China Human Rights Briefing November 8-14, 2011
* Arbitrary Detention
o Sichuan Land Rights Activist Liu Zhengyou Released from Prison
o Shanghai Activist Sentenced to Three Years and Six Months in Prison
o Sichuan Activist Zuo Xiaohuan Released after 18 Months of Pre-trial Detention
o 13 Petitioners Sent to Black Jails for Donating to Ai Weiwei
o Henan Activist Released after Detention in Labor Camp for Twitter Message
o Chongqing Workers’ Representatives Sent to Re-education through Labor Facility
* Harassment of Activists
o Activists Harassed for Celebrating Cheng Guangcheng’s Birthday While Dozens Blocked from Traveling to Dongshigu Village
o Beijing Singer Forced to Cancel Performance in Retaliation of Her Support for Ai Weiwei
* Forced Eviction and Demolition/Land Expropriation
o Thugs Chopped off Man’s Fingers and Broke His Feet for Resisting Forced Eviction
* Local People’s Congress Elections Watch
o Police Restricted Movement of Beijing Independent Candidates; Procedural Violations Observed in Polling Stations Including the One Hu Jintao Voted
o Guizhou Independent Candidates and Supporters Released after Election
Sichuan Land Rights Activist Liu Zhengyou Released from Prison
On November 11, Liu Zhengyou (刘正有), a land rights activist from Zigong City, Sichuan Province, was released after serving his full term of two years for “fraud.” Dozens of supporters greeted him at the prison gate despite threats by police against doing so. Liu said his health suffered in prison and that all his writings, including communications with friends, were confiscated prior to release. (CHRD)
Shanghai Activist Sentenced to Three Years and Six Months in Prison
On November 1, 2011, Shanghai activist Zhang Weimin (张维敏) was convicted of “gathering crowds to disturb social order” and sentenced to three years and six months in prison by Huangpu District Court. Zhang submitted an appeal to Shanghai No.2 Intermediate People’s Court on November 10. Zhang is a representative of elderly Shanghai men and women who, in their teens, were sent by the government to Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to “develop the border regions” in the 1960s. Many of them returned after years of hardship in Xinjiang, and found themselves struggling to cope with the high living expenses in Shanghai with no social security or other social benefits. Zhang was seized by Shanghai police on April 19, and his detention sparked a protest on April 20 by over a thousand elderly people calling for his release. Zhang is currently held in Huangpu District Detention Center. (CHRD)
Sichuan Activist Zuo Xiaohuan Released after 18 Months of Pre-trial Detention
On November 11, Mianyang City Intermediate People’s Court approved the dismissal of indictment against Sichuan activist Zuo Xiaohuan (左晓环). Zuo was released from Santai County Detention Center, where he was held for 18 months, and is now subjected to “residential surveillance” at home. Zuo is a volunteer for the human rights monitoring website 64tianwang.com. (CHRD)
13 Petitioners Sent to Black Jails for Donating to Ai Weiwei
On November 13, 13 of the petitioners who went to Ai Weiwei’s studio in Beijing to donate to the artist-activist Ai Weiwei (艾未未) were seized by the police who were stationed outside the studio, and sent to Jiujingzhuang, a central black jail. Three petitioners have since escaped but the whereabouts of the rest are unclear. (CHRD)
Henan Activist Released after Detention in Labor Camp for Twitter Message
On November 9, Wang Yi (王译, given name Cheng Jianping [程建萍]) was released after spending one year in a Re-education through Labor (RTL) facility for a tweet she posted during violent anti-Japan demonstrations in October 2010. Wang said, despite her ardent protests, officials at the RTL facility confiscated her diaries, notes and correspondences with friends and family before they released her. Xinxiang City policemen guarded Wang from Zhengzhou City Shibalihe Women’s RTL facility back to her hometown, Zhangyuan County in Xinxiang City, where she is currently subjected to illegal soft detention in a hotel. Wang was able to receive a couple of visitors at the hotel, but was warned by the police that she could not leave Zhangyuan County. (CHRD)
Chongqing Workers’ Representatives Sent to Re-education through Labor Facility
According to Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW), two workers’ representatives from Chongqing Municipality, Huang Wenming (黄文明) and Li Benyu (李本玉), were given two years in a RTL facility on October 8 for defending the rights of fellow laid-off workers. The two are currently held in Daping RTL facility but their families have not yet received formal notifications from the authorities about the decisions. The workers, numbering around several tens of thousands, have been petitioning the government about benefits after they were laid off from a state-owned grain company. (CHRD)
More recent news related to arbitrary detention:
CHRD, “Four Petitioners, Imprisoned for Staging Protest on Tower Crane, Are in Poor Health” (吉林四名女访民狱中身体状况堪忧), November 13, 2011.
