Prison conditions

  • China: detained rights activist denied access to a lawyer and family visits, health status unknown
    January 22, 2015

    Since her official arrest and detention on charges of ‘subversion’ on the 3rd December 2014, rights activist Su Changlan has been denied access to lawyers and visits from her family. Changlan was arrested after her support for the pro-democracy Hong Kong movement. Her husband is planning to sue authorities for the total lack of communication about her case and their refusal to allow her lawyer access. He and the rest of Changlan’s family are highly concerned about her, having received no communication about the state of her health.
    On 11 August 2016, authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have extended the pretrial detention of Su Changlan, prominent woman human rights defender. One year and half after her arrest, a fair trial is still denied. Concerns on her health conditions have been reported by her lawyer.
    UPDATE: In the first week of September 2016, authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have refused a request for medical parole made by the husband of Su Changlan, affirming that the bail wasn’t appropriate in her case. Her health conditions remain critical.

  • China: political activist assaulted upon release from detention
    December 22, 2014

    On the 18th December 2014, political activist Li Biyun was released from a 14-month detainment, but rather than being allowed to wait for her family and lawyer to collect her, she was beaten up and dumped on the roadside by authorities. This assault comes in the wake of severe mistreatment allegedly suffered by Biyun during her detention, in which she was repeatedly denied medical care or clean clothes.

  • China (Tibet): Tibetan activist dies after suspected beating and torture in jail
    December 8, 2014

    On the 5th December 2014, imprisoned Tibetan activist Tenzin Choedak (also known as Tenchoe) died in a hospital in Tibet’s capital Lhasa, just two days after he was released in an extremely weak condition to his family. Choedak had served six years of his 15-year jail term for inciting protests in 2008; during these six years, he was reportedly tortured and beaten on a regular basis, eventually leading to his death. This is not the first time a Tibetan political prisoner has died shortly after being released, and suggests that this is an attempt to cover up inhuman treatment of prisoners in Chinese jails.

  • China (Tibet): Protest monk sentenced to 12 years in notorious ‘torture’ jail
    October 29, 2014

    On the 1st October 2014, Tibetan monk Tsangyang Gyatso was charged with incitement to oppose Chinese rule and sentenced to 12 years in jail. He has allegedly been confined in a prison notorious for its abusive treatment of prisoners.

  • Myanmar: family denied visit to jailed activist on hunger strike
    October 10, 2014

    On the 9th October 2014, imprisoned Myanmar activist Htin Kyaw was denied a visit from his family on the basis that he was on hunger strike as a protest for being put in solitary confinement.

  • Vietnam: activist treated like a ‘slave’, humiliated in jail
    October 8, 2014

    In 2013, activist Dang Xuan Dieu, was imprisoned for 13 years on charges of plotting to overthrow the authoritarian government in Hanoi. Since his imprisonment, he has been subjected to beatings and degrading treatment, and has been denied visits from his family.

  • Vietnam: Catholic activist freed after more than three years in prison
    October 7, 2014

    On 2nd October 2014, Dau Van Duong, a Vietnamese Catholic activist, was released from prison after serving over three years for “conducting propaganda against the state” following distribution of pro-democracy leaflets.

  • Malaysia: jailed activist was assaulted by prison officials
    September 23, 2014

    On 8 September 2014, Mr. Ali Abd Jalil, jailed activist charged with sedition, was assaulted by a prison official. He was allegedly punched, slapped and hit by a baton and a rubber pipe in an empty room in Sungai Buloh prison.

  • China: prominent rights lawyer released
    August 11, 2014

    On 7 August 2014 Gao Zhisheng, a lawyer known for his work with persecuted religious minorities and disenfranchised farmers, was released from prison in Xinjiang province following three years of official incarceration. Gao has been the subject of state harassment and intimidation since 2006, when he agreed to act as legal counsel to members of the heavily persecuted Falun Gong sect. Besides official detention, he has twice been disappeared by state authorities for years at a time and has allegedly been severely tortured. Although Gao has been freed from prison, he will continue to be denied basic civil and political rights for at least a year under his sentence for “inciting subversion of state power.”
    UPDATE 14/08/2014- Gao’s family alleged that he was subject to inhumane detention conditions and torture. Gao was kept in a small cell with little light and no television or reading material and was severely underfed: he lost 22.5 kilograms while in detention. Although he has been released from prison, he is under constant surveillance.

  • Vietnam: ex-political prisoner dies of cancer
    June 25, 2014

    On 3 April 2014, anti-mining activist Dinh Dang Dinh died of stomach cancer, two weeks after having been granted presidential amnesty. Dinh was originally detained in October 2011 for having circulated a petition denouncing a bauxite mine in the central highlands and was sentenced under Article 88 to a six year term for spreading anti-state propaganda. He was hospitalized in January, but his family claims that he did not receive adequate care until he was granted amnesty soon before his death.