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Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in China

Posted by Author on March 17, 2007

extract from Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2006- China, the U.S. State Department, March 6, 2007-

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The law forbids prison guards from extorting confessions by torture, insulting prisoners’ dignity, and beating or encouraging others to beat prisoners. However, police and other elements of the security apparatus employed widespread torture and degrading treatment when dealing with some detainees and prisoners. UN Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak’s March report to the UN Commission on Human Rights blamed the prevalence of torture on institutional weakness and lack of judicial independence in a system that pressures police to solve cases and allows them wide discretion in matters of arrest and detention.

Former detainees credibly reported that officials used electric shocks, beatings, shackles, and other forms of abuse.

In January four teenagers from Anhui Province were released from custody. Media reports said authorities were investigating three police officers on suspicion of using torture to coerce false confessions from the teenagers. Public security officials acknowledged that the teenagers’ cases were mishandled.

In June authorities charged Alim, Ablikim, and Qahar Abdurehim, three of Uighur businesswomen Rebiya Kadeer’s sons, with state security and economic crimes. Authorities beat Alim and Ablikim, and Alim confessed to the charges against him after reportedly being tortured.

In October 2005 Falun Gong adherents Liu Boyang and Wang Shuohui of Changchun, Jilin Province reportedly died in custody after being tortured by police.

Beijing-based petitioner leader Ye Guozhu was reportedly tortured and abused in prison, including beatings with electric batons, suspension from the ceiling by his arms, and shackled and forced to sit in extreme positions for extended periods of time.

Inner Mongolian cultural activist Hada was also reportedly tortured. Approximately half of all alleged acts of torture occurred in pretrial criminal detention centers or reeducation-through-labor centers.

In February the Ministry of Justice established punishments for prison and reeducation-through-labor police who beat, or induce others to beat, prisoners.

In March UN Special Rapporteur Nowak reaffirmed earlier findings that torture remained widespread. Nowak reported that beatings with fists, sticks, and electric batons continued to be the most common tortures. He also found that prisoners continued to suffer cigarette burns, prolonged periods of solitary confinement, and submersion in water or sewage, and that they were made to hold extreme positions for long periods, were denied medical treatment, and were forced to do hard labor. Death row inmates were shackled or handcuffed 24 hours per day and systematically abused to break their will and force confession. According to Nowak, officials specifically targeted house church groups, Falun Gong adherents, Tibetans, and Uighur prisoners for abuse. Nowak found that procedural and substantive measures to prevent torture were inadequate.

Since the crackdown on Falun Gong began in 1999, estimates of the numbers of Falun Gong adherents who died in custody due to torture, abuse, and neglect ranged from several hundred to a few thousand (see section 2.c.).

UN Special Rapporteur Nowak reported in March that Falun Gong practitioners accounted for 66 percent of victims of alleged torture while in government custody.

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) began audio and video taping of police interrogations in homicide and organized crime cases in an attempt to prevent coerced confessions. In May the government concluded a campaign to curb coerced confessions. The campaign exposed 3,700 cases of official abuse and resulted in 1,924 prosecutions and 1,450 convictions.

On November 29, the PSB punished 100 alleged prostitutes and their procurers in an act of public shaming in the southern city of Shenzhen. Officials paraded the women in front of jeering crowds, revealed their names and alleged crimes over a loudspeaker, and then sentenced them to administrative detention without trial. According to reports, the purpose of this campaign was to dissuade women from turning to prostitution and intimidate men who patronized brothels.

Sexual and physical abuse and extortion were reported in some detention centers. Falun Gong activists reported that police raped female practitioners, including an incident in November 2005 at the Dongchengfang police station in Tunzhou City, Hebei Province, in which two women were raped while in detention.

According to foreign researchers, the country had 20 ankang institutions (high-security psychiatric hospitals for the criminally insane) directly administered by the Ministry of Public Security. Persons committed to these institutions had no mechanism for objecting to public security officials’ determinations of mental illness.

Some dissidents, persistent petitioners, and others were housed with mentally ill patients in these institutions. Patients in these hospitals were reportedly given medicine against their will and forcibly subjected to electric shock treatment. The regulations for committing a person into an ankang psychiatric facility were not clear. Credible reports indicated that a number of political and trade union activists, underground religious believers, persons who repeatedly petitioned the government, members of the banned China Democratic Party, and Falun Gong adherents were incarcerated in such facilities during the year. These included Wang Miaogen, Wang Chanhao, Pan Zhiming, and Li Da, who were reportedly held in an ankang facility run by the Shanghai PSB.

Activists sentenced to administrative detention also reported they were strapped to beds or other devices for days at a time, beaten, forcibly injected or fed medications, and denied food and use of toilet facilities. ……

full report can be found here from the U.S. State Department’s website

Two Falun Gong Women Dead in Double Torture Case in China, The Falun Dafa Information Center, 3/12/2007
Photo: China Modern Torture Methods (1) – Burning

One Response to “Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in China”

  1. li, ming said

    you guys should make print format for articles,

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