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Chinese rights defender ‘brutally tortured’ in prison

Lin Mingjie has been in prison since 2016 after he sued local officials for abusing the law for personal gain

Chinese human rights activist Lin Mingjie is seen in prison

Chinese human rights activist Lin Mingjie is seen in prison. (Photo: Right Protection Network via RFA)

Published: January 11, 2023 11:18 AM GMT

Updated: January 11, 2023 11:24 AM GMT

Chinese human rights activist Lin Mingjie, who is serving a five-year jail term reportedly on fabricated charges, has been subjected to brutal torture in prison, his family members alleged.

Lin Mingjie is jailed in Shenyang, the capital city of northeastern Liaoning province.

Lin Mingjie was subjected to torture such as electric shocks and ill-treatment such as the supply of substandard food, resulting in the deterioration of his health, the Mandarin Service of Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on Jan. 10. 

His elder brother, Lin Minghua, said that he received information about him from fellow inmates and reported that in October 2021, Lin Mingjie was tortured with electric shocks twice in Shenyang Prison No. 2.

"The first shock stunned his back. In the second shock, two inmates held him down, inserted an electric baton into his mouth, and stunned him. After the electric shock, he was taken to the "Strict Control Team," RFA quoted Minghua as saying.

"He is not even allowed to buy a sausage"

The "Strict Control Team" forces prisoners to sit cross-legged for about 16 hours a day. The team is usually composed of prison inmates who guard inmates facing punishment and their sentence is reduced if they carry out their duties as per rules.

Lin Minghua also alleged that prison authorities have been providing inadequate and substandard food to his brother, which is taking a toll on his health.

"The food is very bad. Up to now, he is not allowed to buy food, and he is only allowed to spend 50 yuan a day. He is not even allowed to buy a sausage. He can only buy toothbrushes and toothpaste. It is completely different from normal prisoners,” he said.

Due to a lack of proper nutrition, Lin Mingjie has become physically and mentally weak and it seems like he has been sentenced to “death” in prison, he exclaimed.

Lin Minghua said he suspects such abusive treatment for his brother is retaliation for raising his voice against the top provincial officials who used laws to make personal gain through corrupt means.

He also said that family members appealed to the Supreme Court for an investigation into his situation but it was not accepted.  

The request of the family members for a thorough investigation by the Supreme Court was not accepted and a complaint lodged with the prison authorities was turned down.

Prison officials in Shenyang did not respond to queries, according to RFA.

"They consider him a serious threat and will do everything to abuse him"

For years, Lin Mingjie along with his elder brother Lin Minghua has been assisting people in defending human rights.

In 2016, Lin Mingjie sued the director of the Shenyang Municipal Public Security Bureau and other local officials for using the law for personal gain. Consequently, he was arrested, convicted of picking quarrels and provoking trouble, and sentenced to two and a half years.

Again, in July 2020, he was sentenced to five years in prison for the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble, and illegally using information networks. 

Ma Bo, a dissident activist who followed the incident, said she is worried about the health and safety of Lin Mingjie due to abusive treatment in the prison.

“Besides the police, other people are involved in the ordeal of Lin Mingjie. They consider him a serious threat and will do everything to abuse him,” she said.

The ordeal of Lin Mingjie is common for dissidents and rights defenders in the communist nation.

Rights groups reported that Chinese authorities haunt and abuse dissenters, critics, and rights activists through various means including arrest, jailing, and threats as well as physical violence and mental pressure.  

Madrid-based Safeguard Defenders reported in September last year that the Chinese regime has suppressed and abused thousands of people including rights defenders and government critics arbitrarily and repeatedly with house arrests by exploiting a draconian criminal law.


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