On Friday, RSF filed a petition with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to urge the United Nations to publicly challenge China on the torture of Huang Qi, the 2004 RSF Prize-winner and founder of human rights information site 64 Tianwang, which won an RSF prize in 2016. Huang has been held in China for two years and is seriously ill.
"On the rare visits allowed to them, Huang Qi's lawyers found that Huang was the victim of repeated beatings and denials of medical treatment, which is clearly torture because of his state of health” said Cédric Alviani, director of RSF’s East Asia office. "Huang is now at risk, if he is not released immediately, to fall victim to the same fate as the Nobel Peace Prize and RSF award-winner Liu Xiaobo, and blogger Yang Tongyan, who died last year in detention."
Since November 28, 2016, the journalist has been detained without trial at Mianyang detention center in Sichuan province for "disclosure of state secrets abroad." The mistreatments inflicted on Huang, which appear to be intended to force the journalist to plead guilty, are all the more worrying because Huang is seriously ill in the kidneys, heart and liver. In addition to his current detention, he spent eight years in prison and previous time in labor camps, which caused his health problems to worsen.
China is one of the world’s most egregious jailers of journalists, holding more than 60 professional and non-professional journalists behind bars. In the 2018 World Press Freedom Index published by RSF, the country stagnates at 176 out of 180.