Activists Conduct Sit-In in Beijing, Demanding Participation in UPR (6/21-27, 2013)

China Human Rights Briefing

June 21-27, 2013

Contents

Arbitrary Detention

3 More Anti-Corruption Activists Formally Arrested
Filmmaker Detained For Recording Petitioners in Black Jail
UPR Watch

Activists Rally at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Demand Participation in Drafting State Party Report to UPR
Special Notice

CHRD Releases Handbook on Civil Society Participation in Review of China’s Record on Protecting Children’s Rights
Arbitrary Detention

3 More Anti-Corruption Activists Formally Arrested

Three activists initially detained in Hubei Province in late May have been formally arrested on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” as part of the intensifying crackdown on anti-corruption campaigners around the country. On June 19, Huang Wenxun (黄文勋) of Guangdong Province, and Li Yinli (李银莉) and Yuan Fengchu (袁奉初,aka Yuan Bing, 袁兵), both from Hubei, were formally arrested in Chibi City, where they were seized on May 25. At that time, the individuals were calling for the release of Beijing activists who had been arrested for seeking disclosure of officials’ assets. They served 15-day administrative detentions before being arrested. Two others seized in Chibi, Chen Jianxiong (陈剑雄) and Yuan Xiaohua (袁小华), remain in police custody. The three individuals arrested in Hubei join 11 other activists from Beijing and Jiangxi Province who have been arrested since May for anti-corruption advocacy.[1]

Filmmaker Detained For Recording Petitioners in Black Jail

Hou Zhihui (候志辉), a Beijing-based filmmaker and host of an entertainment website, has been criminally detained after filming petitioners who were being held in a black jail. On June 11, police went to Hou’s home and took him into custody, and officers went back later to search his residence, confiscating a computer. The next day, Hou’s family was informed that he had been detained on a charge of “creating a disturbance,” likely in retaliation for recording video at a black jail in Majialou in the capital. A former member of the military and originally from Shanxi Province, Hou is being held at the Fengtai District Detention Center.[2]

UPR Watch

Activists Rally at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Demand Participation in Drafting State Party Report to UPR

A growing number of activists have staged a sit-in outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) office in Beijing since June 18, asking to meet with officials and awaiting a government reply to their requests to participate in drafting China’s national human rights report, which the Chinese government will submit to the UN Human Rights Council for the country’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in October. Cao Shunli (曹顺利), who has been at the forefront of civil society efforts to take part in the UPR process since 2008, has been among nearly 100 activists who have gathered to push for the report to include the plights of petitioners, among other rights concerns. Police warned them at one point to leave the area, but officers have simply been monitoring the situation nearby since the activists explained their purpose.

For years, authorities have intimidated and harassed activists who have pursued transparency and participation in the UPR process. Several of the leaders in the drive have been put under house arrest or detained since December 2008, when their first request to the government related to China’s UPR in 2009 was submitted (see CHRD’s alert). A trial opened on June 8 for Peng Lanlan (彭兰岚), a Hunan activist involved in this campaign, who was detained on a charge of “obstructing official business” in August 2012 and reportedly tortured by police. In an MFA reply to an application for public disclosure that Cao Shunli submitted in October 2012, an official stated that UPR information involved “state secrets” and could not be shared with the public.

In another recent effort to promote advocacy related to the UPR, Shanghai activists on June 17 publicly handed out copies of the “UPR Recommendations” to China, which were made by other UN member States during UPR in 2009 (see these recommendations in English with a Chinese translation by CHRD). After reading the list of recommendations, some Shanghai residents reportedly expressed hope that more countries could make recommendations to the Chinese government in the upcoming UPR, including on the rights of disadvantaged groups and issues of forced demolition and land expropriation.[3]

Special Notice

CHRD Releases Handbook on Civil Society Participation in Review of China’s Record on Protecting Children’s Rights

CHRD has released a Chinese-language handbook about how Chinese NGOs can take part in a review of China’s compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). China, which ratified the CRC in 1992, will face a review by the UN Committee on Rights of the Child in September or October of this year. The handbook is intended to encourage more civil society participation in pinpointing concerns tied to Chinese children’s rights, including in the areas of discrimination in education and health, sexual violence, and human trafficking. For the review of China, CHRD has submitted to the Committee a report that includes issues and recommendations about China’s record of compliance with the CRC.[4]

[1]“Li Yinli Formally Arrested in Chibi, Hubei for ‘Inciting Subversion’” (湖北赤壁李银莉 被以“煽颠罪”正式逮捕), June 21, 2013, CRLW; “‘Bright China Trip’ Traveller Huang Wenxun Among Five Criminally Detained” (“光明中国行”践行者黄文勋等5人被刑事拘留), June 20, 2013, WQW; “Guangzhou Democracy Activist Huang Wenxun Continues ‘Summer Tour of Putting Into Practice Sunshine Chinese Dream’ Advocacy Activity” (广东民主人士黄文勋继续《周游华夏践行光明中国梦》活动), June 18,2013, WQW; “Guangzhou Youth Huang Wenxun Illegally Detained After Protesting Authorities Following ‘Forced Bail’”(广州青年黄文勋“强制取保候审”后抗议当局的非法羁押),May 9, 2013, WQW; “Huang Wenxun, Among Five Activists Holding Banners in Shenzhen Protesting Police, Severely Beaten Calling for Democratic Constitutional Reforms” (举牌五君子之一黄文勋深圳抗议警方殴打呼求民主宪政), February 4, 2013, WQW

[2] “Beijing Fengxing Net Director Hou Zhihui Criminally Detained For ‘Creating A Disturbance’” (北京风行网总监侯志辉被以“寻衅滋事罪”刑事拘留), June 24, 2013, WQW

[3] “Ministry of Foreign Affairs Becomes Ministry of Delays, Human Rights Activists Have Insisted for Six Days” (外交部成缓交部,人权运动民众坚守进入第六天), June 24, 2013, HRCC; “Requesting Participation in Compiling Human Rights Report: Numbers Swelling, MFA Finally Meets Activists” (要求参与人权报告编纂:人数不断增加、外交部终于接待), June 24, 2013, Boxun.com; “Shanghai Human Rights Defenders Distribute UPR Materials to Citizens, Hoping More Countries Pay Attention to Human Rights in China” (上海维权者向市民分发联合国审议资料,希望更多国家关注中国人权), June 22, 2013, WQW; “Beijing Human Rights Defenders Called for Participating in Compilation of National Human Rights Report, Have Waited Outside Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Four Days” (北京维权人士要求参与人权报告编撰,在外交部门前等待答复进入第4天), June 21, 2013, WQW

[4] “2013 UN Review Of China’s Implementation Of CRC – Civil Participation Booklet” (联合国2013年审议中国落实《儿童权利公约》情况-民间参与手册), June 22, 2013, HR-CS Blog

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