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Gao Zhisheng : ‘Utterly Destroyed’ by Torture in China

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  • Gao Zhisheng : ‘Utterly Destroyed’ by Torture in China

    Parameswaran Ponnudurai

    Gao Zhisheng during an interview at his office in Beijing, in a file photo.

    AFP Rights lawyerUS support

  • #2


    • #3

      Missing China dissident held in Xinjiang: brother

      China has jailed a prominent dissident lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, in its far western region of Xinjiang, the first confirmation of his whereabouts in more than 20 months, his brother and a rights group said Sunday.

      Gao -- who defended some of China's most vulnerable people including Christians and coal miners -- was arrested in February 2009 and has been held largely incommunicado by authorities except for a brief release in March 2010.

      "I received the decision letter this morning saying Gao Zhisheng is in Shaya prison in Xinjiang," his brother, Gao Zhiyi, told AFP. He added the document was issued by a Beijing court.

      The official Xinhua news agency said last month that Gao had been sent back to prison after a court ruled he had violated the terms of his probation, though it gave no date.

      A Beijing court sent him back to jail for three years after ruling he had "seriously violated probation rules a number of times," the report said.

      Bob Fu, head of Texas-based rights group China Aid, likened the jailing to internal exile.

      "The Chinese government can use this remote jail to prevent concerned people to visit attorney Gao," he said in a statement.

      The case has drawn the attention of both the United States government and the United Nations.

      In December last year, the United States urged China to "immediately release" Gao and to clarify his whereabouts.

      Days later, UN officials also called on China to release Gao after state media said he had been sent back to prison for three years.


      • #4
        China Offers Cash For Marriage to Promote Assimilation in Xinjiang
        Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin Service, and by Eset Sulaiman for the Uyghur Service.
        Translated by Luisetta Mudie and Mamatjan Juma.
        Written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

        A Uyghur family at home in Xinjiang's Kashgar Prefecture, Aug. 16, 2013.


        Chinese authorities in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang have announced a slew of cash incentives for interracial marriages between members of ethnic minority groups and majority Han Chinese, local officials said.

        The move immediately drew criticism from overseas exile Uyghur groups, who called it an extension of the ruling Chinese Communist Party's policy of assimilation of the region's mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uyghur group.

        Officials in Xinjiang's Bayinguoleng Autonomous Mongolian Prefecture are offering annual cash payouts to couples in which one party is Han Chinese and the other a member of a minority ethnic group.

        According to the new rules, which came into effect on Aug. 21, mixed-race couples will also enjoy privileged access to housing, medical care, and education for their children, officials said.

        But the benefits won't apply if both parties are from a minority group, according to an official who answered the phone at the prefecture's Cherchen (in Chinese, Qiemo) county government offices on Friday.

        "[One party] must be Han Chinese," the official said. "It can be Han Chinese with Mongolian, or Han with Uyghur."

        "After they marry, they will receive an annual payout of 10,000 yuan (U.S.$1,630) for five years," he said.

        He said the incentives only apply to those who marry after Aug. 21, however.

        He said the government had recently compiled statistics on interracial marriages in the county.

        "Right now our statistics show that there are around 57 households," he said. "These statistics haven't been published yet."

        Tentative scheme

        The official said the new incentives are a tentative scheme aimed at boosting the number of interracial marriages.

        "These are experimental rules, and they are only temporary," he said. "If they don't turn out to be appropriate, they could could be [changed or dropped]."

        "It's not set in stone."

        Separately, a Uyghur official in Cherchen county's ethnic and religious affairs office confirmed the move, saying, "I have heard that this policy is in place in other places in the autonomous region, and that there is a secret policy to support it."

        "I went to a Chinese school and speak the language, but I wouldn't want my child to marry a Han Chinese," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

        "We are Muslim, but because we work in a government office we can't say anything about this."

        The Xinjiang regulations come in the same month as allegations that the Chinese government is trying to stamp out Tibetan culture and religion by promoting interracial marriage with positive stories in official media and similarly favorable policies.

        Social engineering

        According to Dilxat Raxit, Munich-based spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) exile group, Beijing has recently stepped up its attempt to soothe ethnic tension by using social engineering.

        "They are using cash incentives in a bid to encourage Uyghurs and Han Chinese to intermarry, as a way of speeding up the assimilation [of Uyghurs]," Raxit told RFA on Friday, adding, "They are using marriage as a means to achieve Beijing's political ends."

        Cross-cultural marriages between Uyghurs and Han Chinese are extremely rare, though, he said.

