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Report says E. China city violently enforces 1-child policy.

BEIJING, Sept. 5 Kyodo

A lawyer and a university teacher have published a report detailing what they describe as a violent birth control scheme in a city of Shandong Province, eastern China.

About 130,000 people in the 1.08-million population city of Linyi have been sent to ''study sessions'' for refusing abortions or for their associations with women illegally pregnant with a second child, a violation of Chinese laws, survey writer Teng Biao, a teacher at the China University of Politics and Law, said Sunday.

Teng, who surveyed locals Aug. 4 to 25 on the suggestion of local lawyer Chen Guangcheng, says in his 18-page report that people representing townships under Linyi knock on the doors of people they want and force them into waiting cars.

Taken to what the authorities call ''study sessions,'' those captured told Teng they would live with 20 to 70 people, both men and women, in an unfurnished room too uncomfortable for sleeping. They would stay from one to 40 days. Some were beaten as many as 50 times, he reported.

''There are no desks. There are no teaching materials. There are no teachers,'' Teng's report says. ''The education is police batons, wooden bats and oak-bark whips.''

Chen, 33, a human rights lawyer for nine years, said he noticed the study-session issue in April.

Because the schools pursue relatives and neighbors of suspected one-child policy violators, he said, someone in almost every household in his home village of Dongshigu, of Linyi, had been imprisoned at some point.

''Some of their butts have been beaten so badly they look like eggplant,'' Chen said. ''They can't get up to move around.''

The scheme allows local officials to make money. People taken to the school must pay ''tuition'' of 100 yuan (about $12), buy drinks for officials or use personal connections to get out, Teng says in the report.

Teng said he suspects the Linyi case has parallels throughout China.

Stories of birth control imprisonment, which is illegal in China, have surfaced elsewhere in China, particularly in southern provinces such as Fujian, Sichuan and Yunnan. The number of incidents has increased in the past two to three years as a way for local governments to make money, according to the New York-based advocacy group Human Rights in China.

A rights group researcher said government officials know about the jails but tolerate them in the interest of population control, he said.

But a professor with the Peking University Population Studies Center said legal and peaceful one-child policy disputes are more common.

The lawyer and teacher say Linyi police have tried to stop the survey.

As he did survey interviews, Teng said, local authorities questioned his motives and trapped him in his hotel room until he hired a lawyer to intervene. Last week, he said, Linyi authorities made at least three Chinese websites remove reports based on the survey.

Chen said that on Friday he avoided four Linyi police officers at Beijing Railway Station and later that day got into an argument with about 20 more Linyi officers at a Beijing subway station. He said they let him go because they lacked legal grounds to hold him.

Chen said his wife is also being monitored in Linyi.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Sep 12, 2005
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