United Nations: Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Falun Gong Practitioners in China (Excerpt)
18 March 2005
At its sixtieth session, the Commission on Human Rights, in its resolution 2004/46 entitled "Elimination of violence against women," encouraged the Special Rapporteur to respond effectively to reliable information that comes before her and requests all Governments to cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of her mandated tasks and duties, to supply all information requested, including with regard to implementation of her recommendations, and to respond to the Special Rapporteur's visits and communications;
The present report contains, on a country-by-country basis, summaries ofgeneral and individual allegations, as well as urgent appeals transmitted toGovernments between 1 January to 31 December 2004, as well as replies receivedduring the same period. Observations made by the Special Rapporteur have also been included where applicable.
Due to restrictions of length of the report, the Special Rapporteur has beenobliged to summarize the details of all correspondence sent and received. TheSpecial Rapporteur wishes to emphasize that the omission of a particular country or territory should not be interpreted as indicating that there is no problem of violence against women in that country or territory.
61. By letter dated 10 June 2004, sent jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the SpecialRapporteur on torture, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that she had received information concerning Z.Y., 4-year-old. It is alleged that on 1 January 2004 she was taken from her home in Zitong town, Tongnan county,Chongqing city, by four police officers from the Tongnan County National Security Team. The police officer alleged to have been in charge of the operation is known to the Special Rapporteurs. It is reported that both ofZ.Y.'s parents, Z.H. and W.Y., had been arrested previously,allegedly because they are practitioners of Falun Gong. In February 2002, it is alleged that her father, Z.H., was sent to Xishanping Labor Camp, where he was tortured and suffered a broken nose, missing teeth and injured ribs. He is nowreported to be detained at an undisclosed location. It is alleged that on 23 December 2003, Z.Y.'s mother was taken into detention and tortured. She was reportedly released after being on hunger strike for 54 days. It is reported that upon release she began to search for her daughter. W.Y.'s current whereabouts are reportedly unknown. In view of Z.Y.'s age and vulnerability,serious concern was expressed for her physical and mental integrity, and in particular that she might be at risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment,or of being trafficked.
62. By letter dated 20 July 2004, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that she had received information on the following individual cases.
63. Q.Y., born in 1963, was an engineer and Vice-Director of the Basic Construction Section of a food company in Guye district, Tangshan city, Hebeiprovince. She was a Falun Gong practitioner who was ordered in July 1999 by a Tangshan city policeman and a local party commissioner (whose name is known tothe Special Rapporteur) to renounce Falun Gong. On the same day, she went to Beijing with her husband, W.J., to appeal to the Government to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. Their 8-year-old-son remained alone at home. They were arrested at the bus station and escorted back to the Tangshan city policestation. Upon being released and returning home, they found their house had been ransacked and all the Falun Gong materials taken. On 19 February 2000, Mr. W.was again detained, although he was not charged. Mrs. Q. and another Falun Gongpractitioner went to Beijing the same day to appeal again to the Government. The next morning, while they were doing their exercises in Tiananmen Square, they were attacked by police who beat them and dragged them to a nearby police station. A few hours later she was again escorted back to Tangshan city, arriving at night. At the police station, she was handcuffed to an iron pole outdoors, in the cold, where she remained for several hours. She was then interrogated by police officials, including the Director of the First Division,who kicked her on her left side. Another director slapped her face so hard thatit became swollen. She was then bound with a rope, her arms drawn up high behind her back in a painful position. The next morning, 21 February, a policeman(whose name is known to the Special Rapporteur) and others went to Mrs. Q.'shome, reportedly to confiscate her property, but they found that the house had already been ransacked. They returned later for a more intensive search and confiscated Falun Gong books and materials that had been hidden in the coal storage. They also took the television and VCR. In protest, Mrs. Q. began a hunger strike on 24 February. That afternoon, she was sentenced with some 20 other Falun Gong practitioners and sent to a detention center, where she continued her hunger strike. She was eventually sent to Ankang Hospital, whereshe was kept tied to her bed to prevent her from doing her Falun Gong exercises.On 18 August she was released without charge. During her detention, she was expelled from the Communist Party and fired from her job. On 18 September 2000Ms. Q. was arrested again and sent to the Hebei (Kaiping) Labor Camp. In October, her husband was sentenced to two years of forced labor for crimes he did not commit. Beginning in mid-January 2001, persecution of Falun Gongpractitioners in the labor camp increased. Every time Mrs. Q. tried to do herexercises, she was punished by being made to stand outside in the snow or tied up for half a day. On 21 February, she was taken to an office and tortured by a camp guard (whose name is known to the Special Rapporteur) and others. She was given electric shocks, after which she went into convulsions and stoppedbreathing. She was sent to hospital for emergency treatment. Although she recovered, there was permanent damage to her nervous system. She coughed blood and had difficulty walking. On 24 April, she was again rushed to the hospital following further mistreatment in connection with her refusal to watch a movie defaming Falun Gong. Her physical condition continued to deteriorate, and on 12 May she was finally sent to an outside hospital where she was kept under continuous surveillance by the 610 Office. During this time, her husband was still in the labor camp and her son was living with her elderly parents. As a result of the stress, Mrs. Q. suffered a mental breakdown and wassent to a psychiatric hospital where she remained for six months. The 610 Office would not allow her family to take her home. On 15 January 2002, she was sent to a brainwashing center where she remained for another six months, when she wasreleased. Mrs. Q.'s hair turned white while she was detained. She is mentally confused, has an irregular heartbeat and has trouble breathing. Her hands tremble. Despite her debilitated condition, a police officer (whose name isknown to the Special Rapporteur) still goes to her home to harass her.
