49-year-old Chinese woman Liu Yuling is now in her sixth month of pregnancy. Throughout most of the period of her pregnancy, the woman has been serving a sentence in a Chinese labor camp. As human rights advocates say, this happened despite the fact of its being unlawful to send pregnant women there.
Wang Zhen, the pregnant prisoner’s husband, said his wife was working for 9-14 hours a day. Once he tried to talk to the camp authorities, and the woman has not been allowed to communicate with family members ever since – either by phone or mail.
Lee Tyan Tyan, a human rights lawyer, claims that the system of re-education through labor violates human rights. If they do not set the pregnant woman free or give her a break, it will be inhumane.
In China, one can be sentenced to the so-called re-education through labor camp for the term up to 4 years without any judicial process.
According to Liu Yuling’s husband, she was sent to the camp for a year of hard labor after having been trying for more than ten years to get the authorities to justice for the illegal demolition of her house. After her attempts to resolve the issue with the local authorities had proved to be pointless, Liu decided to appeal to the central government in Beijing. There she was captured by the police and was accused of “violating public order.”
The woman is serving her sentence in Masanjia camp that is notorious for its cruelty. Liu’s husband stresses that she has not violated any laws. Now he is trying to rescue his wife from the camp, asking the human rights organizations for help.
According to Huang Qi, co-founder of the Tyanvan human rights center, the Tyanvan HRC helps her to contact a lawyer, and its representative will try to visit her in a labor camp soon to check the state of her health. They will try to release her within the next few days.
The system of labor camps has existed in China for more than half a century. The reports about the violation of human rights appear quite often. As stated by the human rights activists, some of the people belong to the groups, persecuted by the Chinese regime, and are deliberately sent to these camps to be tortured.
According to official figures, there are 350 labor camps in China, where 190,000 people are kept. According to the unofficial data, the number of prisoners exceeds a million. The activists keep encouraging the Chinese government to eliminate the system of re-education through labor, considering it oppressive.