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PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA:
HEALTH FEARS FOR DETAINEE IN CHINA

Update info:
26 May 2015
Country:
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Subject:
Li Xiaobo
Gender: Male
Period:
30 Jun 2015
Distribution date:
26 May 2015
UA No:
110/2015

There are grave concerns for Falun Gong practitioner Li Xiaobo, who is detained in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, central China as a result of his beliefs. His lawyers have reported that his health is deteriorating rapidly and he is also at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Li Xiaobo suffers multiple health problems, many of which are thought to result from the torture he suffered during a previous imprisonment. His lawyers visited him at the Longquanyi District Detention Centre in the first week of May and said that his condition is clearly worsening and that he is not receiving the treatment he needs. His teeth have deteriorated to the point that he has great difficulty eating, he is blind in one eye and his vision in the other is down to 60 per cent.

Li Xiaobo was first detained in April 2014 while distributing Falun Gong leaflets with his son, a Canadian citizen who was initially detained but then deported back to Canada. Prior to his trial, he was denied family visits and medical attention. Li Xiaobo was sentenced to eight years in prison by Chengdu Longquanyi District People’s Court on 21 April 2015. He was charged with “using a heretical organization to subvert the law” for his continued activities for and practice of Falun Gong. His lawyers reported that they and Li Xiaobo were constantly interrupted during the trial and that the court refused to allow the Canadian Consul General to observe the hearings. Li Xiaobo is appealing the verdict.

Li Xiaobo was previously sentenced in 2005 also for “using a heretical organization to subvert the law” and served eight years in prison. He reported being tortured while in detention, including repeated beatings by prison guards and other inmates on orders from the guards, and being forced to stand naked with his bare feet in water for hours at a time during winter.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The spiritual movement Falun Gong was banned in China as a "threat to social and political stability" after its practitioners held a peaceful sit-in on Tiananmen Square in July 1999. The government established a dedicated office, referred to as the “610 Office”, responsible for overseeing the crackdown on the Falun Gong and other “heretical cults”, with offices operating from the central level down through provincial and local party and government organs.

Since then, tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained where the mission is to “transform” them by forcing them via coercion into renouncing their spiritual beliefs, often through the use of torture and ill-treatment. The vast majority of Falun Gong practitioners were held in Re-education Through Labour (RTL) facilities until this form of administrative detention was abolished in 2013. The Chinese authorities are increasingly using alternative channels of arbitrary detention, as well as criminal prosecutions of individuals who previously may have been sent to RTL.

Torture and other ill-treatment are endemic in all forms of detention, although China ratified the UN Convention Against Torture in 1988. Amnesty International also receives regular reports of deaths in custody, many of them caused by torture, in a variety of state institutions, including prisons and police detention centres.

Name: Li Xiaobo
Gender m/f: Male

UA: 110/15 Index: ASA 17/1676/2015 Issue Date: 19 May 2015

Take action

Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language:

  • Demanding that the authorities immediately and unconditionally release Li Xiaobo, as he has been imprisoned solely for exercising his right to freedom of belief and expression;
  • Urging them to ensure that Li Xiaobo is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, that he is immediately provided with any medical treatment he requires, and that the conditions of his detention adhere to international law and standards;
  • Calling on them to ensure he has regular access to his family, and lawyers.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 30 JUNE 2015 TO:
Head of Longquanyi District Detention Centre
Fang Shengquan Suozhang
Longdou Nanlu Longquanyi Qu
Chengdu, Sichuan 610100
People’s Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director

Head of Sichuan Provincial Department of Public Security Department
Deng Yong Tingzhang
9 Jindunlu Qingyangqu,
Chengdushi, Sichuan 610014
People’s Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director

And copies to:
Premier
Li Keqiang Guojia Zongli
The State Council General Office
2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu,
Beijingshi 100017,
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 65961109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.