64. Z.Y., aged 48, was an employee at a rubber plant in Zhangjiakoucity, Hebei province. She lived in Gongrenxincun, Qiaoxi district, Zhangjiakoucity. In 1998, she was diagnosed with late-stage lymphoid cancer. It is reported that after she began practicing Falun Gong, she recovered and was able to resume her work. On 20 July 1999, Z.Y. took her medical records to Beijing, hoping to show the Government that Falun Gong could have positive effects. The Beijing police arrested her, and later ordered police from Zhangjiakou city to pick her up. After her return to Zhangjiakou city, she was detained and fined. She was later released, but police officers from Beixincun police station continued visiting her home and workplace to harass her. She was detained on numerous occasions and sent to brainwashing classes. On the night of 17 February 2004,Ms. Z. was arrested at her home by officers from the Dajingmen police station and sent to Shisanli Detention Center. She began a hunger strike to protest the detention. Then she was sent to Shalingzipiandi Legal School where she was reportedly tortured. In mid-April 2004, when her family visited her, they found [her] to be in a state of mental confusion. The police refused to release her orprovide any treatment for her. She died on 4 May 2004. The Dajingmen Police Department did not notify Ms. Z.'s family that she was critically ill until after she had died.
65. L.S., aged 37, a resident of Luannan county, Hebei province, hasbeen arrested and beaten many times for being a Falun Gong practitioner. When she went to Beijing to appeal to the Government to stop the persecution of FalunGong, police from the Tiananmen Square police station arrested her and detained her for five months. At the time of her arrest she was two months pregnant.During her detention, she was kept in shackles, her hands attached to her feet so that she was unable to stand up. The police tortured her every day and when her fetus was seven months old and viable, they forced her to have an abortion. She was then sent home, but two weeks later she was arrested again and sent to a brainwashing center, where she began a hunger strike to protest the detention.Because it was less than one month after the forced abortion, her mother came to the center to look after her. Her mother appealed to the county government forher daughter's release, which was granted five days later.
66. In July 1999, S.J., who is in her 40s, from Gucheng, Qiansuo town,Suizhong county, Huludao city, Liaoning province, went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, but was intercepted by police and escorted back to her home town. In August 1999, S.J. again went to Beijing to appeal to end the persecution. She was arrested and taken to the Suizhong Detention Center, where the police allegedly took 2,000 yuan in cash from her. On 31 October 1999, S.J. was again arrested and sent to the Masanjia Labor Camp. She was later transferred to Zhangshi Labor Camp, a youth correction facility, and then transferred again to the Longshan Labor Camp, Shenxin Labor Camp, Dabei Prison and other places,where she was subjected to torture. Guards (whose names are known to the Special Rapporteurs), allegedly following orders, pushed S.J.'s head down and stuffed her mouth with a towel so she could not scream. Then they jabbed her fingers with needles and shocked her with three electric batons. They sent her to an underground hospital in Shenyang city, where she was forcibly injected with drugs. On another occasion, she was forced to disrobe and shocked with electric batons all over her body for an entire night. The next day her face was covered with large blisters, badly swollen and bruised. She was also severely beaten and forced to squat for extended periods. One day the police took Ms. S. to an office where she was shocked with electric batons and tied to a bedpost. They kept her there for two days and one night without allowing her to eat, sleep, or go to the toilet. When she was finally released, several people had to carry her as she could not walk. During the 2002 Chinese New Year, Ms. S.'s family received a notice from the labor camp requesting a payment of 1,500 yuan to cover "medical expenses" before they could take Ms. S. home. Once home, Ms. S.'s family found her to be mentally traumatized as a result of her experiences. She had unhealed wounds around her genitals and needle punctures on her body. The entire family has suffered financially and emotionally because of the mental and physical injuries suffered by Ms. S., who nevertheless continuesto be harassed by the authorities.