        "The Turkic culture of the Uyghurs and Han culture is different in almost every way, and Uyghurs basically don't marry Han Chinese," Raxit said.

        "There are individual exceptions, but even they end in divorce."

        A Han Chinese resident of Xinjiang surnamed Liu agreed, though offering a different reason.

        "Such marriages are very rare because Chinese people don't want to marry Uyghurs," she said.

        But she added that "personal feelings" are far more likely to have an impact on boosting mixed marriages than any government incentive.

        "It should be about people's personal feelings, their love," Liu said. "But if they don't understand each other's language, it's not going to happen for either party."

        'Not the answer'

        A Han Chinese resident of the regional capital Urumqi surnamed Zhou said the government appears to believe that more mixed marriages will soothe tensions in the region, where many Uyghurs complain of excessive religious controls, economic discrimination, and abusive law enforcement under Chinese rule.

        "[I guess] they want an end to long-term strife and opposition, and to the rift that's already grown between the two groups," Zhou said.

        "Because if they don't solve the ethnic question, that's going to mean far more headaches for the government."

        But he said the politicization of marriage choices isn't the answer. "It's too prescriptive to offer rewards for marrying, which should be a free choice."

        Uyghurs may in any case object to marriages with Han Chinese because of China's "harsh religious and ethnic repression" of the minority group, Alimjan Bughra, a scholar of religious studies based in Turkey, said.

        "And with China again increasing its pressure on Uyghurs in recent years, it may prove impossible for Uyghurs to accept interracial marriage," Bughra said.

        Upsurge in violence

        The Xinjiang region, which is home to millions of Turkic-speaking Uyghurs, has seen an upsurge in violence that has left hundreds dead since 2012, and which China has blamed on terrorists and Islamist insurgents seeking to establish an independent state.

        But rights groups accuse the Chinese authorities of heavy-handed rule in Xinjiang, including violent police raids on Uyghur households, restrictions on Islamic practices, and curbs on the culture and language of the Uyghur people.

        Chinese president Xi Jinping announced a harsh, one-year antiterrorist campaign in May, following a bombing in the regional capital Urumqi that killed 31 people and injured 90.

        In the latest serious violence, Chinese state media said, 96 people were killed in July 28 riots which erupted after a "gang" of Uyghurs attacked a police station and government offices in Kashgar prefecture's Yarkand (in Chinese, Shache) county.

        The authorities had reacted with "a resolute crackdown to eradicate terrorists," state media said.

        But exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer accused the authorities of covering up a massacre of up to 2,000 Uyghur civilians.


        • #5
          China use of torture uncurbed by legal reform
          Thursday, 12 November 2015

          BEIJING (AP)
          Chinese journalist Liu Hu poses for a portrait as he stands outside the detention center where he was held on the outskirts of Beijing.
          (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

          "For the police, obtaining a confession is still the easiest way to secure a conviction," said Patrick Poon, a researcher at Amnesty International.

          Yet, despite regular accounts by victims, reports by international human rights groups and exposes in state media, Chinese authorities have insisted that the practice is waning.

          In April 2014, Zhao Chunguang, a senior public security official overseeing police detention facilities, said there had not been a single case of coercing confessions through torture at the country's detention centers following new rules aimed at preventing the use of torture.

          When responding to the report by the Human Rights Watch in May, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that Chinese law prohibits torture during interrogations and that anyone found responsible would be punished.

          Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Justice did not respond to faxed requests on the practice.

          In the report, Amnesty International says forms of torture include beatings, long periods of being handcuffed and leg-cuffed, sleep deprivation, withholding food and water, and denial of medical treatment.

          In June, Peter Humphrey, a British man convicted of illegally obtaining information and later released on medical grounds and deported from China, told the media that Chinese authorities withheld medical treatment for his prostate problems to pressure him to make a televised confession in 2013.

          Chinese journalist Liu Hu told The Associated Press in September that he was deprived of sleep when he was locked up in a detention center in Beijing. Liu never confessed to any wrongdoing.


          • #6
            UN finds torture "entrenched deeply" in China's justice system
            Tenzin Monlam
            Friday, December 11, 2015



            • #7
              China 'Ignores' U.N. Treaty, Routinely Tortures Activists: Report
              Reported by Hai Nan for RFA's Cantonese Service, and by the Mandarin Service.
              Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

              Chen Guangcheng speaks alongside his wife after receiving a U.S. award on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 29, 2013.
              AFP Subversion chargesUnprecedented attack


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