Created: 2013-01-24 13:08 EST
49-year-old Liu Yuling is six months pregnant. She’s not at home preparing for birth though. She’s serving a one-year forced labor sentence at the Masanjia labor camp in Liaoning province.
[Wang Zhen, Husband of Pregnant Forced Labor Detainee]:
“She works between nine to 14 hours a day. Since I told the labor camp, her rights to communicate with the family through phone calls and letters has been taken away.”
The Chinese regime’s reform through labor system has come under intense criticism recently. Individuals can be sentenced up to four years in a labor camp without any judicial process.
But even under current rules, pregnant women cannot be sent to a labor camp.
[Li Tiantian, Chinese Human Rights Lawyer]:
“The labor camp system itself violates human rights. If they do not release a pregnant woman, or allow her to rest, then it becomes inhumane.”
Wang Zhen says his wife was sentenced last July. Liu had been petitioning for more than a decade after her home was forcibly demolished. This labor camp sentencing document says she “disturbed social order”, when she travelled to Beijing in January 2012 and illegally petitioned at non-designated areas.
Chinese petitioners often choose to travel to Beijing, because attempts to have their local officials address their grievances fail.
Wang Zhen says his wife didn’t break any laws. The family is working with rights activist Huang Qi to try to secure Liu Yuling’s release.
, Co-Founder of Tianwang Human Rights Center]:
“Tianwang is helping her to contact a lawyer, and we’ll try to visit her at the labor camp soon, so she can have a health check-up. We’ll try to have her released in the next few days.”
There have been mounting calls for the Chinese regime to reform or end the labor camp system. But recent state-media reports have given conflicting indications as to what Communist leaders will do with the unpopular system.