Amnesty International: Detained Falun Gong Adherent Near Death

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Global human rights NGO Amnesty International has issued an urgent action for one Falun Gong practitioner believed to be on the brink of death. Zhou Xiangyang is detained outside Beijing for speaking about his faith in the Falun Gong spiritual practice... which has been persecuted by Chinese authorities since 1999.

Chinese regime security forces first imprisoned Zhou Xiangyang for his belief in Falun Gong in 2003. He was held in the Gangbei Prison in Tianjin, near Beijing, for six years, and then released on medical parole. But last May he was again arrested, without formal charges, for speaking to the public about his faith. Again, he was sent to Gangbei Prison.

The human rights NGO Amnesty International spoke with Zhou's relatives who say that in the only two visits they have been able to have with him since his imprisonment, he described being frequently tortured. Amnesty has issued an Urgent Action, requesting that people write into Zhou's jailers to demand they stop violating his rights.

Now, Zhou's family fears that he is likely near death, due to both the torture and the hunger strike that he has been conducting in recent months.

Zhou's wife, Li Shanshan, is also currently detained on account of her practice of the Falun Gong spiritual practice. She is serving a two-year sentence in a "re-education through labor" camp, after being targeted for circulating a petition on behalf of her husband. As NTD has reported previously, that petition was signed by thousands of residents of Zhou's hometown in Hebei Province.

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