(Note: "Volksblatt" means "The People's Pages," and is the name of a newspaper in the City of Wuerzburg, Germany.)
September 19, 2001
Wuerzburg/Germany: Representatives of the International Association for Human Rights ("IGFM" in German),based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and representatives of Falun Gong levied serious accusations against the Chinese authorities regarding its brutal treatment of all those who don't agree with governmental ideology, including ethnic minorities, independently organized Christians, and other religious groups.
During a press conference in Wuerzburg, the Chinese woman painter/artist, Cui-Ying Zhang, described the gruesome conditions prevalent in Chinese detention centres. Her personal experience report sounds like a horror story. For eight months she was incarcerated, tortured and beaten. To increase her abuse, she was the only woman assigned to a men's section of the prison. For seven months she was prohibited from walking about. She also had been shackled with heavy iron chains so severely that in some areas her skin began to rot.
She was arrested on March 5, 2000, as she attempted to deliver a petition to the Chinese Premier related to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. In prison, she, like all the prisoners, was required to perform ten hours of manual labour daily. The products she made were exported to foreign countries. Protests and hunger strikes by this Australian citizen had no effect on her captors. Only after intervention and pressure from her government was she released in November 2000. Since then she has travelled the world to inform the international community of the fate of Falun Gong practitioners.
Mr. Martin Lessenthin, spokesperson for the IGFM, considers China to be Number 1 in human rights abuses, torture and execution. In his view, Jiang Zemin must stand trial and face charges at the International Tribunal in The Hague,Holland for his crimes of suppression and human rights violations. According to Mr. Lessenthin, everyone who resists state control in China will immediately be sent to a forced labour camp. "The list of victims is very long."
According to IGFM's estimates, between ten and twenty million people are in detention in China, without the benefit of rule of law or any kind of legal proceedings. Incarceration takes place without due process of law. People are tortured in these labour camps. Even the length of the sentence can be arbitrarily extended if the guards feel like it. This takes place, for instance, when a forced laborer refuses to write a "remorse statement," stating that he/she would rescind his/her belief system or political ideas. Mr. Lessenthin goes on to say: "It would be a worth-while effort if the exchange of ideas between Germany and China regarding the rule of law could solve the problem of the labour camp phenomenon."
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