China  Human Rights Briefing Weekly  May 4-9, 2011

Highlights

  • Arrest of Xue Mingkai Brings Total during Current Crackdown to Seven: CHRD learned this week that young Shandong Province activist Xue Mingkai (薛明凯) has been formally arrested for "inciting subversion of state power." His family believes that he is being held at the Jining City Detention Center in Shandong, but has yet to receive any formal confirmation of his arrest. Xue’s mother was seized outside of a Jining City government office building, where she had gone in search of information about her son, on April 20 and is currently missing.
  • CHRD Urges Focus on Human Rights at Strategic and Economic Dialogue: In a statement released this week, CHRD called on U.S. officials attending the third U.S.-China Strategic Dialogue on May 9 and 10 in Washington, D.C. to “make strong and clear statements expressing concern about China’s deteriorating human rights situation and to raise specific cases.” For the full text of this statement, including areas of particular concern and a list of illustrative individual cases, please see our website: http://chrdnet.org/2011/05/06/u-s-must-underscore-importance-of-human-rights-issues-at-strategic-and-economic-dialogue/
  • Chen Daojun, Activist and Writer, Freed: Sichuan-based cyber activist and freelance writer Chen Daojun (陈道军) was released this week after spending three years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” Chen was imprisoned after writing a series of articles in support of Tibetans who took to the streets during a series of demonstrations and riots in March 2008.

Table of Contents

 

 

ArbitraryDetentionUpdateson Detentions and DisappearancesRelated to the “JasmineRevolution” Crackdown

  • CHRD has learned that Zhejiang-based netizen Yang Yong (杨勇) was taken away by police on April 1 and later criminally detained. It is believed that Yang, whose Twitter account is @think9, was detained because he spread information on Twitter about the "Jasmine" protests online. Yang was held in the Jiaxing City Detention Center, where he was reportedly subjected to abuse, before being released on April 22 on bail to await trial. Yang is currently coalescing at home.[i]
  • Cao Jinbai (曹劲柏), a netizen from Zaoyang City, Hubei Province, attended the February 20 "Jasmine gathering" at Beijing's Wangfujing Shopping Street and later wrote a post about his experience which he circulated via Skype. On February 24, police in Beijing detained Cao, searched his home, and confiscated his computer, cell phone, and other personal items. Cao was released on March 1, only to be detained again on March 7 for a few hours and again on March 15 for six days. Police told Cao that he was being "released on bail to await trial," but never informed him what charge he was accused of or presented him with any formal documentation regarding his repeated detentions.[ii]
  • Beijing-based human rights lawyer Li Fangping (李方平) has been released after five days of enforced disappearance.
  • Beijing-based human rights lawyer Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵) went missing between May 4 and May 6. A prominent human rights attorney, Li has represented political and human rights activists, including Yang Chunlin (杨春林) and Yuan Xianchen (袁显臣), victims of religious persecution and discrimination, as well as groups including the former NGO Gongmeng, which Li represented in its in its dealings with tax officials in 2009. Li also serves as a legal advisor to health rights NGO Aizhixing.[iii]
  • CHRD has learned that Xue Mingkai (薛明凯), a 21 year-old activist from Qufu City, Shandong Province, has been formally arrested for "inciting subversion of state power." Xue is currently being held at the Jining City Detention Center in Shandong; the date of his arrest is not known, as his parents have yet to receive a formal arrest notice. He was seized in February in Hangzhou City, but his family never received any formal notification at that point, either. Xue's father believes Xue was returned to Jining from Hangzhou around March 7 or 8. His mother, who repeatedly inquired at Jining government offices about her son's whereabouts, was seized on April 20 outside of the Jining Letters and Visits Office and is currently missing. Xue served 18 months in prison between May 2009 and November2010 for “subversion of state power.” A migrant worker living in Shenzhen at the time, Xue was charged with “subversion” after allegedly planning to organize a political party called the “China Democratic Workers’ Party” with online friends in the summer of 2006 and then contacting and joining an overseas democracy organization in early 2009.[iv]

Nearing Release,Shandong Journalist Qi ChonghuaiMay FaceMore Jail Time

CHRD has learned thatimprisoned journalist QiChonghuai (齐崇淮),who was due to be released on June25 following the completion of afour-yearsentence, may be facing theprospect of more jail time.According to Qi's wife,Qi has been informed by theTengzhou City, Shandong ProvincePSB that he willface prosecution again, and thatit is unlikely he will be releasedon June 25.Qi told his wife that the chargeshe is now facing are among theones for whichhe was tried and convicted in2008. Qi, a reporter and formerShandong BureauChief for the Fazhi MorningPost, is known for hisarticles exposinglocal corruption, social injusticeand human rights violations. Hewas detainedby police on June 25, 2007, afterreporting on corruption related totheconstruction of the HaohuaGovernment OfficeBuilding in Tengzhou City,ShandongProvince, and on May 13, 2008, Qiwas sentenced to four years inprison by theTengzhou City Court for “extortionand blackmail.” Qi has beentortured,beaten, and forced to perform hardlabor while imprisoned, abuses hedocumentedin a series of letters he was ableto smuggle out of prison in 2009.(CHRD)[v]

