PRC in several European countries stated in early June 1993 that "there was no such
case as the persecution of Christians in Xunyang county, Shaanxi province", that Lai Manping
was a farmer and not a Christian and that he had died of a heart attack. While denying
the allegations of ill-treatment and arrests of Christians in the area following the
incident, they did not deny that Lai Manping had been detained by police, but did not confirm
it either. They mentioned an "investigation" into the incident, but without specifying
how, when and by whom it had been carried out.
The incident was publicized outside China in early May 1993, when a detailed eye-witness
testimony, together with reports from other unofficial sources and photographs of two of
the victims became available. According to these sources, the incident had occurred in
the evening of 27 March 1993 in the village of Taoyuan, in Xunyang county, when a group
of police officers broke into a religious meeting attended by some 26 local Christians
and five others who had come from the neighbouring county of Ankang. Without explanation,
police reportedly started beating those present with truncheons and put handcuffs on the
five Christians from Ankang, two of whom were women. The Ankang Christians, including Lai
Manping, were then repeatedly beaten by police. The local Christians were forced to take
part in the beating, under threat of being beaten themselves. The Ankang Christians were
then held for eight days in a local police station. Lai Manping was in a very bad state
due to the beatings and was released when police realized he might die in custody. He crawled
a few kilometres away from the police station and died shortly after being found by local
farmers.
These reports also stated that Lai Manping's family had formally complained in April to
the local police about his death. As a result the Xunyang county Public Security Bureau
performed a perfunctory autopsy and claimed he had died of sickness. The police also
reportedly arrested many Christians in the area to prevent information about the incident
from spreading and to cover up Lai Manping's death.
According to the official version of the incident, on 27 March 1993, 21 year-old farmer
Lai Manping had gone from Ankang to Taoyuan village, in Xunyang county, along with two
"accomplices", and "seriously disturbed the public order there by organizing an illegal
meeting". This was "stopped" by local police the following day. "Lai Manping was then beaten
up with bamboo sticks by local people who had become enraged by his unlawful activities"
and was "slightly injured" on his back. He died in Taoyuan village on 6
Page 2 of FU 149/93
April 1993 "as a result of a heart attack brought on by a lung ailment". "The investigation
of the incident has established that Lai Manping was not a Christian", the official response
further said. It also denied that 26 Christians and a child and two women had been ill-treated
by police.
The speed and substance of the official response raises doubts as to whether any genuine
investigation has been carried out. These doubts are heightened by earlier reports that
police in Xunyang county attempted to cover up the incident immediately after it took place.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
in English or your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that a group of Christians were severely beaten up by local
police on 27 March 1993 in Taoyuan village of Xunyang county, Shaanxi province, and that
Lai Manping from Ankang county died as a result;
- noting that official reports deny these allegations and urging the authorities to disclose
details of the investigation reportedly carried out into the incident, including when,
by which authority and how it was carried out;
- urging that any further investigation into this case be carried out by an impartial judicial
authority from outside the administrative area where the incident occurred.
APPEALS TO:
1) Minister of Justice of the People's Republic of China:
XIAO Yang Buzhang
Sifabu Salutation: Your Excellency
Xiaguangli
Beijingshi 100016
People's Republic of China
Telegram: Minister of Justice Xiao Yang, Beijing, China
Telexes: 210070 FMPRC CN or 22478 MFERT CN (Please forward to Xiao Yang Buzhang)
Faxes: + 861 467 7351
2) Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate of the People's Republic of
China:
ZHANG Siqing Jianchazhang
Zuigao Renmin Jianchayuan Salutation: Dear Procurator-
147 Beiheyan Dajie General
Donganmen, Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100726
People's Republic of China
Telegram: Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate Zhang
Siqing, Beijing, China
Telexes: 210070 FMPRC CN or 22478 MFERT CN
(Please forward to Zhang Siqing Jianchazhang)
Faxes: + 861 512 6655 ext.1053 (phone first)
3) Governor of the Shaanxi Provincial People's Government:
BAI Qingcai Shengzhang
Shaanxisheng Renmin Zhengfu Salutation: Dear Governor
Xixin Jie
Xi'anshi 710004
Shaanxisheng
People's Republic of China
Telegrams: Governor Bai Qingcai, Xian, Shaanxi Province, China
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO: diplomatic representatives of PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
accredited to your country. The World Conference on Human Rights is being held in Austria
this month and you can enhance the power of your appeals by also sending copies to the
diplomatic representative of China in Austria during June at the following address:
EMBASSY OF CHINA:
The Ambassador
Botschaft der Volksrepublik China
Metternichgasse 4, 1030 Wien
Austria
Faxes:+ 43 1 713 68 16
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section
office, if sending appeals after 30 July 1993.

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