Release Couple Detained Solely for Their Religious Beliefs

liam quinn

Target: Zhu Haijun, Director of Nanyang Public Security Bureau

Goal: Release a Chinese couple arrested solely for their association with a religious group.

Yao Guofu and Liang Xin have been arrested and detained as a result of their association with the Falun Gong religious group. They are prisoners of conscience; sign our petition and demand their immediate release.

China has been cracking down on practitioners of Falun Gong for years. After adherents to the religion held a peaceful sit-in in Tianamen Square, the government declared them to be subversive and a threat to state security. Since then they have been widely persecuted, with some spending time in re-education through labor (RTL) camps until three years ago, when such facilities were abolished. Followers of the religion remain the targets of government persecution, however, and many are detained and tortured in an effort to make them renounce their beliefs.

Yao Guofu and Liang Xin were arrested in their home by 30 plainclothes police officers who also confiscated computers, printers, and “ten large boxes filled with Falun Gong materials,” Amnesty International reports. They have been charged with “using a heretical organization to subvert the law,” and their trial is moving into its final phases. Yao Guofu has reportedly been beaten by other detainees, but authorities have done nothing to address the situation.

Peaceful practice of one’s religious beliefs is an internationally-recognized human right, as is freedom from torture and ill-treatment. Remind China of its obligations under human rights agreements—sign the petition and demand that the charges against Yao Guofu and Liang Xin be dropped.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Haijun,

I am writing to implore you to release Yao Guofu and Liang Xin, who have been arrested solely for their religious beliefs. This is a grave violation of their human rights, and it must be rectified immediately.

Yao Guofu and Liang Xin are practitioners of the Fulan Gong religion, followers of which have been widely persecuted in China for a number of years. Upon the couple’s arrest, the police confiscated other items from their home, including 10 boxes filled with Fulan Gong materials, two computers, and four printers. Yao Guofu has allegedly been tortured while in police custody, and as long as they remain in detention both he and Liang Xin are at risk of further torture and ill-treatment.

China is bound by its responsibilities outlined in the 1988 United Nations Conventions Against Torture, and it has seriously violated the rights affirmed therein. I implore you to ensure that justice is done; drop all the charges against Yao Guofu and Liang Xin, release them as quickly as possible, and in the meantime ensure that they are protected from torture and ill-treatment.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Liam Quinn

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153 Signatures

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