Jiamusi Detention Center Tortures Land Rights Activist

By Fang Xiao, Epoch Times
October 8, 2007 12:00 am Last Updated: October 8, 2007 12:00 am

Yang Chunlin, a land rights activist and native of Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested by Chinese authorities for helping dispossessed farmers and gathering signatures for an open letter titled “We Want Human Rights, Not the Olympics.” Yang is believed to have suffered cruel torture in the prison. Yang's family has strongly condemned the authorities for the torture, and wants their attorney to meet with Yang Chunlin as soon as possible.

The Heilongjiang Provincial Public Security Bureau and Jiamusi City Public Security Bureau National Security Sub-branch formed a special investigation team for Yang's case, and they have been pursuing various ways to force him to confess and change his stand. But to date he has never changed his mind.

Reporters recently found out that 52-year-old Yang has been moved to different cells in the detention center several times and has been subjected to a cruel torture called the “nail cage.”

A “nail cage” is used to pull a person's limbs apart and fasten them with iron chains to the four corners of an iron bed. During the torture, people who have to stay in one position endure tremendous pain. Yang Chunlin was tortured in this way at least twice. His first torture lasted for six days and the second was about one day.

“Taking care of the cage” is another punishment whereby the inmate is forced to clean up the excrement of those inmates subjected to the “nail cage.” The jail uses this punishment against Yang very often.

Yang Chunlin's younger sister, Yang Chunping, revealed that Jiamusi National Security sub-branch leader Xu told her that on September 23, the special investigation team fetched Yang Chunlin for interrogation. They took him out of the detention center and let him shave. She believes that this is a signal that the authorities are making preparations for a lawsuit against him.

Yang Chunping said that she is very sad about the special investigation team and the prison torturing her brother. She has to hide the truth about the torture from the family as their mother and other family members all worried about his safetym. They eagerly hope that their attorney can meet with Yang Chunlin as soon as possible during the period of Yang's investigation and prosecution.

Before Yang was arrested, he once told an Epoch Times reporter that he actively supported and participated in the 2006 hunger strike campaign for safeguarding human rights and opposing the Chinese regime. The hunger strike was launched by Beijing's famous human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng. He also talked to Attorney Gao several times over the phone. Consequently, he was constantly tracked and monitored by the local Public Security Bureau. The Bureau also abducted and interrogated him four times.

Yang Chunlin also told the reporter that he had never hidden his opinions. In his articles, he not only condemned the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and its heinous crime of removing organs from live Falun Gong practitioners, but he also expressed his support for Chinese people to promote withdrawing from the Party and all its affiliated organizations by using their real names.

Starting in the winter of 2006, Yang Chunlin took six months to collect signatures for an appeal called “We Want Human Rights, Not the Olympics.” Since he didn't have the money to take public transportation, he walked over a hundred miles from Jiamusi to Fujin City several times to collect signatures from farmers. He had hoped that the overseas media would disclose the biggest land robbery case by the Chinese regime since it seized power in China, and that international society would pay close attention to the ongoing human rights disaster in China.

Yang Chunping told the reporter that fearing for his safety, his family members tried to persuade him to stop helping the farmers seek compensation for their confiscated land. He firmly told his family, “What I am doing now may lose my head but I have to do it because what I have been doing is right.”