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Wang Dan's first statement from Henry Ford Hospital Rights Mary Robinson regarding detainment and beating of Chu Hailan

September 9, 1998

New York, 9 September 1998

High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ms. Mary Robinson
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneve 10

To the respected U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson:

I am writing to you regarding the recent detention and beating of Ms.Chu Hailan, who strongly hoped to meet you. Chu Hailan is the wife of prominent dissident and labor activist Liu Nianchun (See "People" session at our website), who is currently detained in reeducation through labor, although he has completed his original three-year sentence. While in labor camp, Liu Nianchun has been severely beaten. He suffers from obstructive tumors and ulcers in his intestines and many other serious ailments. Both his health and his life are under threat. Ms. Chu has met with and appealed to the Chinese government and judiciary over one hundred times. However, such efforts have not succeeded in securing for Liu Nianchun medical treatment and parole, which are sanctioned by law. Feeling as she had no alternative, Ms. Chu risked danger to go to the Hilton Hotel and appeal to you to urge the Chinese government to abandon its human rights abuses.

While waiting outside the Hilton Hotel, where you were preparing to give a press conference, Chu Hailain was taken away by three plainclothes policemen. At the hotel's security office, these three policemen pulled Ms. Chu's hair and dragged her to the floor. They then gave Ms. Chu a violent beating-stomping on her stomach, vigorously kicking her kidney region. Furthermore, the officers grabbed the letter that Ms. Chu had written and planned to deliver to you. They also said that they had already spoken to you by phone and that you had said that you did not wish to meet with Ms. Chu. From 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. approximately, the plainclothes police illegally detained Chu Hailan for over ten hours. At present, Ms. Chu is experiencing aches and sores all over her body. She is currently at the hospital undergoing examination and treatment for what she fears may be internal damage and fractures.

Human Rights in China believes that it is an extremely serious incident for such an unbridled abuse of human rights to occur during your visit to China, just outside the venue where you were about to speak. Human Rights in China hopes that you take this incident to initiate negotiations with the Chinese government. We ask that you demand the Chinese government to guarantee the following actions:

  • The Chinese government must make a special investigation into the incident involving the illegal detention and beating of Chu Hailan, punish the officers responsible and disclose the details of the actual circumstances to you, the U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • The Chinese government must bear responsibility for the examination and treatment for all the injuries sustained by Chu Hailan.
  • The Chinese government must provide compensation for all the physical, mental and material damage done to Chu Hailan and the harm done to her reputation.
  • The Chinese government must promise to undertake improvements in respecting the human rights of political prisoners and their families.

We are grateful for your commitment to human rights and hope that your efforts can bring about positive change in China.

Sincerely,

Liu Qing
Chairman, Human Rights in China