» 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fired and tortured for having a second child
Liu Xiaobo: a torch that enlightens human civilization
The testimony of the great nonviolent dissident is the highest contribution to humanity in the last (sterile) 500 years of Chinese history. A priest from North China offers an elegy in memory of Liu (and his wife).
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