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Zhao Lianhai, a man seekingjustice for families affected by a tainted milk powder scandal in 2008,was detained on 13 November and is now in custody awaiting trial in Beijing.He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Zhao Lianhai had been in custodyfor nearly three months before he was able to meet with his lawyer forthe first time, on 2 February. According to his lawyer, Zhao Lianhai hasbeen interrogated intensively by six different officers, sometimes in themiddle of the night. On 2 February his lawyer obtainedthe document the police submitted to the procurator. This accused ZhaoLianhai of "provoking an incident" (Criminal Law article 293),claiming he "used the incident of the tainted milk issue to mobilizepeople to protest at the Intermediate court of Shijiazhuang city, Hebeiprovince and courts in Daxing and Fengtai District, Beijing City too, causingdisturbance of social order."  The document also accused himof "using the incident of petitioner Li Ruirui being raped by a securityguard while under house arrest, to motivate people to gather at the publicsecurity bureau of Beijing city in the name of reporting a rape crime tocause trouble."His lawyer said his case wasnow under consideration by the procurator. If the procurator accepts thecase, Zhao Lianhai, will go on trial. He is detained at the Daxing policedetention centre. He has had no access to his family since he was detained.  PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELYin Chinese, English or your own language:calling on the authoritiesto release Zhao Lianhai immediately and unconditionally, as he has beendetained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expressionand assembly; calling on them to ensureZhao Lianhai has access to his family and lawyers, and to any medical attentionhe may require; calling on them to guaranteeZhao Lianhai will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated;Calling on them to end useof vaguely-defined charges to crack down on human rights defenders.PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE17 MARCH 2010 TO:PremierWEN Jiabao Guojia ZongliThe State Council GeneralOffice2 Fuyoujie, XichengquBeijingshi 100017People's Republic of ChinaFax: +86 10 65961109 (c/oMinistry of Foreign Affairs)

Salutation: Your ExcellencyDirector, Beijing PublicSecurity BureauMA Zhenchuan JuzhangBeijingshi Gong'anju 9 Dongdajie, QianmenDongchengquBeijingshi 100740People's Republic of ChinaFax: +86 10 65242927Salutation: Dear DirectorAnd copies to:Director, Daxing DistrictPublic Security Sub-Bureau Chen Debao Juzhang35 Xi Dajie, HuangcunDaxing Qu, Beijingshi 102600People's Republic of China       Fax: +8610 69204640 (c/oDaxing District Government) Salutation: Dear Director Also sendcopies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Pleasecheck with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.This is the first update of UA 311/09. Further information:

Additional Information

On the evening of 13 November,a dozen police officers went into Zhao Lianhai’s home and took him tothe Daxing District Police Station. At the time, the police showed hima summons which did not give any reason for him to be detained. The policealso searched his home and confiscated two computers, USB sticks, someDVDs, campaign T-shirts, a camera, a video recorder and an address book.The following afternoon,the police gave Zhao Lianhai’s wife a detention notice, telling her thather husband had been detained on suspicion of the crime of "provokingan incident."Parents whose childrenfell ill or in some cases died after drinking milk products, tainted withmelamine, in 2008, have been waging a campaign for justice ever since.Zhao Lianhai's son was one of those whobecame ill after drinking the tainted milkand he has been prominent among the parents seeking compensation. He organizeda parents self-help group, a campaign calling for regular health checksfor those affected, and launched a website called "The family of babieswith Kidney stones" ( He also helpedparents to file a lawsuit against the companies that produced the taintedmilk and collected and organized information on individual cases. Human rights activistsin China who attempt to report on human rights violations, challenge policieswhich the authorities find politically sensitive, or try to rally othersto their cause, face serious risk of abuse. Many are jailed as prisonersof conscience after politically motivated trials, while growing numbersare being held under house arrest with the police conducting intrusivesurveillance and standing guard outside.Such patterns of policecontrol, surveillance and arbitrary detention are increasingly being employedagainst activists in China and members of their families, particularlyduring significant public events. Before the visit of the US PresidentBarack Obama to China, from15 to 18 November 2009,many activists and petitioners have had police posted outside their homesin Shanghai, Beijing and elsewhere in the country, or been escorted outof Beijing. Some are held in unofficial places of detention often knownas "black jails."Further information noUA: 311/09 Index: ASA 17/007/2010 Issue Date: 4 February 2010

Source: AI

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