67. By letter dated 15 October 2004, sent jointly with the Special Rapporteu on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the Special Rapporteur on the independence ofjudges and lawyers, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and the Special Rapporteur on torture, the Special Rapporteurs expressed their concernat reports of systemic repression against the Falun Gong. Over the past five years, hundreds of cases of alleged violations of the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners have been brought to the attention of the Special Rapporteurs.Many of these allegations have been reported back to the Chinese authorities and are reflected in reports of the Special Rapporteurs to the Commission on Human Rights. The Special Rapporteurs are concerned that reports of arrest, detention,ill-treatment, torture, denial of adequate medical treatment, sexual violence,deaths, and unfair trial of members of so-called "heretical organizations," in particular Falun Gong practitioners, are increasing.They are concerned that these allegations may reflect a deliberate and institutionalized policy of the authorities to target specific groups such as the Falun Gong. According to information received, on 10 June 1999 the CentralCommittee of the Chinese Communist Party established an office for dealing withthe Falun Gong, commonly referred to as the 610 Office (for the date of itsestablishment)and officially later as the State Council Office for the Prevention and Handling of Cults. This institution reportedly was given a mandate to repress Falun Gong and other "heretical organizations", and is operating outside the rule of law. Reports indicate that Falun Gong was officially banned on 22 July 1999 through a decision of the Ministry of Civil Affairs and since then several decisions, notices, regulations and other judicial interpretations have been issued by the Government and judicial authorities to legitimize the official repression against "heretical organizations", including the Falun Gong. In addition, according to reports a media campaign was launched against the Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners in June 1999. It is believed that this campaign followed a protest gathering in Beijing on 25 April 1999, involving more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners. Further reports indicate that in February 2001, the Central Committee of the Communist Party called for a Central Work Conference of high-level party officials. The purpose of this meeting was reportedly to adopt a plan calling for the formation of local "anti-cult task forces" in all universities, State enterprises and social organizations to reinforce the "610 Office" and strengthen local control over the Falun Gong. An analysis of reports received by the Special Rapporteurs indicates that the alleged human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners, including systematic arrest and detention, are part of a pattern of repression against members of this group. Most of those arrested are reportedly heavily fined and released, but many are detained and ill-treated in order to force them to formally renounce Falun Gong. Those who refuse are sent to "re-education through labor" camps, where reportedly torture is used routinely, resulting in many deaths. The Special Rapporteurs are further concerned at reports that few Falun Gong practitioners are prosecuted. When charges are laid they reportedly include allegations such as "disturbing social order,""assembling to disrupt public order," "stealing or leaking State secrets" or "using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of the law." According to the information received, those prosecuted have been unfairly tried and many have received lengthy prison sentences. In this respect it is reported that on 5 November 1999, a notice issued by the Supreme People's Court instructed all local courts to do their "political duty" in bringing to trial and punishing "severely" those charged with "heretical organizationscrimes," "particularly Falun Gong," and to handle these cases "under the leadership of the Party committees."
68. On 8 January 2004, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Special Rapporteur on torture, regarding C.S.a 61-year-old resident of Shenze county, Shijiazhuang city, Hebei province,who was reportedly detained in the Shijiazhuang Labor Camp because she allegedly practices Falun Gong. On 8 April 2001, she was reportedly transferred to the Gaoyang Labor Camp in Hebei province. It is alleged that as she went on a hunger strike to protest the treatment received, she was force-fed human excrement on three separate occasions, and afterwards suffered from serious diarrhea. As aresult, she was reportedly sent to the Gaoyang County Hospital for emergency treatment. The attending doctor allegedly pointed out that feeding a person human excrement in that quantity can cause death. Upon being sent back to the labor camp, she was allegedly continuously beaten by the guards, who are said to have crushed her nipples, shocked her with electric batons while pouring water onto her, used pliers to pinch her flesh, and buried her in snow until she passed out. On 8 January 2004, she was reportedly still detained in the labor camp, where she was believed to be at risk of being subjected to similar treatment.
