Aside from the open letter, titled “One World, One Dream and Universal Human Rights”, signed by a group of Chinese dissidents and intellectuals sent to the Chinese leaders calling for respect for human rights in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, activist Yang Chunlin from the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang collected signatures for a petition, titled “We Want Human Rights, not the Olympics” in villages where he had been helping farmers whose land was taken away from them without adequate compensation. Because of the petition, the police detained Yang in early July. His family’s repeated inquiries with the local police station were not answered until a month later. When his lawyers requested to see him on September 3rd, the police refused their requests, harassed them and told them Yang has no right to see his lawyers. He is now charged with “subversion of state power”. Amnesty International officially released an urgent action a few days ago.

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Update (10-9-2007): AI received reports that Yang Chunlin has been tortured in the police station.  He was chained to an iron bed with his arms and legs stretched to the four corners of the bed. He is believed to have been chained up twice, for six days in early August and one day in September.  AI released another UA on his behalf.

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