Amnesty International Urgent Action to Rescue Yoko Kaneko

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGENT ACTION

AI Index: ASA 17/057/2002 UA 346/02

29 November 2002
PEOPLE´S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

Fear for safety/Fear of Torture or ill-treatment/Medical concern/Incommunicado detention

Luo Rong (aka Yoko Kaneko) (f), aged 38 Luo Zhen (f)

Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of sisters Luo Rong (also known as Yoko Kaneko), and Luo Zhen, who are at serious risk of torture or ill treatment.

Luo Rong, a Chinese Falun Gong member with permanent residency in Japan, is currently serving one-and-half years' "re-education through labour" in a Beijing labour camp. She was detained in the capital while handing out Falun Gong leaflets on 24 May 2002 during a visit to China She is reportedly seriously ill and has been hospitalised for high blood pressure. However there are serious concerns that she may not receive adequate hospital care. According to reports , Luo Rong has bruising around her wrists and has lost a lot of weight indicating that she may have been tortured or ill treated whilst in the labour camp.

Luo Rong's elder sister, Luo Zhen, a resident in China, was reportedly detained on 5 November by the Public Security Bureau in Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang province, north-eastern China, following her involvement in publicizing her sister's case. She is reportedly held in incommunicado detention, and the family has not yet been informed of her whereabouts. According to unofficial sources, she may have been assigned to two years' re-education through labour.

Luo Zhen is reportedly not believed to be a Falun Gong practitioner, but she and her family had been visited and harassed by the police following Luo Rong's detention.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Falun Gong spiritual movement has been banned in China since July 1999 along with other so-called 'heretical organizations', and it has recently become one of the main targets of the 'strike hard' campaign against crime in China.

Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners continue to be detained in China where they are at serious risk of torture or ill treatment, particularly if they refuse to renounce their spiritual beliefs. The vast majority of them are believed to be held in labour through re-education centres, a form of administrative detention imposed without charge or trial. Those accused of being Falun Gong leaders or organizers [Note: Falun Gong has no hierarchy or formal organisation. Everything is done by volunteers] have been sentenced to prison terms, while others have been held in psychiatric hospitals. Amnesty International continues to receive regular reports of Falun Gong members being tortured or ill-treated in custody. According to Falun Gong sources, over 500 Falun Gong practitioners have died in custody (or shortly after their release), apparently as a result of torture.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Chinese authorities to arrive as quickly as possible, in Chinese, English or your own language:

  • expressing concern at reports that Luo Rong has been arbitrarily detained for peacefully exercising her rights to freedom of expression and belief, and urging the authorities to release her immediately and unconditionally;

  • expressing concern that Luo Rong is in poor health; that her medical problems appear to have been acquired in detention; and urging the authorities to ensure that while she is detention she has full access to a competent and independent doctor of her choosing;

  • urging the Chinese authorities to clarify the current whereabouts of Luo Zhen, and to release her immediately and unconditionally, unless she is charged with a recognizably criminal offence;

  • urging the authorities to ensure that while Luo Zhen is in custody she is given access to a lawyer, to her family and to a doctor of her choosing.

APPEALS on behalf of Luo Rong TO (Note, fax numbers may be difficult to obtain, but please keep trying):

Mayor of Beijing Municipal People's Government
LIU Qi Shizhang
Beijingshi Renmin Zhengfu
2 Zhengyilu
Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100744
People's Republic of China
Telegram: Mayor, Beijing, China
Internet E-mail: http://www.beijing.gov.cn/chinese_new/beijing_government/mailbox/mailbox.asp
Salutation: Dear Mayor

Director of the Re-education-Through-Labour Administration, Ministry of Justice
MENG Qingchen Sizhang
Sifabu
Laodong Jiaoyang Gongzuo Guanliju
14 Dongchanganjie
Beijingshi 100741
People's Republic of China
Telegram: Labour-Through-Labour Director, Justice Ministry, Beijing, China
fax: +86 10 6 529 2345
email: minister@legalinfo.gov.cn
Salutation: Dear Director

APPEALS on behalf of Luo Zhen TO:
Governor of the Heilongjiang Provincial People's Government
SONG Fatang Shengzhang
Heilongjiangsheng Renmin Zhengfu
202 Zhongshanlu
Haerbinshi 150001
Heilongjiangsheng
People's Republic of China
Telegram: Provincial Government, Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China
Salutation: Dear Governor
E-mail: info@haerbindaily.com.cn (c/o Haerbin Daily)

Director of the Heilongjiang Provincial Department of Public Security
Tingzhang
Gong'anting
95 Zhongshanlu
Haerbinshi 150001
Heilongjiangsheng
People's Republic of China
Telegram: Provincial Public Security Director, Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China
Salutation: Dear Director

COPIES TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China
TANG Jiaxuan Buzhang
Waijiaobu
2 Chaoyangmen Nandajie
Beijingshi 100701
People's Republic of China
Telegram: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Beijing, China
Salutation: Your Excellency
Fax: +86 10 6596 3374

Ms KAWAGUCHI Yoriko
Minister of Foreign Affairs
12F Sumitomo-Fudosan Shiba-koen BLDG.
2-11-1 Shiba-koen
Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-8519
Japan
Fax: +81 3 3580 3311
email: webmaster@mofa.go.jp

and to diplomatic representatives of the People's Republic of China accredited to your country.

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