69. On 15 March 2004, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom ofopinion and expression, and the Special Rapporteur on torture, regarding Y.T.,a 37-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from the Zuhai suburb of Guangzhou city,Guangdong province. On 23 February 2004, Y.T. is said to have been taken from her home following an application for a passport. Her husband was reportedly also interrogated in connection with her passport application and detained for reeducation at the Chutou Law School, in Guangzhou Baiyun district. On 10 March 2004, information was received that Y.T.'s health condition was critical. She was said to have been on hunger strike for 17 days to protest her detention. Her family had appealed to the police in Guangzhou city to have an investigation into the legality of her detention, and was calling for her immediate release.Allegedly, no action had been taken as of 15 March 2004. It is believed that
Y.T. was detained in connection with her Falun Gong beliefs. Reports indicated that she had been detained previously, including for a three-year period for re-education, for this reason. During this time, she was reportedly subjected to physical and psychological torture. It is reported that due to the ill-treatment in detention, her legs were injured and she was unable to walk. In view of the alleged detention of Y.T. and allegations of torture and ill-treatment while she was previously in detention, concern was expressed for her physical and psychological integrity. Concern was also expressed for her family, who has allegedly been told that they should not report the case to the international community.
71. On 30 April 2004, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and the Special Rapporteur on torture, regarding L.M., aged36, resident of Donggang city, Liaoning province. She was reportedly held in Dabei Prison in Shenyang city. On 10 March 2004, a relative who visited her reported that she was carried to the visiting room wearing a large gauze mask,and that she was extremely weak and thin. It is reported that the guards immediately stopped the meeting when she said that she was dying, and since then, no information on her situation had been available. It is reported thatL.M. and her husband were arrested on 9 April 2002 and sentenced to 13 years inprison for producing and distributing materials about the alleged persecution ofFalun Gong. Since her arrest and detention at the Dandong City Police Station,and subsequently at the Dandong Detention Center and later Dabei Prison, L.M.had reportedly been tortured in an attempt to force her to give up Falun Gong.The methods of torture and ill-treatment alleged include electric shocks allover the body and beatings on her head with hard plastic baton handles. It was further alleged that she had been denied adequate medical attention and as a consequence she had suffered, among other things, high fevers which had damaged her lungs. Her health had reportedly continued to deteriorate. In view of the allegations of torture and the reported state of her health, concern was expressed for the physical and mental integrity of L.M. if she did not receive prompt and adequate medical attention.
72. On 15 July 2004, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and the Special Rapporteur on torture, regarding G.J.,C.Y., Y.S., G.B. and S.Y. According to the information received, in 2000, G.J., a resident of Luozhuang hamlet, Chengbovillage, Mengzhou city, Henan province, was arrested at home and taken to a detention center, together with her 8-month-old child, by the 610 Office in Mengzhou city and officers from the Mengzhou city Police Station (whose name sare known to the Special Rapporteurs). She is said to have been arrested because she is a Falun Gong practitioner. On 25 May 2002, after Ms. G.'s release, police officers (whose names are known to the Special Rapporteurs) took her to the police station, without a warrant. Ms. G. was again pregnant at the time. It is alleged that the police officers forced her to have an abortion so that she could be sent to a labor camp. They are said to have forcibly given her an injection to induce the abortion, watched the procedure and mocked her when she was in pain. Then she was sent to a detention center in Jiaozuo city, Henan province. Later, she was transferred to the Shibalihe Labor Camp where she was still detained on 15 July 2004. Furthermore, it was reported that Ms. G.'s father, G.X., her mother, S.G., elder sister, G.X., and brother, G.H., had also been detained many times because they practiced Falun Gong.
73. In April 2001, C. Y. aged 46, resident of Xiaohaidi in Tianjin city Hexi district, was taken from her home and sentenced to two years of forced labor at the Tianjin City Jianxin Women's Forced Labor Camp No. 3 Squadron of the No. 6 Brigade, where she was tortured. On 13 May 2002, Ms. C. practiced Falun Gong exercises in the labor camp and, as punishment, the camp police confined her to a small dark room where they beat her and trampled on her arms.Then they handcuffed each of her arms to a bed, stretching her outspread-eagled. She remained handcuffed this way for 23 days. On 6 April 2003,C.Y. and another Falun Gong practitioner tore down the anti-Falun Gong slogans posted inside the Squadron. As a result, the guards dragged them into a room where they stripped them down to their underclothes and tied up their hands. Then the guards dragged them into the hallway and ordered them to kneel down.When they refused, six policemen (including officers whose names are known tothe Special Rapporteurs) used six electric batons simultaneously on C.Y. Onepoliceman used the electric baton on her genitalia for 20 minutes. Then they did the same to the other female prisoner. They then shocked Ms. C. again with electric batons all over her body, to the point that her teeth became loose. For more than one month afterwards, her right arm was paralyzed. On 15 July 2004,her whereabouts were unknown.
