China: End Persecution and Torture of Inmates for Spiritual Beliefs

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Target: Government of China

Goal: Investigate prison officials accused of killing inmate for his affiliation with Falun Gong spiritual tradition

Amid mounting accusations of torture, and various forms of coercion and intimidation, a local Chinese prison remains untouched from any judicial persecution or investigation. The repeated refusal of local security forces to investigate the killing of an inmate last year, due to his spiritual beliefs, highlights the lack of recourse for Chinese citizens wishing to put an end to such disturbing accounts of human rights violations. The Chinese government must step in and stop this alarming trend.

Due to his affiliation with Falun Gong, a spiritual practice which combines meditation with various physical movements, Qin Yueming faced nine years of torture and inhumane prison conditions before his family was told, just a year before his release, that he had died in prison. Local authorities ignored pleas from the man’s family to investigate the death, which prison officials claimed was the result of “normal causes.” Increasing evidence shows that his death was anything but “normal.”

Two other Falun Gong practitioners died that same month from “normal causes.” Also, pictures of Qin’s body surfaced, showing grisly images of a man covered in bruises. And possibly the most revealing evidence of all, a prison guard working in the prison reported that the warden himself had ordered the killing of Qin Yueming. The guard said the warden, “encouraged his staff to torture Falun Gong practitioners in early 2011 with a goal of forcing at least 85 percent of adherents to give up their beliefs.” Since his statements, the guard has joined over 15,000 locals in petitioning the authorities to investigate this atrocity and the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in local prisons.

In 1999, a governmental body called the 610 Office was created to persecute the Falun Gong, outlawing it as an “evil religion.” Since then, as widespread harassment and torture became the norm, growing numbers of indignant Chinese citizens have expressed concern and dismay over the continuing maltreatment of Falun Gong practitioners. Qin Yueming was one of these citizens, and as a Falun Gong practitioner himself, he paid the ultimate price.

Support the Falun Gong community and the rights of Chinese citizens by condemning this pervasive persecution. Only through legitimate investigation, and a genuine enforcement of human rights, will the pattern of injustice and lethal discrimination end. Sign this petition and demand an investigation into the murder of Qin Yueming.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Government of China,

More than a year ago a Falun Gong practitioner by the name of Qin Yueming died while serving out his ten year sentence in Jiamusi Prison. His death was reported to his family as one of “normal causes” and no investigation was made. However, gruesome photos of his beaten body, deaths of other Falun Gong inmates, and statements from a guard within the prison point to a more sinister cause of death. They also reveal an ominous trend.

Since 1999, with the creation of the 610 Office and the outlawing of Falun Gong, practitioners have endured cruel harassment and brutal incarceration from local officials. Their beliefs are their own, they hurt no one by believing in them, and inflicting pain on these individuals for no reason other than spiritual diversity is a serious breach of human rights.

I urge your government to stop this pattern of injustice immediately. Investigate the death of Qin Yueming and bring to justice the prison officials responsible for his murder. In doing so, begin to transform your modern society from one that subjugates human worth to one that values each human being equally, without discrimination.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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