Detained Heilongjiang Activist, Yang Chunlin, Allegedly Tortured and Ill-treated

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(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, October 7, 2007)— Detained Heilongjiang activist, Yang Chunlin (杨春林), is said to be tortured and mistreated in Heitong Detention Center, Heilongjiang Province. Yang is still being denied access to a lawyer after three months in custody.

According to Yang’s family, who obtained information from a detainee released from the same detention center where Yang is being held, Yang has been subjected to a form of torture called “dinglongzi” (literally translated as “nailed in a cage”): A person’s arms and legs are stretched and fixed with iron chains to the four corners of an iron bed. The victim remains fixed in the same position without being able to move at all. After a long period of time in the same position, the victim feels pain all over her or his body. The victim has to eat, drink and defecate in the same position. His family believes that Yang Chunlin has been subjected to this form of torture at least twice, once for one day and another time for six days. Yang is now detained in cell no. 119 at the Detention Center.

In addition to dinglongzi, Yang has also been subjected to a related form of humiliating treatment called kanlongzi (literally translated as “looking after the cage”): He has to clean up the defecation of other detainees being subjected to dinglongzi.

At the Detention Center, his family said, Yang was repeatedly coerced to confess. The Heilongjiang National Security Unit gave him pen and paper to write a “Letter of Repentance” or “Letter of Repudiation of One’s Past Activities.” Yang was told that if he confessed his crime, he would be allowed to go home. Yang has not relented.

Authorities are concerned now that Yang will disclose details of his mistreatment at the detention center if allowed to meet with his lawyers. His lawyers, however, will try to visit him next week.

Click here for a previous CHRD briefing on Yang.

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