By Amnesty Internatonal

Date: 4 December 2012

Seven women are being arbitrarily detained in an enforced drug rehabilitation camp in China on account of their religious beliefs: they are all Falun Gong practitioners.

They are at risk of torture. 15 Falun Gong practitioners were initially detained on 10 September, when plain clothed police officers conducted raids on two homes in Jiamusi City in Heilongjiang province where Falun Gong practitioners had gathered. The homes were ransacked and their possessions confiscated. No detention or arrest warrants were presented by the police, and their families were not notified of their detention. The following day nine women and one man remained in custody at the Jiamusi Detention Centre. Two of the individuals started a hunger strike during this time.

One month later, the ten individuals were assigned to two years’ re-education through labour (RTL) and transferred to camps on 11 October. Ren Shuxian, Zhao Juan, Zhang Shuying, Wang Yingxia, Cui Xiuyun, Xiang Xiaobo were sent to Harbin Women’s Drug Rehabilitation Labour Camp. One woman, Liu Lijie, is being kept in the same camp’s fourth brigade. Two of the women, Zhang Shuhua and Qiu Yujie, were rejected admission to the camp due to their poor physical condition, a result of their ill-treatment in the detention centre. For similar reasons, the only male, Zhang Limin, was also rejected admission to Suihua Forced Labour Camp. These three are therefore no longer in detention.

Contrary to what is required by Chinese regulations, the authorities have provided no formal statements of RTL assignment to the families of the detainees who, alongside two lawyers hired by two of the detainees, have been repeatedly refused access to the detainees since late September. The detained practitioners are at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

Most of those detained have previously spent many years in prison or re-education through labour camps as a result of their beliefs. Zhang Shuying was previously incarcerated in re-education through labour camps three times, Liu Lijie was previously detained three times and Wang Yingxia spent three years in prison.

Please write immediately in English, Chinese or your own language: ν Calling on the Chinese authorities to immediately release all seven individuals (naming them), as they are detained solely on the basis of exercising their freedom of belief; ν Ensuring that all those detained are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated while they are in custody

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 15 JANUARY 2013 TO: Director Harbin Womens’ Drug Rehabilitation Camp Zhang Hongyan Harbin Jiedunuzu Laojiaosuo Daowaiqu, Xianfenglufu, 239. Harbin, Heilongjiangsheng People’s Republic of China 150000 Tel: +86-0451-82415476 / 82436143 (Chinese only) Salutation: Dear Director

Party Secretary Political and Legal Affairs Committee Liu Chen Chang’anlu, Xiduan 2666 Jiamusishi, Heilongjiangsheng People’s Republic of China 154000 Tel: +86 454 8224598 (Chinese only) Salutation: Dear Party Secretary

And copies to: Governor Wang Xiangui Zhongshanlu, 202 Harbin Heilongjiangsheng People’s Republic of China Tel: +86 451 82622351, +86 451 82625015 (Chinese only) Email: webmaster@hlj.gov.cn Salutation: Dear Governor

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 266/12. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/034/2012/en


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 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, 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 (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 “transform” Falun Gong practitioners, a process through which they are coerced into renouncing their spiritual beliefs, often through the use of torture and ill-treatment.

Torture and other ill-treatment are endemic in all forms of detention, despite China’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 Falun Gong practitioners, believed to have been caused by torture and other ill-treatment.

Names: Liu Lijie, Ren Shuxian, Zhang Shuhua, Zhao Juan, Zhang Shuying, Wang Yingxia, Cui Xiuyun, Xiang Xiaobo, Qiu Yujie (all female) Zhang Limin (m)

Gender m/f: both

Further information: UA: 266/12 Index: ASA 17/054/2012 Issue Date: 4 December 2012