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Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 06:48:20 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: Hilary Naylor <hnaylor@igc.apc.org>
Subject: AIUSA: deportation of Chinese women
/* Written 10:44 PM Nov 21, 1995 by hnaylor in igc:ai.general */
/* ---------- "AIUSA: deportation of Chinese women" ---------- */

Amnesty Opposes Imminent Deportation of Chinese Women Who Protest ‘One Child Policy’

News release from Amnesty International, 17 November 1995

Amnesty International USA
304 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

November 17, 1995

Amnesty International USA today strongly opposed the deportation of 19 Chinese women held in Bakersfield, California, who fled to the United States because of their opposition to China's one-child policy. The deportation of the women, who are in the eighth day of a hunger strike, is said to be imminent.

Amnesty International opposes the forcible return to China of men or women who have a well founded fear of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, or other human rights abuses. Because abortions and sterilizations imposed by officials with the use of physical force, detention, or other restrictions are a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, Amnesty opposes the return of people who are likely to face such abuse. Amnesty also opposes the return of individuals who would face prison, torture or ill-treatment for opposing the so-called one-child policy.

This persecution is a dramatic intrusion into bodily integrity and fundamental personal freedom, with resisters repeatedly attacked as political and ideological criminals. Those who object on religious grounds are exposed to harsh punishments, including torture, sexual abuse, and detention of family members as hostages to compel compliance.

Amnesty has found that many of these women have testified credibly about being subjected to forced abortions and/or forced sterilizations. The INS, nevertheless, denies asylum because it does not regard people who flee such barbaric treatment to be refugees. The U.S. Congress is working to restore the former policy under which these women would be eligible for asylum. A provision has already passed the House in H.R. 1561; the Senate's identical version is contained in S. 908.

Many of these women have remained incarcerated for more than two years, pending a decision on their political asylum claims. Surely the INS could muster enough compassion to stay the deportations while bills that affect these women are pending in Congress, said AIUSA Executive Director William F. Schulz.

AIUSA has sent letters to Attorney General Janet Reno and members of Congress urging that the women be released from detention and granted refugee status.