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Urgent Action Update: Falun Gong Practitioner Faces Imprisonment (China: UA 216/16)

Urgent Action
February 21, 2017

 

Falun Gong practitioner Chen Huixia has been indicted for “using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement” and is facing three years to life imprisonment. Her family have been unable to visit her since 3 June 2016, the date she was first detained.
 
The indictment against Chen Huixia, for “using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement”, was submitted by the Procuratorate (Prosecutor) to the Shijiazhuang Municipal Yuhua District People’s Court in December 2016. While her trial date has not yet been set, if she is convicted, she could face a prison sentence of between three years to life. A request by Chen Huixia’s lawyer to review her casefile in January 2017 was rejected by the court, claiming that it had yet to verify Chen Huixia’s relationship with her daughter, who had hired the lawyer from abroad.
 
Following a visit to the detention centre by her defence lawyer, on 15 December 2016 and 13 January 2017, it has been confirmed that Chen Huixia’s health condition is “fine” and she is no longer being tortured or subjected to “brainwashing” sessions to get her to renounce her beliefs. The family have no further details, as the lawyer assumed their communications were being monitored and therefore only passed on limited information, and all requests by Chen Huixia’s brother and sister to visit her have been rejected.

First taken away by police on 3 June 2016, Chen Huixia was strapped to an iron chair at an unofficial place of detention for more than 1 month before being relocated to Shijiazhuang Municipal No. 2 Detention Centre, in the north-eastern province of Hebei on 15 July 2016. Chen Huixia did not have a lawyer until November 2016, as many lawyers that her family approached refused to take up the case because they believed the authorities would not allow them to defend a Falun Gong practitioner.

1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Immediately and unconditionally release Chen Huixia, as she has been detained solely for exercising the right to freedom of belief and expression and, pending her release, ensure that she has prompt, regular and unrestricted access to her family and lawyers of her choice;
  • Ensure that Chen Huixia is tried in line with international fair trial standards, including to guarantee her rights to legal counsel pre-trial and adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence, by promptly informing her of the nature and cause of the charge against her;
  • Ensure that while detained, Chen Huixia is protected from torture or other ill-treatment, and that her treatment is in accordance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).
Contact these two officials by 4 April, 2017:
Director of Shijiazhuang Municipal No. 2 Detention Centre
Shijiazhuang Shi Dier Kanshousuo Zhaoling Lu, Changan Qu,    
Shijiazhuang Shi    
Hebei Sheng, 050000
People’s Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director

2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
Here's why it is so important to report your actions: we record the number and types of actions taken—letters, emails, calls and tweets—on each case and use that information in our advocacy. Either email [email protected] with “UA 216/16” in the subject line or click this link.
 
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