[CHRB] Women’s Rights Defenders Face Reprisals Over UN Review (10/31-11/6/2014)

Contents

Reprisals Against Activists

  • Women Rights Defenders Face Reprisals Over UN CEDAW Review

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

  • Mistreatment of Imprisoned Journalist Continues As UN Calls for His Release

Special Notice

  • 163 Cases Compiled in CHRD’s New Report on Abuse of Women in Black Jails

Reprisals Against Activists

Women Rights Defenders Face Reprisals Over UN CEDAW Review

Police have administratively detained women’s rights activist Ye Haiyan (叶海燕) because of her attempt to draw public attention to the UN CEDAW review of China. (image: CRLW) 

Police have administratively detained women’s rights activist Ye Haiyan (叶海燕) because of her attempt to draw public attention to the UN CEDAW review of China. (image: CRLW)

Two women’s rights defenders have faced reprisals for drawing attention to (or planning to contribute to) the review of China by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which took place on October 23. Police in Hubei Province seized prominent women’s rights activist Ye Haiyan (叶海燕) on October 31. The next day, Ye was given a 10-day administrative detention in Wuhan City for “intentionally exposing her body in a public place.” Ye’s detention is due to a naked photo of herself she posted online on October 22 that was meant to draw greater attention to the UN review. Ye is being held at Wuhan No. 1 Detention Center in Hubei Province. After police took Ye into custody, they searched her home and seized several computers, cellphones, and external hard drives.[1]

In addition, Henan authorities prevented Wang Qiuyan (王秋云), an activist with HIV/AIDS, from travelling to Geneva by confiscating her passport on October 10, according to information from Chinese HIV/AIDS networks and women’s groups. She was to participate in a human rights training and meet CEDAW committee members to discuss issues related to women affected by HIV/AIDS in a program partially funded by the UN Development Programme and UN Women. Hebi City authorities intercepted her passport in the mail after the Swiss Consulate granted her a visa, later telling Wang that they did so because of “orders from higher up.” Authorities also tried to check Wang into a hospital, claiming that she was too sick to travel, but Wang refused to be admitted.

At the CEDAW review, a Chinese government-run body—the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF)—posed as a “non-governmental organization” and took part in an “NGO Briefing” and “lunch briefing” with CEDAW committee members. However, ACWF heads are all high-ranking government and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, and the group’s function is to promote and implement official policies concerning women. As with previous UN reviews, ACWF representatives occupied already limited space that should rightfully have been allotted to genuine civil society groups. Chinese delegates referenced ACFW’s presence at the CEDAW review as an example of “NGO participation,” while at the same time activists like Ye and Wang were silenced or denied the chance to take part. In recent years, Chinese authorities have closed down independent NGOs and harassed and detained their staff members and supporters, including many who have sought to engage with UN human rights mechanisms.

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

Mistreatment of Imprisoned Journalist Continues As UN Calls for His Release

The ex-wife of imprisoned magazine editor Wang Hanfei (王寒非) said after a recent visit that Wang continues to be subjected to ill-treatment while his health has badly declined in Chenzhou Prison in Hunan Province, according to Right Defense Network. Just weeks ago, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) issued an opinion that stated Wang’s imprisonment was an “arbitrary” deprivation of his liberty and called for his release. Wang’s wife told RDN on November 2 that Wang’s current circumstances are bleak and that he is dealing with debilitating illnesses. He is still being forced to work long hours, and other inmates continue to mistreat him—likely on orders from prison authorities. According to Li, Wang is nearly deaf in one ear due to a prior assault, and his vision has become so poor that he is virtually blind. Wang’s mistreatment in prison began on the day in May 2013 that he began serving a four-year sentence on trumped-up “fraud” and “illegal business activity” charges. The Chinese government has denied to WGAD that Wang has been mistreated, despite strong evidence to the contrary sent by CHRD to the Working Group.[2]

Special Notice

163 Cases Compiled in CHRD’s New Report on Abuse of Women in Black Jails

CHRD’s recent report, “We’ll Beat You to Death With Impunity:” Secret Detention & Abuse of Women in China’s “Black Jails”, reveals appalling abuses inside illegal detention facilities and their disproportionate effect on women. A newly added appendix lists case information on more than 160 women confirmed by CHRD to have been held in such facilities between 2009 and 2014. Included in the total are more than 30 women whose cases are detailed in the report, where readers can learn more about ordeals involving sexual assaults, violent beatings, abject conditions, and denial of medical attention. The report also documents the difficulties and obstruction by officials for these women to seek redress. Also accompanying the report is a gallery of photos and a video focusing on the experiences of some black jail victims.

 

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