Violence in Enforcing Family Planning in Linyi, Shandong (June 11, 2005)

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Violence in Enforcing Family Planning in Linyi, Shandong

A Report by Citizens Rights Defense Network, a project in collaboration with CRD

June 11, 2005

In late April 2005, the Chinese Rights Defenders (CRD) network received several reports of serious rights violations in enforcing the family planning policy by local officials in Linyi, Shandong Province. In order to confirm these reports and identify the causes of alleged violations, CRD volunteers took a trip to the region and conducted intensive interviews with villagers in late May. Based on these interviews and materials collected, these activists compiled this report, which provides evidence for twelve particular cases. These cases reveal only the tip of the iceberg of rights abuses involved in official enforcement of the family planning policy in certain parts of China.

Based on investigations conducted by CRD activists in limited areas of Linyi City, CRD concludes that the Linyi City Government has planned, organized, and executed the large-scale violent implementation of the national policy on family planning. Thousands of people have been affected, including suffering from physical injuries, as a result of violence and other forms of abuse, used in the implementation of the one-child policy, most of them rural residents.

In particular, CRD confirmed that local authorities – in order to meet the birth quota – forced women who were pregnant without permission to undergo abortion and coerced couples who already had two children to undergo sterilization. Authorities created an atmosphere of fear in the villages. They practiced the policy of collective punishment by jailing or taking family members and relatives of their targets hostage. They entered private residences illegally, detained villagers and restricted their freedom of movement. They practiced torture (including beating), degrading and inhumane treatment, and psychological abuse to extract information relating to the whereabouts of couples gone into hiding. They arbitrarily interpreted family planning law and regulations. They extorted money from villagers. These practices violated the rights enshrined in the PRC Constitution and Chinese law and regulations. They have deprived citizens of their right to reproductive choice.

These abuses by Linyi authorities and their consequences have caused serious harm, including injuries, and have met with widespread anger and resistance in the local communities. The situation is tense and volatile. They not only damage the authority of the law, violate the rights of citizens, undermine the legitimacy and credibility of the local government, but also breach basic humanitarian and moral standards.

CRD urges Chinese citizens, social organizations, and the relevant government and legal departments, to take the following actions to protect the basic human rights and legal rights of Chinese citizens:

1Chinese citizens and non-government organizations should monitor the situation closely, condemn Linyi authorities’ violations of Constitutional, legal and human rights in enforcing birth-control, and support local villagers’ self-organized actions to defend their own rights.

2Local legal professionals and authorities should investigate and review the alleged unlawful actions of Linyi government, reversing the deteriorating and explosive situation, and seeking legal and administrative accountability of officials convicted of authorizing and carrying out the abuses.

3Deputies to the local and national People’s Congress should initiate a special investigation of local authorities’ conduct in Linyi’s implementation of the family planning law as well as the alleged abuses of citizens’ legal rights.

4The local basic level courts should accept cases filed by lawyers and local rights activists on behalf of victims in Linyi villages and conduct fair trial s to halt rights abuses. The higher courts should watch the judicial proceedings in these cases and ensure fair judicial review.

Please click here for the full report in pdf file

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