Belgian MP Demands Unconditional Release of Xu Na
(Clearwisdom.net) Ms. Xu Na, a Falun Gong practitioner from Beijing and a very reputable painter, was persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the guise of the "Beijing Olympic Games." Her husband, Yu Zhou, a musician in the famous folk band "Xiaojuan & Co - Residents in the Valley," was persecuted to death on February 6, 2008, only 11 days after he and Xu Na were illegally arrested on their way home from a music concert.
Ms. Xu was "illegally sentenced" to five years imprisonment by the CCP in November 2001. She was subjected to brutal torture in prison. She has been detained since early this year after she and her husband Yu Zhou were both arrested at the same time. The authorities even did not allow her to attend her husband's funeral. She is now being held in the Chongwen District Detention Center in Beijing, awaiting sentencing.
The miserable treatment the couple was been subjected to attracted widespread attention from the international community. Mme. Juliette Boulet, an MP from the Belgian Green Party and the Vice Chairwoman of the Petition Committee of the National Congress, wrote a special letter to the Belgian Foreign Minister outlining the persecution Xu Na had suffered, requesting that inquiries be addressed to the CCP authorities about the current situation of Xu Na, and requesting her unconditional release and a guarantee of her personal safety.
The following is a translation of the letter that Mme. Juliette Boulet, Member of Parliament, wrote to Mr. Karel De Gucht, Belgian Foreign Minister:
Dear Minister De Gucht,
The recent events in Tibet have caused us to face up to the issues of China's disrespect for human rights and our future relations with China. We feel that the Belgian government has been reluctant in its stance in view of its economic partnership with China and that it has placed economic interests above human rights saddens us.
Therefore, except for our proposal for a resolution that was suspended a few months ago and the discussions about this topic that have continued to be reported, today we would like to ask you about Xu Na, a painter well-known both in China and Hong Kong. What is her current situation?
In 2001 she was detained in a forced labor camp located in Tuanhe and the Beijing Women's Prison, where she was subjected to brutal torture and was forced to do intensive labor. She was severely and repeatedly beaten in a small prison cell. On one occasion she was beaten by eight prisoners at the same time. The authorities forced her to sit with her legs crossed and then tied up her up in that position. She was deprived of sleep. They even made her stand in the snow until she became frozen stiff. For more than a month, she was not allowed to wash or clean herself, in addition to other forms of torture.
On January 26, 2008, Xu Na and her husband Yu Zhou, a member of one of the famous folk song group "Xiaojuan & Co-Residents in the Valley," were arrested by the Beijing police on their way home from a music concert. They were immediately placed in the detention center in the Tongzhou District.
On February 6, Yu Zhou's family received a notice telling them to go immediately to the Qinghe First-aid Center to see Yu Zhou. When they arrived, Yu Zhou was already dead, a white bed sheet covering his body. He was still wearing a respirator on his face, but his legs were already ice-cold. The doctors insisted that Yu Zhou died of diabetes caused by his hunger strike. But his family members could not believe it, because Yu Zhou had been in good health. The police demanded immediate cremation of his body, to which his family members objected. In addition, his family's request for an autopsy was turned down.
Xu Na was not permitted to attend her husband's funeral. She was transferred and detained in the detention center under the jurisdiction of the No.7 Division of the Beijing Public Security Bureau. She has been charged with the crimes of "being involved in illegal organizations" and "hindering law enforcement." Those detained in this prison are basically political prisoners.
Xu Na was informed of Yu Zhou's death by her lawyer. She decided to submit an appeal, demanding to be told the truth about the incident. Both Yu Zhou and Xu Na's families have been threatened, and the police have exerted pressure on them, too. We have learned that proceedings to charge Xu Na have been postponed because of pressure from the international community.
Mr. Minister, the case of the mistreatment of Mme. Xu Na is far from an isolated incident. The CCP authorities not only crush the dissidents but also detain them and abuse them brutally. The number of those who are missing and about whom there is no information is alarming. However, the brutal torture and evil acts have been profusely reported by non-government organizations despite the banning of all outside media and independent observers.
Those people cannot enjoy the presumption of innocence, have no right to protect themselves or to make statements, and very often cannot get any medical treatment when in need. These situations have made us draw the only conclusion possible: Demand the unconditional release of Xu Na and the great number of those illegally detained by the CCP authorities.
As a representative of a democratic country respected for its protection of human rights, Mr. Minister, please put those who despicably disregard human rights in the spotlight to ensure that Mme Xu Na is in no danger. This is your responsibility as well as ours.
MP of the Belgian Green Party
Category: Accounts of Persecution