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  • » 08/04/2012, 00.00

    CHINA - ASIA

    HRW: torture and denial of rights for drug addicts locked up in camps in Asia



    Hundreds of thousands of people in China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos held without trial, and victims of torture and violence. In the name of a supposed "health care" they are subjected to forced labor and abuse. The structures built and maintained with money from donor countries and UN agencies.

    Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Hundreds of thousands of people identified as drug users in China and across Southeast Asia are held without due process in centers where they may be subjected to torture, and physical and sexual violence in the name of "treatment". The charge is contained in a  23-page Human Rights Watch (HRW), recent report titled " Torture in the Name of Treatment: Human Rights Abuses in Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and Lao PDR." These centers, added the expert organization based in New York (United States), have received financial support and funds from donor countries and UN agencies, but the centers systematically deny people rights to effective HIV and drug dependency treatment, and have ignored forced labor and abuse.

    The HRW document shows that more than 350 thousand persons, identified as "habitual drugs users", have been locked up in facilities comparable to real prisons, in the name of "treatment" to follow a medical detox. The deprivation of liberty could last up to five years and even involved ordinary homeless citizens, mentally ill and street children. In the camp the "guests" are subjected to military-style exercises, chanting slogans and working conditions comparable to slavery as part of an elusive "therapy".

    Joe Amon, director of health and human rights at Human Rights Watch, stresses that "beatings, forced labor and humiliation" are not part of the therapy indicated for combating addiction. " These centers need to be closed, and voluntary, effective drug treatment provided in their place." Beijing, Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Vientiane systematically violate the rights of patients, depriving people of personal liberty. They are picked up by police, or "volunteered" by local authorities or family members who buckle under social pressure to make their village "drug free." And once inside, they cannot leave. No clinical evaluation of drug dependency is performed, resulting in the detention of occasional drug users as well as others merely suspected of using drugs.

    Recent research has also shown that these camps have fostered the spread of diseases like AIDS or the rapid growth in the number of HIV-positive. In Vietnam, "occupational therapy" is an integral part of drug addiction treatment and centers are nothing more than forced labor camps, in which tens of thousands of people work for six days a week in the most menial and laborious tasks . And punishment for any mistakes often lead to torture. A practice that, in addition to Vietnam, is applied with equal harshness in Cambodia, Laos and China, where convict labor is exploited for the production of objects and artifacts.

     

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    See also

    26/01/2013 CHINA
    Asylums and mutilation: China’s new forms of torture
    While the central government debates whether to reform the system of "re-education through labor" cases of human rights violations multiply and worsen. The story of Chen Qingxia, wife of a mentally ill man, beaten until she lost the use of her legs as she tried to present his petition to the central government. Her husband was interned in a psychiatric hospital and her 12 year old son has disappeared into thin air.

    08/10/2009 CHINA
    Hu thanks the police as rate of death by torture grows in prisons
    The Chinese president praises the "outstanding contribution" of law enforcement for October 1 celebrations. An 60 year old was killed under interrogation. Deprived of food, water and sleep, with 90 lighted cigarettes stuffed in his nostrils. Activists and petitioners die from "suicide" or "bad heart" conditions. Prohibited autopsies.

    22/11/2008 CHINA
    UN committee: Beijing should apologize to Tiananmen victims
    The committee against torture calls upon China to ask forgiveness for the massacre of students, and to provide information on the people still in prison. It also expresses the hope for "full and impartial" investigations to clarify the affair and punish the guilty. The UN also calls for an end to torture.

    07/01/2013 CHINA
    Beijing announces end of forced labor camps
    Reportedly announced today by Meng Jianzhu, Secretary for CPC Political and Legal Affairs. Cancellation regards laojiao and not Laogai. The system of "re-education through labor (laojiao) affects up to 2 million people who work for 15 hours a day for minimal pay. Among the victims are Christians, members of the Falun Gong and dissidents. The message of an inmate found hiding in a toy sold in the U.S. Internal and external pressures against criminal justice system, to point of boycott of products the result of forced labor.

    24/11/2004 CHINA
    Fired and tortured for having a second child




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