UN rapporteur on torture receives report on activist Li Biyun

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Originally published by Asia News.it on March 5, 2015

Li took part in land rights campaigns and ran as an independent candidate in a local election. She accuses police of assaulting her whilst being handcuffed, depriving her of food and water and denying her medical care. She also accuses police of forcing her to submit to the ‘tiger bench’. China is a signatory of the 1998 UN Convention on Torture.

Guangzhou (AsiaNews/CHRD) – The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture received information on the torture of activist Li Biyun at the hands of Guangdong police.

Police initially targeted Li due to her land rights activism in Foshan City, and later when she ran as an independent candidate in a local election in 2011.

According to the China Human Rights Defenders (CHRD)group, she alleges that police officers tortured her multiple times in detention facilities and police stations from 2009 to 2014.

The torture included physical assault (when she was handcuffed), strapping her to a “tiger bench,” depriving her of food and water, verbal abuse and no adequate medical care.

A tiger bench is a torture device in which the prisoner is forced to sit for a long time on a narrow metal bar with the feet and legs tied and raised. It is commonly used under laojiao (re-education through labour) custody (pictured).

Police detained her in October 2013 and held in custody her for 14 months, half of which time she spent in hospital due to injuries sustained after police beat her.

In the hospital, she was shackled to a bed, and denied drugs and other medical treatments

Li was released in December 2014, and was rushed to an emergency room a week later.

She suffers from permanent damage to her legs and back, and police continue to threaten her and her family.

China signed the UN Convention against Torture in 1988, which requires the government to end torture, hold torturers accountable, and provide reparation and rehabilitation to victims.

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