11/14/2007, 00.00
CHINA
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Condemned to forced labour for seeking Political reform of Party

Liu Jie was condemned without trial to 18 months of forced labour in a military farm yesterday. At the beginning of October he had written an open letter signed by 12,510 people asking the Communist Congress for political and legal reform.

Beian (AsiaNews) – The Heilongjiang Provincial Public Security Bureau yesterday condemned human rights activist Liu Jie, to 18 months of re-education by means of forced labour for having “instigated revolt” and “disturbed the social order”.  The news was reported by the Chinese Commission for the defence of Human rights.

Liu, 55, was one of the principal organisers behind a public letter (signed by 12,510 people) sent to the Communist Party Congress asking for political and legal reform.

Police arrested her on October 13th, accusing her of “wanting to gather crowds to disturb social order”. On October 36th officers informed Liu’s husband that she would be freed on November 12th.  When he arrived at the prison the man found out that his wife had been sentenced to forced labour in a military farm.

An activist following the case explains: “When the authorities lack evidence to file charges against Ms. Liu, like in so many other cases where the authorities made up their mind to punish activists, they throw her into the forced labour camps without any legal procedures”. In fact, the Chinese penal code allows the possibility to carry out “preventative punishment”, lasting up to 4 years without any trial.

 

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