Release Nears forLi Wangyang, Veteran HunanDissident

Longtimepro-democracy and labor rightsactivistLi Wangyang (李旺阳),of Shaoyang City, Hunan Province,is scheduled to be released fromprison onMay 7. Li has been imprisoned for21 of the past 22 years; he wassentenced to13 years in prison for taking partin the 1989 pro-democracymovement, and onlyone year after his release in2000, he was sentenced to 10 yearsin prison for"inciting subversion of statepower." A number of fellowactivists inHunan Province have beenthreatened by policeor placed under "soft detention"to prevent them from greeting Liupon his release. (CHRD)[vi]

AnhuiPetitioner Detained inPsychiatric Hospital FollowingBeating in Beijing

On April 29,petitioner Hu Dongsheng (胡东圣), ofHefei City, Anhui Province, wasseized and beaten whilepetitioning at theMinistry of Public Security inBeijing and forcibly returned toHefei byinterceptors. Upon returning toAnhui, Hu hasbeen detained in the AnkangPsychiatric Hospital. Thisis the second occasion on which Huhas been detained in a psychiatricinstitution for petitioning. Hu, aCommunist Party member and formerlow-levelParty branch secretary, ispetitioning in search ofresolution to grievancesrelated to the forced demolitionof his home. (CHRD)[vii]

Freedomof ExpressionWriter Chen DaojunReleased Following ThreeYears in Prison

On May 8,Sichuan-based cyber activist andfreelance writer Chen Daojun (陈道军) was released fromChuanzhong Prison inNanchong City. According to Chen'swife, he appeared frail butotherwise ingood physical and mental health.Chen was seized in May 2008 andeventuallyconvicted of "inciting subversionof state power." Following theMarch 2008 demonstrations andriots in the Tibetan AutonomousRegion, Chenpublished several articles onlinethat supported Tibetans whoprotested againstthe Chinese government, which wereused as evidence of his "crime."Chen’s imprisonment is alsobelieved to be related to hispostings onlinecriticizing the construction of apetrochemical plant in a city nearChengdu, which led to a200-people demonstration againstthe plant in the city in May 2008.(CHRD)[viii]

Tortureand Other Cruel, Inhuman, andDegradingTreatment or PunishmentHealth of DetainedActivist Ni YulanWorsens

CHRD has learned thatdetained activist NiYulan's (倪 玉兰)physical condition has regressedsince she was taken into detentionon April 7.On May 6, Ni met with her lawyerin the Xicheng Detention Center;the lawyerreported Ni was unable to stand,even with the aid of crutches.Reportedly, Niwas injured while in transitbetween her home and XichengDetention Center when thewheelchair in which she wassitting unexpectedly moved. Thedetention centerhas also not allowed her family tosend in Chinese medicine she hasbeen takingwhile detained. Further detailsregarding Ni’s situation areunclear aspolicemen were present during themeeting between Ni and her lawyersand wouldnot permit discussion of issues“unrelated to the case.” Prior tothis mostrecent detention, Ni's conditionhad been improving and she hadbeen able tostand under her own power forbrief periods of time. Ni has beenleft disabledas the result of repeated episodesof torture over the past decade,and shealso suffers from an assortment ofchronic medical issues includingdifficultybreathing, heart problems, anddigestive trouble. (CHRD)[ix]

