[CHRB] Detainee Diary Reveals Horrendous Abuses in Women’s Labor Camp (4/4-10, 2013) | Countdown for China | 13 Apr 2013 | Amnesty International UK

[CHRB] Detainee Diary Reveals Horrendous Abuses in Women’s Labor Camp (4/4-10, 2013)

China Human Rights Briefing

April 4-10, 2013

Contents

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment

  • Diary Exposes Torture, Other Horrendous Abuses at Labor Camp for Women

Arbitrary Detention

  • Journal Editor Sentenced for Disclosing Official Corruption
  • Lawyer Given “Judicial Detention,” Released After Public Uproar

Forced Eviction & Demolition

  • Anhui Court Hears Petitioner’s Suit Against Police for Detention Decision

Right to Education

  • Activist’s Daughter Blocked From Attending School for Past 6 Weeks

 

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment

Diary Exposes Torture, Other Horrendous Abuses at Labor Camp for Women

Disclosures of appalling mistreatment at a Re-education through Labor (RTL) camp for women in Liaoning Province have triggered reports in Chinese media and heated online discussions, forcing officials to promise an investigation into the revelations. The source of the information—a diary secretly taken out of the Masanjia Women’s RTL by a petitioner released from the camp in February—shows how police arbitrarily detained petitioners under the pretext of “maintaining stability” and committed a wide range of horrible abuses in the camp.

According to the diary, the Masanjia Women’s RTL accepted pregnant women and disabled individuals, a violation of RTL rules. All detainees there were forced to do strenuous labor for up to 14 hours a day, or risked being beaten or given other punishments. Guards chained detainees to chairs or beds and tortured them in hideous ways. The diary said that women were ordered to closely monitor each other while being held under very unsanitary conditions. Detainees were not provided basic nourishment or medical care even after becoming physically and mentally ill, and cancer sufferers were not given medical treatment. The original online story that appeared in official media has been blocked, but other state sites have posted the report. In light of the diary’s details, the provincial government has indicated that an investigation would soon be conducted and that the findings would be published.[1]

Arbitrary Detention

Journal Editor Sentenced for Disclosing Official Corruption

Wang Hanfei (王寒非), editor of the Hong Kong-based journal “China Special Report” (中国观察), was sentenced last year to four years in prison, likely for publishing articles that authorities deemed to be politically sensitive. Initially detained in Chenzhou City, Hunan Province in July 2012, Wang was convicted in December of “illegal business activity” and “fraud” by the Chenzhou City People’s Court. On March 4, an intermediate court held a second-instance trial on the case but did not issue a verdict. Activists were blocked from observing the recent hearing, and authorities have warned Wang’s wife to keep silent about the case and prevented her from visiting Wang. Wang was taken into custody after publishing articles that disclosed corruption by the Chenzhou Communist Party secretary and praised Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波).[2]

Lawyer Given “Judicial Detention,” Released After Public Uproar

Beijing-based lawyer Wang Quanzhang (王全章), who was recently taken into custody in a courtroom, was released early from a 10-day “judicial detention” after activists clamored for his freedom both online and in gatherings in front of the court. On April 3, security police stopped Wang from leaving a courtroom inside Jingjiang City People’s Court in Jiangsu Province after he had defended an alleged Falun Gong practitioner. Wang’s family was informed the next day that he had been detained for disturbing the court’s order by “speaking loudly during the hearing”—the first known instance that a lawyer has been taken into custody in a courtroom and issued a detention right after waging a criminal defense. More than 50 lawyers and rights activists from around the country quickly went to Jingjiang to demand Wang’s release, and the situation attracted an enormous amount of attention online. Wang was eventually let go on April 6, and the court has refused to provide any evidence for detaining him.

