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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 04 Falun Gong high school teacher detained
UA 050/19
Abgeschlossen am 28. Mai 2019

Falun Gong high school teacher detained

AI-Index: ASA 17/0216/2019

Falun Gong practitioner and chemistry teacher Chen Yan is facing a trial in April 2019 after she was detained for distributing Falun Gong materials on a street in Beijing. She has no access to her family members and her lawyer said the judge handling her case threatened to give her a heavier sentence if she does not admit to «using evil religious organizations to sabotage the implementation of state laws».


The spiritual movement Falun Gong was banned in China for being a «threat to social and political stability» after its practitioners held a peaceful sit-in on Tiananmen Square in July 1999. In response, the government established a dedicated office, the «610 Office», to oversee the crackdown on the Falun Gong and other «heretical cults».

As a result, tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained and, often through the use of torture and other ill-treatment, made to renounce their spiritual beliefs. Since the 2013 abolition of «Re-Education Through Labour» (RTL) facilities, Chinese authorities are using alternate methods of arbitrary detention, including the criminal prosecution of individuals.

Torture and other ill-treatment are endemic in all forms of detention, although China ratified the UN Convention Against Torture in 1988. Amnesty International receives regular reports of deaths in custody, often caused by torture. Other inmates and «cell bosses» are used by detention centres and prison authorities to monitor the behaviour of fellow inmates and mete out punishment including subjecting resistant detainees to sleep deprivation, stress positions, as well as other physical and mental forms of torture or other ill-treatment.

The criminal justice system in China is roughly divided into three distinct phases: the police-led investigation, the prosecution phase, in which the prosecutors approve of the initial evidence needed to arrest a suspect and engages in further investigation to decide whether to indict a suspect; and the final trial phase carried out by the courts. The conviction rate is about 99.9%, making it very important to voice concerns as early in the criminal justice process as possible, preferably before the decisions to arrest or indict suspects are even made.

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