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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

URGENT ACTION - FALUN GONG PRACTITIONER AT RISK OF TORTURE: Amnesty International

Falun Gong: A Decade of Courage

Qiao Yongfang, who is in prison in China relating to his peaceful practice of
Falun Gong, is in need of medical attention. In September, he was transferred to a special prison unit, heightening Amnesty International's concern that he is at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

Qiao Yongfang is an elderly practitioner of Falun Gong, aged around 60. On 6 August, he was sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment on charges of “using a heretical organization to subvert the law.” He is imprisoned in the Hohhot ("Huhehaote" in Chinese) No 1 Men's Prison, but was transferred in September to a separate unit within the prison referred to as a ‘prison training team’. While it is not clear what the nature of this unit is, according to numerous accounts, Falun Gong practitioners are often held in separate facilities where they are compelled to relinquish their beliefs, including through torture and ill-treatment.

People who have visited him recently report that he is currently in poor health, including suffering from diabetes, for which he is not receiving adequate medical treatment. Qiao Yongfang’s lawyers have previously noted that he had been tortured while in detention, resulting in injuries to his head, for which he is not known to have received adequate medical treatment.

Qiao Yongfang's wife, Yan Donfei, also aged 60, was also sentenced on 6 August on the same charges to 14 months imprisonment. Because she had been held in detention for 14 months at the time the sentences were determined, she was released within a few days. Both had been tried at the Huimin District People's Court on 3 June 2010, having been held at No 1 Detention Centre in Hohhot since 8 June 2009. More...

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