Wang has indicated that the court likely handed down the detention since he challenged the judges’ violations of procedural rights at the hearing. Wang’s situation has sparked concern about Article 194 of the revised Criminal Procedure Law, which gives judges the power to detain any litigation participant or observer accused of violating the order of a courtroom.[3]

Forced Eviction & Demolition

Anhui Court Hears Petitioner’s Suit Against Police for Detention Decision

In a rare case of an ordinary Chinese citizen suing the police, a court on April 9 in Anhui Province heard a petitioner’s challenge to a detention decision ordered by a public security bureau. Peng Wenzhi (彭文志) was recently taken into custody in Beijing while petitioning about illegal home demolitions in Xuancheng City, including the loss of his residence without compensation. Peng was then ordered to serve a 10-day administrative detention by a branch of the city’s public security bureau, but he refused to accept the punishment and instead filed an administrative lawsuit.[4]

Right to Education

Activist’s Daughter Blocked From Attending School for Past 6 Weeks

In the face of escalating public pressure, authorities in Anhui Province have been complicit in depriving an activist’s daughter the chance to resume her education, which has been disrupted since she was forcibly removed from her elementary school in February in retaliation for her father’s activism. On April 10, an official at the provincial public security bureau told activist Zhang Lin (张林) and his 10-year-old daughter, Zhang Anni (张安妮), that the issue of her enrollment should be taken up with the primary school itself. However, the school has said that it is under pressure from police, who should instead decide on the matter. Rights activists and lawyers have demonstrated in front of the school and government buildings, rallying for the girl to be let back into the classroom. On February 27, unidentified individuals took Zhang Anni from her school and then held her without any legal guardian in a police station for three days. Officials have said that she was removed because her father did not have residence status in the city.[5]

Editors: Ann Song & Victor Clemens

[1]“Witnesses Of Punishments in Masanjia Women’s Re-education through Labor Camp” (马三家女子劳教所的肉刑证人——写在口述纪录片《小鬼头上的女人》完成之际), April 10, 2013, Boxun; “Liaoning Government Organizes Group to Investigate Masanjia Women’s Re-education through Labor Camp” (辽宁组成调查组调查马三家劳教所一事), April 8, 2013, People’s Daily; “Revealing Masanjia Women’s Re-education through Labor Camp” (揭秘辽宁马三家女子劳教所:坐老虎凳绑死人床), April 8, 2013, Beijing Times;“Revealing Masanjia Women’s Re-education through Labor Camp” (揭秘辽宁马三家女子劳教所:坐老虎凳绑死人床), April 7, 2013, Sina.com

[2]“Situation of Hong Kong-based ‘China Special Report’ Editor Wang Hanfei” (香港 《中国观察》总编王寒非案情况), April 8, 2013, WQW; “ ‘China Special Report’ Editor Sentenced to Four Years for Expression, Family Warned” (《中国观察》总编因言被判四年,家属受到警告), April 7, 2013, WQW

[3]“Human Rights Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Released Early, Court Refuses to Admit Fault”(维权律师王全璋提前获释,法院不承认自己错误), April 6, 2013, WQW; “40 Rights Activists Hold Banners at Jingjiang Court Calling For Release of Wang Quanzhang” (40名维权人士在靖江法院举牌要求立即释放王全章), April 6, 2013, WQW; Human Rights “Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Given 10-Day Judicial Detention”(维权律师王全章被司法拘留10日), April 4, 2013, WQW

[4] “Peng Wenzhi of Xuancheng, Anhui Sues PSB Branch, Case Heard in Court” (安徽宣城彭文志诉公安局直属分局案开庭审理), April 9, 2013, WQW

[5] “Anhui Provincial PSB Sends Decision Back to Educational Department, Leaving Zhang Anni Little Hope of Resuming Studies” (沈良庆:安徽省公安厅将皮球踢回教育部门 张安妮复学无望), April 10, 2012, WQW; “Zhang Lin Blocked When Taking Daughter to Attend School, Which Shirks Legal Responsibility” (张林送女儿上学受阻 学校推卸法定义务), April 9, 2013, WQW

 

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