Yang Chunlin is 52 years old and a human rights activist in China. He has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for his involvement in collecting signatures for a petition entitled “We Want Human Rights, not the Olympics.
For six days in early August and one day in September 2007, his arms and legs were reportedly stretched and chained to the four corners of an iron bed so that he could not move. He was forced to eat, drink and defecate in that position. People subjected to this, experience intense pain all over. He was reportedly forced to watch this inflicted on others as well, and to clean their defecation.
Every day there are ordinary people like Yang Chunlin being tortured. In 2006, Amnesty International recorded cases of torture and ill-treatment in 102 countries. For over 45 years, Amnesty International has consistently campaigned against torture and for individuals at risk of torture - thousands of whom have subsequently been released.
Amnesty is a movement of 2.2 million people worldwide that campaign on a range of human rights issues. From ending situations like that in Darfur to bringing torturers to justice, members mobilise public opinion to put pressure on governments and others with influence like the UN to stop human rights abuses and to raise awareness of human rights atrocities.
Amnesty International does this by basing campaigning on thorough research and analysis, getting the information out through hundreds of reports each year, their members calling on governments to protect individuals, prevent abuses and change unjust laws and encouraging newspapers, radio, television and websites to cover human rights stories and ‘out’ human rights abusers.