HebeiActivist Xu Yishun SuffersBeating in RTL Camp

CHRD learned on May 9that Hebei-based activistXu Yishun (徐 义顺) hasonce again been beaten by fellowdetainees in the GaoyangRe-education throughLabor (RTL) Camp in Baoding City,Hebei Province. According to Xu'swife, LiuNanping (刘南萍),Xu was savagely beaten by a "jailbully" on May 7, and had two ofhisteeth knocked out. “Jail bullies,”detainees who attack other inmateswith theexplicit permission or tacitconsent of prison officials, are apervasiveproblem in Chinese detentioncenters and prisons and have beenblamed for themajority of violence which takesplace in these facilities. Xu hasalso beendenied appropriate medicaltreatment for his variousillnesses, including heartdisease. Xu is a former reporterfor Public Opinion (民意)magazine who was sent to one and ahalf years of RTL for “fraud” inApril 2010after he attempted to visit YuanWeijing (袁伟静), the wife ofShandonghuman rights defender ChenGuangcheng (陈光诚). Xu was previouslybeaten by fellow detainees andhospitalized after suffering aheart attackapparently brought on by thebeating. On August 25, 2010, Xuwas released fromthe camp for five days torecuperate; he was not made toreturn until January6, when officials from the campseized him at his home, reportedlyto preventhim from participating in furtherrights defense activities which hehad beenparticipating during his briefrelease from the RTL camp. (CHRD)[x]

Freedomof AssemblyVillagersin Hunan Detained, Beaten duringProtestagainst Land Sale

CHRD has learned that27 villagers were detainedby police and five seriouslyinjured following an April 30protest at thecounty seat of Hunan Province'sDao County. More than 300villagers from three villages hadgathered to protest localofficials' abuse oftheir land rights, in particularthe private sale by localofficials of theright to forest land thatvillagers have depended on for aliving. A strugglebroke out over signs the villagerswere holding, and armed police aswell asunarmed officers began strikingthe protestors. Reportedly, thosevillagerstaken into detention were deniedfood and water and slapped in theface aspolice sought to extractconfessions. (CHRD)[xi]

ForcedEviction and DemolitionSevenInjured in Clash with Police,Thugs over Forced Demolition inAnhui

On the morning of May5, a group of hundreds ofpolice officers, CityAdministration and Law Enforcementofficials, and hiredthugs clashed with residents ofNangang Village, outside of AnhuiProvince'sHefei City. The villagers wereattempting to resist the forceddemolition ofhomes in the village; sevenvillagers were hospitalizedfollowing the clash.The fighting ended with thewithdrawal of the forceddemolition team, and policeset up a perimeter around thevillage. (CHRD)[xii]

Editors:David Smalls and Lin Sang Follow us on Twitter:  @CHRDnetNews updatesfrom CHRD

[i] "ZhejiangNetizen Yang Yong CriminallyDetained forSpreading'Jasmine Rally'" (浙江网民杨勇因转发“茉莉花集会”被刑事拘留), May 8, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_08.html

[ii] "Cao Jinbai, ofHubei, Released on Bail toAwait Trial afterBeing Detained Many Timesbecause of 'JasmineGathering'" (湖北曹劲柏因“茉莉花集会”被反复关押后取保候审),May 5, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_2       504.html

[iii] "ChineseGovernment Contines to CrackDown on Human RightsLawyers, Li Xiongbing LosesContact with Outside World" (中国政府持续打压人权律师,黎雄兵又与外界失去联系), May 4, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_2929.html

[iv] "Xue MingkaiArrested for 'IncitingSubversion of StatePower,' Mother Missing forMany Days" (薛明凯被以“煽动颠覆国家政权罪”逮捕,母亲失踪多日), May 4, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_5956.html

[v] "ShandongMuckraking Journalist QiChonghuai Faces New Suit onEve of Completion of Sentence"(山东揭腐记者齐崇淮刑满前夕面临被再次起诉), May 9, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_09.html

[vi] "ManyPro-Democracy Activists inHunan Threatened by Policebecause of Li Wangyang'sImpending Release from Prison"(湖南多名民主维权人士因李旺阳即将出狱而受到警告),May 5, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_1363.html

[vii] "HefeiPetitioner Hu DongshengDetained in PsychiatricInstitution for Petitioning" (合肥访民胡东圣因上访被关精神病院), May 5, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_4700.html

[viii] "Chen DaojunReleased from Prison, LiuXianbin Meets withFamily" (陈道军出狱,刘贤斌会见家属), May 8,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_282.html

[ix] "Health ofLawyer Ni Yulan Worsens inDetention Center" (倪玉兰律师在看守所病情加重), May 6, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_2838.html

[x] "Hebei ActivistXu Yishun Cruelly Beaten inRTL Camp" (河北维权人士徐义顺劳教所内遭虐打),May 9, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_5642.html

[xi] "DaoxianVillage, Hunan ProvinceResidents Stand up for LandRights; 27 Seized, 5 SeriouslyInjured" (湖南道县村民维护林权27人被抓,5人受重伤),May 6, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/275.html

[xii] "Four HundredPolice, Chengguan andCriminals from FeidongCounty, Hefei City Carry outForced Demolition, InjureVillagers"  (合肥肥东县400城管、黑势力与警察为强拆打 伤村民), May 5, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/400.html

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