Belgian MP Demands Unconditional Release of Xu Na

Xu Na, a Falun Gong practitioner from Beijing and a quite reputable painter, was persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the guise of the “Beijing Olympic Games”. Her husband Yu Zhou, a musician in the famous folk band “Xiaojuan & Co - Residents in the Valley”, was persecuted to death on February 6th, 2008, only eleven days after he and Xu Na were illegally arrested on their way home from a music concert.

Xu Na was illegally sentenced to five years imprisonment by the CCP in November 2001. She was subjected to brutal torture in prison. She has been illegally detained since early this year after she and her husband Yu Zhou were both illegally arrested at the same time. The CCP authority even did not allow her to attend her husband's funeral. Xu Na is now being detained in the detention centre of the Chongwen District of Beijing and facing illegal sentencing.

The miserable treatment of the couple has received wide attention of the international community. Mme. Juliette Boulet, an MP from the Belgian Green Party and the Vice Chairwoman of the Petition Committee of the National Congress, wrote a special letter to the Belgian Foreign Minister, while stating the persecution Xu Na had suffered, requesting to address inquiries to the CCP authority about the current situation of Xu Na and requesting her unconditional release and a guarantee of her personal safety.

The following is the translation of the letter that Mme. Juliette Boulet, Member of Parliament, wrote to Mr. Karel De Gucht, Belgian Foreign Minister:

Dear Minister,

The recent event that occurred in Tibet has not made us look on with unconcern but made us face up to the issue of its disrespect for human rights with regard to our future relations with China. Nevertheless, we feel that the Belgian government has shown its reluctance in its stand in view of the economic partnership with China and the act of placing the consideration of economic interests above human rights makes us feel sad.

Therefore, except for our proposal for a resolution that was suspended a few months ago and the discussions about this topic that have been continually reported, today we would like to ask you about Xu Na, a painter well-known both in China and Hong Kong, and what situation she is in?

In 2001, she was detained in a Labour Education Camp located in Tuanhe and the Beijing Women’s Prison, where she was subjected to brutal torture and was forced to do high-intensive labour. She was severely and repeatedly beaten in a small prison cell and there was one occasion when she was beaten up by eight prisoners at the same time. They (the CCP authority) forced her to sit down with her two legs crossed and then tied up her crossed legs with her body. She was deprived of sleep. They even made her stand in the snow until she became frozen stiff. For more than a month, she was not allowed to wash and clean in addition to other forms of torture.

On 26th January 2008, Xu Na and her husband Yu Zhou, a member of one of the most famous folk song groups named “Xiaojuan & Co-Residents in the Valley”, were arrested by the Beijing police on their way home from a music concert. They were immediately detained in the detention house in the Tongzhou District.

On 6th February, the family members of Yu Zhou received a notice requesting them to immediately go to the Qinghe First-aid Centre to see Yu Zhou. At the time when the family members arrived, Yu Zhou had died with a white bed sheet covering his body. He was still wearing a respirator on his face, but his legs had already become completely ice-cold. The doctors insisted that Yu Zhou died of diabetes caused by his hunger strike. But his family members could not believe it because Yu Zhou had been in good health. The police demanded immediate cremation of his body, to which his family members objected. But the request of his family members for the post-mortem examination was turned down.

Xu Na could not attend her husband’s funeral and, instead, was transferred and detained in the detention house under the jurisdiction of No.7 Division of the Beijing Public Security Bureau. She has been charged with the crimes of “being involved in illegal organisations” and “hindering law enforcement”. Those detained in this prison are basically political prisoners.

Xu Na was informed of Yu Zhou’s death by her lawyer. She decided to submit an appeal demanding to be told of the truth of the incident. The family members of both Yu Zhou and Xu Na have been threatened and the police have exerted pressure on them, too. We have learnt that the case of charging Xu Na has been postponed because of the pressure from the international community.

Mr. Minister, the case of the mistreatment of Mme. Xu Na is far from an isolated incident. The CCP authority not only blockades the dissidents but also detains them with inhuman means. The number of those who are missing and are given no information about is alarming. However, the brutal torture and those evil acts have been profusely reported by the Non-government organisations despite the banning of all the media or independent observers.

Those people can not enjoy the presumption of innocence, have no right to protect themselves and to make statements and very often can neither get any medical treatment when in need. These situations have made us draw the only one conclusion: demanding the unconditional release of Xu Na and the great number of those illegally detained by the CCP authority.

As a representative of a country of democracy and respect for human rights, Mr. Minister, please bring some light to those who despicably extort the human condition to ensure that Mme Xu Na be in no danger. This is the responsibility of yours as well as ours.

(Signed)


Juliette Boulet

MP of the Belgian Green Party

13th June

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