Chinese Woman Who Fought Forced Abortion Receives Continued Torture

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 26, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Chinese Woman Who Fought Forced Abortion Receives Continued Torture Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 26, 2004

Beijing, China( — A Chinese woman who lost her job and was pressured to have an abortion after she became pregnant continues to be tortured in a governmental prison because she refuses to relent from her position against China’s population control policies.

Mao Hengfeng has suffered during her imprisonment at a "re-education labor camp" somewhere in China. She was sentenced to the camp for two years.

Mao has been bound hand and foot and suspended in midair and has been repeatedly subjected to abuse and beatings, according to Human Rights in China (HRIC).

"According to the latest reports HRIC has received, Mao has more recently been subjected to even more brutal treatment," the watchdog group indicated.

"HRIC’s sources say camp police bound Mao’s wrists and ankles with leather straps, and then proceeded to pull her limbs in separate directions, while demanding that she acknowledge wrongdoing," the group added.

Sixteen years ago, Mao was fired from her job at a soap factory after she became pregnant for a second time. She refused to have an abortion, which Chinese population control officials mandated.

Since then, Mao has continued to complain to the Chinese government about what happened, asking officials to allow her to return to work and to restore other basic rights she has been denied.

Mao became pregnant a third time ahead of a key trial date her in legal rights battle. A judge told her he would rule in her favor if she would agree to have an abortion.

Against her wishes, she had the abortion, but the judge ruled against her for violating China’s one-child policy during her prior employment.

Earlier this year, Shanghai authorities apprehended Mao and imprisoned her after she continued to complain about the denial of her legal rights.

In addition, Mao’s two daughters have been arrested and interrogated about their role in helping their mother fight her treatment.

Shanghai authorities would not comment to Voice of America for a story the news agency did on Mao’s treatment in October.

"Mao’s brutal treatment by camp officials clearly contravenes the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which China has ratified," said HRIC president Liu Qing said in a statement.

"Higher authorities must step in and require that camp officials desist in any further actions of this nature against Mao Hengfeng and any other prisoners."

For the fourth consecutive year in a row, President Bush has blocked millions of taxpayer dollars from going to the United Nations Population Fund, because of the agency’s support for China’s population control program

The Bush administration announced in October that it will divert the $34 million allocated to the U.N. group to a USAID program that provides health care for poor women and children in other countries and for a program that combats the sexual trafficking of women.