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Amnesty: Hong Kong Protest Supporters Tortured in China

FILE - An umbrella, which has become an icon of the protest, reads pro-democracy messages above the student-led protest site in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014.

Amnesty International says authorities in mainland China have tortured jailed at least two supporters of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests that paralyzed large parts of the semiautonomous Chinese territory last year.

The London-based rights group said in a statement Thursday at least 27 supporters of the so-called Umbrella Movement remain behind bars in China. Nine have not been given access to a lawyer and the location of four are unknown, it added.

One of those reported tortured was the well-known poet Wang Zang, who was arrested in October on suspicion of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" after he posted a picture on social media in support of the protesters.

"He was not allowed to see his allowed to see his lawyer until 25 December, when he told him that he had been interrogated non-stop for five days, during which he was kicked, beaten, prevented from sleeping, and forced to stand most of the time," Amnesty says.

Li Yufeng, a women's rights activist from Hunan Province, was also arrested in September and accused of "creating a disturbance" for her statements in support of the Hong Kong protests.

"According to her lawyer, during two sessions, she was forced to remove all her clothes except for her underwear in a cold room. She has been on sporadic hunger strikes and has been force-fed liquid food at least twice," said the Amnesty statement.

China has not commented on the Amnesty report.

The so-called Occupy Central protest movement shut down key streets in Hong Kong for two-and-a-half months beginning in late September. At one point, the protesters numbered in the tens of thousands, posing a significant political challenge to Beijing.

Authorities in Beijing declared the camps illegal and eventually had them cleared by police without granting the demonstrators any concessions.

The protesters want Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to resign and Beijing to reverse its decision to screen candidates for the territory's 2017 election.