Activist Ni Yulan Becomes Latest Victim of Jasmine Crackdown

FormerLawyer, Handicapped from Torture, is CriminallyDetained(Chinese Human RightsDefenders, April 14, 2011)Housing rights activist and former lawyer Ni Yulan (倪玉兰) has been criminallydetained in Beijing for “creatinga disturbance,” CHRD learned today. No information iscurrently availableregarding the fate of her husband Dong Jiqin (董继勤), who was seized bypolice along with Ni on April7. CHRD has now documented the criminal detention of38 dissidents andactivists as part of the current crackdown, launchedby the government tosuppress potential “Jasmine Revolution” protests.Another 16 individuals,including Dong, remain missing after being taken awayby police. Some, such ashuman rights lawyers Jiang Tianyong (江天勇) and Teng Biao (滕彪), as well as activistand IT expert Gu Chuan (古川), havenow been missing for nearly two months.“Detaining Ni Yulan,whohas been left wheelchair-bound by torture whilepreviously detained, for ‘creatinga disturbance’ shows how little regard the Chinesegovernment has for its own lawsor for international human rights norms,” said ReneeXia, CHRD’s InternationalDirector. “It also demonstrates how little pressurethe Chinese government hasfelt from the international community during thisongoing crackdown."This is the thirdoccasionon which Ni has been detained for an extended periodof time by Beijing police,and her family has raised serious concerns about herhealth. As the result ofrepeated episodes of torture over the past decade, Nicannot walk and suffersfrom an assortment of chronic medical issues includingdifficulty breathing,heart problems, and digestive trouble. During her mostrecent period ofdetention and imprisonment, from 2008-2010, Ni wasbeaten, subjected to crueland inhumane punishment, and denied proper medicalattention.The Xicheng branch ofthe Beijing Public SecurityBureau issued a formal notice regarding Ni’sdetention. Individuals convictedof “creating a disturbance,” which is described inArticle 293 of the CriminalLaw of the People’s Republic of China, can besentenced to up to five years inprison. Of the 38 criminaldetentions documented by CHRD todate, ten individuals have been accused of “creating adisturbance.” Of those,four have been released on bail to await trial, onewas sent to two years ofRe-education through Labor, and the other five remainin detention. The chargehas been used to detain individuals ranging fromlongtime activists, such as Niand Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), to performanceartists Huang Xiang (黄香),Zhui Hun (追魂), and Cheng Li (成力),who were seized after putting on a jasmine-themedexhibition in Beijing.The criminal detentionof Ni and the disappearanceof her husband come after months of police harassment.Rendered homeless by aforced demolition while Ni was imprisoned in 2008, thecouple was living on thestreets before international pressure forcedauthorities to allow them to moveinto Beijing’s Yuxingong Guesthouse in the summer of2010. Since then, however,they have been subjected to surveillance anddisruptions in their electricity,water, and internet services by local officialsseeking to force them out. The UN independentexperts on the situation of humanrights defenders, on torture, and on arbitrarydetention have sent communiquésto the Chinese government inquiring about thetreatment of Ni Yulan in thepast.  We ask these UN expertstocontinue pressuring the Chinese authorities for herrelease.  We also askrepresentatives of the democratic memberstates on the UN Human Rights Council to inquire intoand investigateallegations regarding the Chinese government’s abusesof human rights relatedto the detention and disappearance of numerousindividuals during the currentcrackdown. Representatives of the US and EU shouldpublicly raise these issuesand condemn the Chinese government’s violations ofhuman rights norms as wellas the Chinese law during upcoming human rightsdialogues with China.  ContactsRenee Xia,International Director (English andMandarin), +852 8191 6937 or +1 240 374 8937Wang Songlian,Research Coordinator (English andMandarin), +852 8191 1660David Smalls,Researcher (English) +1 347 448 5285For more information“EscalatingCrackdownFollowing Call for ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in China,”March 31,2011, http://chrdnet.org/2011/03/31/escalating-crackdown-following-call-for-%E2%80%9Cjasmine-revolution%E2%80%9D-in-china/ “Emergency Shelter,” ashort documentary about NiYulan’s life and work by filmmaker He Yang (何杨):http://chrdnet.org/2010/06/21/emergency-shelter-a-documentary-about-ni-yulan/(in Chinese)“Beijing Housing Rights Activist Ni Yulan Sentencedto Two Years,” December 18, 2008, http://chrdnet.org/2008/12/18/beijing-housing-rights-activist-ni-yulan-sentenced-to-two-years/

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