Amnesty International: 2005 Annual Report (excerpts)

Political crackdowns continued on specific groups, including the Falun Gong spiritual movement, unofficial Christian groups, and so-called “separatists” and “religious extremists” in Xinjiang and Tibet. […]

Violence against women

Women in detention, including large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners, remained at risk of torture, including rape and sexual abuse.

Repression of spiritual and religious groups

The Falun Gong spiritual movement remained a key target of repression, which reportedly included many arbitrary detentions. Most of those detained were assigned to periods of “Re-education through Labour” without charge or trial, during which they were at high risk of torture or ill-treatment, particularly if they refused to renounce their beliefs. Others were held in prisons and psychiatric hospitals. According to overseas Falun Gong sources, more than 1,000 people detained in connection with the Falun Gong had died since the organization was banned in 1999, mostly as a result of torture or ill-treatment.

Torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trials

Torture and ill-treatment continued to be reported in a wide variety of state institutions despite the introduction of several new regulations aimed at curbing the practice. Common methods included kicking, beating, electric shocks, suspension by the arms, shackling in painful positions, and sleep and food deprivation. Political interference in the rule of law, restricted access to the outside world for detainees, and a failure to establish effective mechanisms for complaint and investigation continued to be key factors allowing the practice to flourish.

In October, Falun Gong organizations abroad publicized video footage of Wang Xia, a woman who had recently been released from prison in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia where she had served two years of a seven-year sentence for distributing materials promoting Falun Gong. She appeared emaciated and her body bore several scars. She had reportedly been tied to a bed, hung up, beaten, injected with unknown substances and shocked with electric batons after going on hunger strikes to protest against her detention.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

In November an appeal court reversed convictions for “public obstruction” against 16 Falun Gong practitioners who were detained after holding a demonstration in March 2002. Other convictions for obstructing and assaulting police were upheld.

For the full text of the report, see: