Urgent Action – Residents of Puning City (China)

20 April 2010

UA 87/10 – Health concern/Forced sterilization (PDF)

CHINA – Thousands of people

Local officials aim to sterilize 9559 people by 26 April, some against their will, in a drive to meet family planning targets in Puning City, Guangdong Province, southern China.

According to reports in the Chinese media, on 7 April the local authorities in Puning City began a special campaign to sterilize people who already have at least one child, to ensure that local birth control quotas are met. The local authorities claim that by the end of 11 April, the 20-day campaign had already met 50 per cent of its target. A local doctor, quoted in the Chinese media, said that his team was working from 8am until 4am the next day performing surgeries for sterilization. Local reports suggest at least some people are not freely consenting to being sterilized. Amnesty International considers forced sterilizations carried out by officials to amount to torture and the haste of the procedures raises questions about their safety and possible health impacts.

In addition, the Puning City authorities have detained 1377 family members of couples targeted for sterilization. Most of the detained are elderly and some are held in cramped conditions in houses which the local authorities are using temporarily as unofficial places of detention. This is widely seen to be a mechanism to pressure their relatives to undergo sterilizations.

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