Amnesty International Urgent Action: 8 Falun Gong get re-education through labour, risk of torture

*PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 17/014/2007 *
* 20 March 2007*

*UA 72/07 _Fear of torture or ill-treatment_ *

*CHINA Liang Wenjian (f), aged 39*
* Lin Zhiyong (m), aged about 40, her husband*
* Li Dongmei (f)*
* Wang He (sex unknown)*
* Wu Jiangyan (sex unknown)*
* Three others (names unknown)*

Seven of the eight Falun Gong practitioners listed above have reportedly been
assigned to two years Re-education through Labour (RTL), a form of administrative
detention imposed without charge,
trial or judicial review, in connection with their Falun Gong activities. One,
an elderly woman (unnamed), has reportedly been assigned to one-and-half-years.
They are reportedly being held at
Panyu detention centre in Guangzhou city, Guangdong province, awaiting transfer
to an RTL facility. They are at risk of torture and ill-treatment. Amnesty International
considers them prisoners of
conscience, detained for the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of religion.

All eight were detained on 10 February by around 10 plainclothes police officers,
for participating in an illegal gathering at the home of Liang Wenjian and Lin
Zhiyong. The police also searched their home, and confiscated Falun Gong literature
and their computer.

According to unofficial sources, the eight were assigned to RTL about a month
later. However, their families have not been officially informed, and have not
been allowed to meet with them.

Liang Wenjian had previously been assigned to RTL at Guangzhou Chaitou Xiaodao
RTL facility from February 2000 to April 2001. During this, she reportedly suffered
torture and ill-treatment, which included being hung by her wrists so that her
feet could barely touch the ground for two hours for doing Falun Gong exercises
in detention. She was also reportedly required to work up to 14 hours a day
making artificial flowers.

Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained
in China 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 imprisoned, while
others have been held in psychiatric hospitals. The vast majority, however,
have been held in RTL facilities. Many
detained Falun Gong practitioners have reportedly been tortured or ill-treated,
particularly those who refuse to renounce their beliefs.

Overseas Falun Gong organizations have recorded the deaths in custody of over
2,000 Falun Gong practitioners since the crackdown began. It has recently been
alleged that many Falun Gong detainees who died in custody had been used to
provide organs for transplant through "organ harvesting". Amnesty
International is investigating these reports, but is not yet able to verify

RTL is used extensively in China despite repeated calls from overseas and within
China for the system to be abolished. The Beijing authorities have reportedly
approved the use of RTL to target vagrants
and petty criminals in their attempts to "clean up" the city before
it hosts the Olympics in 2008. China’s National People’s Congress is reportedly
considering new legislation known as the "Illegal Behaviour Correction
Law" (IBCL) to replace RTL. A draft is not publicly available but it appears
to fall short of international fair trial standards. Amnesty International is
continuing to urge the authorities to abolish the system altogether by bringing
all offences punishable with deprivation of liberty within the scope of the
Criminal Law.

*RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in
English, Chinese or your own language:*
– expressing concern that the eight Falun Gong practitioners were detained in
violation of their fundamental human rights to freedom of expression, association
and religious belief, and calling on the
authorities to release them immediately and unconditionally;
– calling on the authorities to guarantee their safety while they remain in
– calling on the authorities to clarify their names and legal status and allow
their families to conduct regular family visits while they remain in custody;
– urging the authorities to ensure they have access to lawyers and any necessary
medical treatment while they remain in detention;
– calling on the authorities to end the political crackdown against the Falun
Gong spiritual movement, which has resulted in numerous human rights violations;
– urging the authorities to abolish "Re-education through Labour"(RTL)
and ensure that all offences punishable with deprivation of liberty are brought
within the scope of the Criminal Law.

_Prime Minister_WEN Jiabao Guojia Zongli
The State Council
9 Xihuangcheng Genbeijie
Beijingshi 100032, People’s Republic of China
*Fax: +8610 6596 1109*
*+8610 6596 2260 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)*
*Salutation: Your Excellency*

_Governor of the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government_ HUANG Huahua Shengzhang
Guangdongsheng Renmin Zhengfu
9 Lou, 305 Dongfeng Zhonglu Guangzhoushi 510031
Guangdongsheng, People’s Republic of China
*Fax: +8620 83132377*
*Salutation: Dear Governor *

_Director of the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security_ LIANG Guoju
Tingzhang Guangdongsheng Gong’anting 97 Huanghualu
Guangzhoushi 510050
Guangdongsheng, People’s Republic of China
*Fax: +8620 83113979*
*Salutation: Dear Director*

_Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee_ ZHANG Dejiang Shuji
Zhonggong Guangdongsheng Weiyuanhui
45 Shamian Dajie
Guangzhouzhi, Guangdongsheng, People’s Republic of China
*Fax: +8620 81218569 (c/o Foreign Affairs Office)*
*Salutation: Dear Secretary*

and to diplomatic representatives of China accredited to your country.

*PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.* Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 1 May 2007.

Working to protect human rights worldwide

Posting date: 28/Mar/2007
Original article date: 20/Mar/2007
Category: World News


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