Urgent Action Update: Transferred 1,000km From Family; Medical Care Needed (China: UA 19.18)
February 23, 2021
Prominent human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng was transferred without notice to Nanjing Prison in Jiangsu Province on 26 January, 1000km away from his family. Yu’s wife only found out that he had been transferred after continuously calling Xuzhou City Detention Center on 3 February for news about his whereabouts. Once the authorities finally confirmed the move, Xu immediately traveled to Nanjing and was able to have a 30-minute video call with Yu on 5 February. During the call, Yu shared that despite the prison conditions being somewhat better, he had not received the necessary health and medical care for his teeth, right hand and right arm and continues to show signs of malnutrition. Yu Wensheng is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, and must be immediately and unconditionally released.
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Director Zhu Yonghong Nanjing Prison
9 Ning Shuang Lu, Yuhuatai Qu,
Najing City, Jiangsu Sheng, 210012
People’s Republic of China
Ambassador Cui Tiankai Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 495 2266 I Fax: 202 495 2138
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Director Zhu:
I am writing to express my grave concern for the health of Yu Wensheng (余文生), a human rights lawyer sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and deprivation of political rights for three years on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪) for peacefully expressing his right to freedom of expression. First arrested in 2018, Yu’s health has dramatically deteriorated due to poor conditions and alleged torture and other ill-treatment while in detention.
I am relieved to learn that Yu Wensheng was granted a 30 minute video call with his wife on 5 February 2021, the first since being transferred. Yu shared that the conditions at Nanjing Prison are better; however, he said he has yet to receive medical attention for his teeth, arms and hands. His wife further expressed concern that Yu was still showing signs of malnutrition.
Since being detained, Yu had lost four teeth and his right arm is weak due to nerve damage which makes it impossible for him to write. I am afraid that if Yu does not get the immediate medical care that he so desperately needs, his condition will further deteriorate and result in permanent damage.
Yu Wensheng is a prisoner of conscience detained and sentenced solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. I call on you to ensure that Yu Wensheng has access to adequate food, health care and prompt access to medical attention; ensure Yu Wensheng has regular, unrestricted access to a lawyer of his choice and his family and while in detention, he is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment; and release Yu Wensheng immediately and unconditionally, as he is imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his human right to freedom of expression.