On August 27th, 2009, Amnesty International Philadelphia Branch held a conference and condemned the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong. A resolution was passed to send a letter to the CCP Secretary of Anhui Province, calling on the CCP to immediately release Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Tian Zhongxia from labour camp, stop the persecution of Falun Gong and abolish the "reeducation through labour" system in China.
Ms. Tian, 53 years old, is from Hefei, Anhui Province. She started practising Falun Gong in 1995 and was a volunteer contact person for the Shuanggang practice site in Hefei before the persecution started on July 20th, 1999. After she started practising Falun Gong, Ms. Tian experienced significant improvements in her health. Her illnesses, including chronic renal failure, severe anemia, low blood pressure and other chronic ailments, disappeared after a few months of practising Falun Gong. She also become more considerate of others and more open-minded. People around her were amazed at the changes in her. Under Ms. Tian's introduction, many of her friends and relatives started practising Falun Gong.
In 1999, the CCP initiated the persecution of Falun Gong. Ms. Tian went to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Gong. Similar to many Falun Gong practitioners, she was imprisoned and beaten brutally. On November 19th, 2008, Tian Zhongxia was arrested again.
At the end of December 2008, the Hefei Committee on Reeducation through Labor sent Ms. Tian to the Anhui Women's Forced Labour Camp for a one-and-a-half-year term. At the labour camp, she was tortured both physically and mentally, including being subjected to long-term sleep deprivation. Within a few months, Ms. Tian became emaciated. She was forced to do hard labour of more than ten hours a day.
Anhui Women's Labour Camp is located in Hefei. Since July 1999, the camp guards under director Zhou Mingfeng have brutally tortured Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned there. Some practitioners were tortured to death, some suffered mental collapse, and many more became disabled as a result of torture.
Amnesty International Philadelphia Branch also wrote to Li Wenxi, Director of the Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Public Security, requesting him to immediately release human rights lawyer Wang Yonghang. Mr. Wang provided law consultation to Falun Gong practitioners, represented them in court, and has written articles to protest the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. On July 4th, Mr. Wang was arrested and detained in Dalian Detention Centre.
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