74. Y.S., in her 50s, was arrested by the Tianjin city, Heping district Public Security Bureau in November 2000 because she refused to give up Falun Gong. She was taken to a police station where policemen violently slapped her face. She was sentenced to 2 years of forced labor and detained at the No. 4 Brigade of the Banqiao Women's Forced Labor Camp in Tianjin city. On 1June 2001, Ms. Y. was transferred to the Tianjin city Jianxin Women's Forced Labor Camp No. 3 Squadron of the No. 6 Brigade. Because she refused to renounce Falun Gong, the female camp guards deprived her of sleep, allowing her as little as two hours of sleep per day. In protest, Ms. Y. went on a hunger strike for 12 days. Subsequently, the camp extended her term of detention. On 1 April 2003,the No. 3 Squadron attempted to brainwash Ms. Y. The camp policewomen dragged Ms. Y. into a tiny, dark room and hit her all over her body with electric batons. They exposed Ms. Ex.'s body in front of the camp's male discipline instructors to demonstrate their electric baton torture. Then they confined Ms.Y. to a 1.6 ft x 1 ft x 5 ft wooden cage where the 5-foot-7-inch tall Ms. Y. was forced into a crouched position. Ms. Y. was subjected to this treatment for eight days. Afterwards she had significant muscular and skeletal problems. On 15 July 2004, her whereabouts were unknown.
75. B., in her 30s, a resident of Tongue district, Tianjin city, was arrested by the police who tied her up and subjected her to physical punishment because she refused to read anti-Falun Gong articles. They then confined her to a wooden cage for more than a month. Ms. G. went on a hunger strike for 37 days to protest this persecution. During her hunger strike she was handcuffed and tied up, and afterwards she was put in solitary confinement for more than a month. Still refusing to abandon Falun Gong, police handcuffed her to a radiator, then handcuffed her spread-eagled between two radiators. Still later,the police handcuffed her and suspended her by her wrists, and subjected her to further torture. On 1 April 2003, the police shocked Ms. G. with several electric batons simultaneously. Then they put her in a wooden cage for several days. On 15 July 2004, her whereabouts were unknown.
76. On April 15, 2002 S.Y., a resident of Lianjiangkou, Jiamusi city,Heilongjiang province, was arrested at her brother's house by local police because she was a Falun Gong practitioner. She was sent to Lianjiangkou Detention Center and two weeks later transferred to the Jiamusi Labor Camp. Upon her arrival at Jiamusi, she was tortured and forced to undergo brainwashing. In July 2002, the labor camp guards forced her to sit on a small stool and watch anti-Falun Gong videos. When she refused to watch, a guard (whose name is knownto the Special Rapporteurs) dragged her downstairs and handcuffed her to a bed. She began a hunger strike to protest the treatment received, so the guards force-fed her milk with salt, which was extremely painful. They subjected her to this treatment for seven days. In November 2002, guards forced Ms. S. to sit on a stool with sharp triangular ridges across its surface for more than 10 hours aday. They made her put both hands on her thighs and did not allow her to move.Eventually, the skin of her buttocks tore and began to bleed. Meanwhile, she was monitored by several guards brandishing electric batons. Each time she moved,they shocked and beat her simultaneously. When she refused to read an anti-Falun Gong article, they beat her again. At the end of November 2002, because Ms. S.still refused to watch the videos, a guard (whose name is known to the Special Rapporteurs) cuffed her to a bed in an awkward, asymmetrical position, her hands tied to two different steel bars. She was cuffed in the same position for two weeks. The conditions in Jiamusi Labor Camp are very unsanitary, and for a long time Ms. S. was not allowed to bathe. By February 2003, she had developed scabies, which prevented her from sleeping. At one point the guards sprayed herwith a chemical that caused her severe chest pains and rendered her unable to move her head or hands. One morning in May 2003, Ms. S. began to practice the Falun Gong exercises. As soon as she was seen, two guards (whose names are known to the Special Rapporteurs), rounded up some other inmates and they all beat her together. Then they dragged her to the second floor, where they forced her to sit on a cold cement floor with her hands cuffed behind her back for ten days. The nights were bitter cold, and she was deprived of sleep. On the tenth day,guards (whose names are known to the Special Rapporteurs) cuffed her hands in a forced backbend position (one arm is reaching down the back behind the head and the other hand meeting it from the lower back). She was subjected to this treatment for 13 days. After her hands were released, she was unable to move her arms and could barely walk. In June 2003, a guard (whose name is known to the Special Rapporteurs) slapped her face so hard that she temporarily lost her hearing. Ms. S. was not released after her term expired. On 15 July 2004, she was still being detained in the labor camp, and her health was in a critical condition.
Category: Falun Dafa in the Media