FALUN GONG MAN RELEASED FROM DETENTION
Falun Gong practitioner Zhou Xiangyang was released from prison on 1 April. This followed a combination of international and domestic pressure on the Chinese authorities.
Zhou Xiangyang had been held in Gangbei Prison in Tianjin City, east of Beijing, since 5 March 2011. The campaign for his release included a petition which was written and signed by more than 2,300 villagers from his hometown and surrounding area. His parents also protested outside the prison gates. Following his release from prison on 1 April, Zhou Xiangyang returned home.
Before his arrest in March 2011, Zhou Xiangyang had already spent eight and a half years in detention, comprised of two and a half years in re-education through labour from 1999, and six years in Gangbei Prison from 2003-2009, in both cases for speaking out about the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners by the authorities. While in prison, Zhou Xiangyang experienced torture, including being shocked with electric batons being subjected to the â€œfloor anchorâ€ torture, and being regularly beaten by other inmates. He was also kept in solitary confinement.
Falun Gong is a spiritual movement which gained large numbers of supporters in China during the 1990s. After a peaceful gathering was staged in Tiananmen Square in July 1999, the government outlawed the group and launched a long-term campaign of intimidation and persecution, directed by a special organization called the 610 Office. Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained as a "threat to social and political stability" since the spiritual movement was banned. Practitioners have been held in psychiatric hospitals, re-education through labour facilities - a form of administrative detention imposed without charge, trial or judicial review, sentenced to long prison terms, and been held in specialized detention centres whose mission is to â€œtransformâ€ Falun Gong practitioners, through coercion into renouncing their spiritual beliefs, often through the use of torture and ill-treatment.
Many thanks to those who sent appeals. No further action is required from the UA network.
This is the second update of UA: 357/11. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/005/2012/en
Name: Zhou Xiangyang
Gender m/f: Male
Further information on UA: 357/11 Index: ASA 17/018/2012 Issue Date: 12 July 2012
Now for the bad stuff:
UA: 208/12 Index: ASA 17/024/2012 China Date: 16 July 2012
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER AT RISK OF TORTURE
Falun Gong practitioner Wang Xiuqing, and her daughter Qin Hailong, have been detained without trial in Qiangjing Re-education through Labour (RTL) camp, Shandong Province, China. They are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment, particularly due to the authoritiesâ€™ anger at the recent petition in support for their case within China.
Following a recent petitioning movement which has so far gathered at least 15,000 signatures, Wang Xiuqing and her daughter Qin Hailong who were assigned to 18 months Re-education through Labour last November, are at increased risk of torture and ill-treatment. The petition seeks justice for the death of Wang Xiuqingâ€™s husband and Qin Hailongâ€™s father, Qin Yueming, in Jiamusi prison in February 2011, and calls for their release from detention. Qin Yueming was detained for being a Falun Gong practitioner. Wang Xiuqing and Qin Hailong were assigned to RTL as a result of seeking legal redress for his death.
Qin Yuemingâ€™s family, who travelled to the prison the day after his death, reported that they found his body covered with bruises and there was blood coming out of his nose. His cell-mates and other witnesses allege he died after being force-fed milk. Prison authorities recorded the cause of death as a heart attack. Wang Xiuqing and her two daughters, Qin Hailong and Qin Rongqian, began legal efforts to seek justice including compensation and an official investigation by the authorities into the circumstances of his death. During a visit to the RTL camp, Qin Rongqian was denied access to her mother and sister, and was detained overnight several times and tortured, including being tied to an iron chair and having her limbs stretched, for continuing to press the case for her family.
When lawyers from Beijing came to assist in the familyâ€™s legal actions, the prison and local government authorities told them that as Falun Gong practitioners the family are ineligible to have legal counsel. Because the familyâ€™s efforts to seek redress through legal channels have been thwarted, Qin Rongqian started a public petition to Chinaâ€™s leaders which seeks redress for her fatherâ€™s death as well as the release of her mother and sister.
Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language urging the Chinese authorities to:
n Immediately release Wang Xiuqing and Qin Hailong, as they are prisoners of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of of thought, conscience and religion and freedom of expression.
n Guarantee that as long as they are in custody. Wang Xiuqing and Qin Hailong are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated and have immediate, and thereafter frequent and regular access to their family and family-appointed lawyers as well as to a court where they can challenge their detention.
n Respond positively to the familyâ€™s demand for an investigation into and for compensation for Qin Yuemingâ€™s death, and ensure that the family and their chosen lawyers are able to proceed with their legal case.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 27 AUGUST 2012 TO:
The State Council General Office
2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu,
Peopleâ€™s Republic of China
Fax: +86-10- 6309-8375
Salutation: Dear President
202 Zhongshanlu, Nangangqu
Peopleâ€™s Republic of China 150001
Salutation: Dear Governor
And copies to:
Justice Bureau Director
Li Jichun Tingzhang
433 Hongqidajie, Nangangqu
Peopleâ€™s Republic of China 150090
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Falun Gong is a spiritual movement which gained large numbers of supporters in China during the 1990s. After it staged a peaceful gathering in Tiananmen Square in July 1999, the government outlawed the group and launched a long-term campaign of intimidation and persecution. Practitioners have been held in psychiatric hospitals, re-education through labour (RTL) facilities (a form of administrative detention imposed without charge, trial or judicial review), sentenced to long prison terms, and been held in specialized detention centres whose mission is to â€œtransformâ€ Falun Gong practitioners via coercion into renouncing their spiritual beliefs, often through the use of torture and ill-treatment. Torture and other ill-treatment are routine in all forms of detention, despite Chinaâ€™s ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1988. Falun Gong sources have documented numerous deaths in custody of their practitioners, believed to have been caused by torture and other ill-treatment.
Name: Wang Xiuqing (f), Qin Hailong (f), Qin Rongqian (f) Qin Yueming (m)
Gender m/f: Both
UA: 208/12 Index: ASA 17/024/2012 Issue Date: 16 July 2012
Sri Lanka--Guy points us at this disappearance case from Sri Lanka:
There is a link for action. If you would like to do more:
here is the text of the the full UA.
UA: 24/10 Index: ASA 37/003/2010 Sri Lanka Date: 26 January 2010
DEMAND INVESTIGATION INTO MISSING JOURNALIST
Sri Lankan journalist and political analyst Prageeth Eknaligoda went missing on 24 January from
Homagama, near the capital Colombo. His wife, Sandya Eknaligoda, was taken into custody
when she went to lodge a complaint with the Homagama Police on 25 January. She has since
Prageeth Eknaligoda disappeared shortly after leaving work at the Lanka-e-News office on 24 January. Local
residents told Sri Lankan press of seeing a white van without number plates close to his house at around this time.
The last contact with him was at 9:30 pm that day and since then his phone has not functioned and his friends and
family have not heard from him. In the days leading up to his disappearance he had told a close friend that he
believed he was being followed.
Sandya Eknaligoda tried to lodge a complaint about her husband’s abduction the following day. She has
subsequently expressed disappointment over police conduct because she was detained for several hours at the
police station. A senior police official told press freedom organisations he was too busy with the presidential election
to make the case a priority.
Prageeth Eknaligoda is a journalist and government critic who has been actively reporting on the 26 January
presidential elections. Last week he had completed a comparative analysis of the two main presidential candidates,
coming out in favour of the opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka.
On 27 August 2009 Prageeth Eknaligoda was abducted by a group who also arrived in a white van. He was forcibly
bundled into the van, blindfolded, handcuffed and taken to an unknown destination before being released the
following day. White vans have been used in many abductions and enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka,
particularly since 2006, when state agents and paramilitary groups which are allied to the government stepped up
attacks on critics of the government.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Sinhalese, Tamil or your own language:
calling for an immediate and impartial investigation into the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda and attacks on
other Sri Lankan journalists and media workers, with the results made public and those responsible brought to
calling for an investigation into the conduct of the police personnel responsible for registering Sandya
Eknaligoda’s complaint about her husband’s abduction;
calling for the abolition or reform of legislation that is being used to suppress the right to freedom of expression
and put an end to the climate of impunity that has allowed a long campaign, by state agents and paramilitary
groups, of intimidation and violence against independent journalists in Sri Lanka.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 9 MARCH 2010 TO:
His Excellency the President
Colombo 1, Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 11 2446657
Salutation: Your Excellency
Inspector General of Police
Sri Lanka Police Headquarters
101/1 Kew Road, Colombo 2
Fax: + 94 11 244 6174
Salutation: Dear Inspector General
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above
date.Date: 26 January 2010
DEMAND INVESTIGATION INTO MISSING JOURNALIST
Physical attacks and the relentless intimidation of journalists, as well as government-imposed restrictions on reporting, are
threatening freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. Unprecedented levels of violence against media workers reporting stories critical
of the government have contributed to a climate of fear and self-censorship that denies Sri Lankans the right to information.
Numerous journalists have been detained while others have fled the country following death threats. At least 14 media workers
have been killed since 2006. Investigations into the unlawful killings of journalists have failed to result in prosecutions.
UA: 24/10 Index: ASA 37/003/2010 Issue Date: 26 January 2010