9:12am UK, Friday April 23, 2010
Peter Sharp, China correspondent
Health authorities are planning to sterilise nearly 10,000 people in southern China over the next four days as part of a population control programme.
The rule of one child per family has been in force for decades
Some of the people in Puning City will be forced to have the procedure carried out against their will.
Amnesty International says forced sterilisation “amounts to torture”.
Reports in the Chinese media say that Puning Health authorities in Guangdong Province have launched a special campaign to sterilise people who already have at least one child in order to ensure local birth control quotas are met.
Chinese newspaper reports say that those who refuse to be sterilised have seen their elderly mothers or fathers taken away and detained.
Hundreds of people in Puning are said to have been locked up.
Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said: “It is appalling that the authorities are subjecting people to such an invasive procedure against their will.
“Reports that relatives are imprisoned as a means of pressurising couples into submitting to surgery are incredibly concerning.
“The Puning City authorities must condemn this practice immediately and ensure that others are not forcibly sterilised.”
More than 1,300 people in the city have been held in local government buildings where they were given “lectures” on China’s family planning regulations.
Huang Ruifeng is the father of three girls.
“Several days ago, a village official called me and asked me or my wife to return for the surgery,” Huang told the local paper. “Otherwise they would take away my father.”
His father was later rounded up and detained by the authorities.
According to Puning rules, farmers are allowed to have a second child if the first child was a girl.