CHRD, “Nine Petitioners Held in Black Jail for Petitioning at the U.S. Embassy,” (福州到京9访民再次被关进“黑监狱”), November 14, 2011.
Shenzhen Activist Seized and Held in Unknown Location for Petitioning in Beijing (深圳维权人士陈书伟在京上访被抓), November 10, 2011.
Human Rights Campaign in China (HRCC), 14 Hunan Petitioners Held in Black Jail Since November 4 (湖南郴州于洪等14位冤民被囚驻京办多日命运堪虞), November 10, 2011.
CRLW, Shanxi Petitioner Detained after Petitioning in Beijing (山西运城访民薛月玲北京上访后被拘留), November 9, 2011.
Harassment of Activists
Activists Harassed for Celebrating Cheng Guangcheng’s Birthday While Dozens Blocked from Traveling to Dongshigu Village
Across the country, jittery authorities warned activists and netizens against participating in activities to celebrate Chen Guangcheng’s birthday, but many gathered to mark the day nonetheless. The concerted operation by police officers in different parts of China to limit the scale of the birthday celebration demonstrated that the ongoing persecution against Chen and his family is not limited to the local level:
On November 12, a dozen Shanghai citizens were waiting at an underground stop to travel together to the Shandong Liaison Office in Shanghai when more than 80 police officers appeared, following and threatening them. (CHRD)
Between November 7 and 11, at least nine Guangzhou netizens were questioned by officers from the National Security Unit of Guangzhou Public Security Bureau (PSB) about the t-shirts with Chen’s portraits that they had distributed at an earlier gathering and were warned against participating in a gathering in Guangzhou held to celebrate Chen’s birthday. (CHRD)
On November 9, Shanghai police followed and monitored 150 petitioners as they gathered to make birthday presents for Chen Guangcheng at Shanghai’s People’s Square and later at a restaurant. (CHRD)
A number of Chen’s supporters tried to travel to Dongshigu Village, but many were intercepted along the way as security was tight on main roads leading to the village. Hotels in Linyi City were also on high alert: in addition to having surveillance systems installed and connected to Linyi City PSB, visitors were required to use their real names in registration, and rooms were checked in the evening of November 11 for any “suspicious individuals.” In and around Shuanghou Town, where Dongshigu Village is located, hotel owners have been told that they must not allow outsiders to stay starting from October 1.
On November 11, 44 supporters of Chen, made up mostly of petitioners from across the country living in the capital, were intercepted in Linyi City. The group had rented a bus to travel to Dongshigu Village from Beijing, but they were blocked by traffic policemen at the turnoff on Yinan Highway. When they turned around and tried another turnoff on Menglianggu Highway, they were again blocked. Local police officers soon arrived and detained the bus and the passengers. Then, more than 200 police officers arrived with submachine guns and surrounded the petitioners. Shandong police officers eventually ordered the bus carrying the petitioners to turn back, to Tianjin City, and two police vehicles escorted the bus until it left the Shandong provincial border. (CHRD)
Between November 10 and 12, He Peirong (何培蓉, also known online as Pearl [珍珠]), whose visits to Dongshigu Village helped trigger the current citizen campaign to free Chen Guangcheng, was prevented from traveling to Dongshigu Village by Nanjing police officers. They held her at home, then took her away and held in Maying Police Station in Nanjing City.(CHRD)
On November 12, Xu Liyan (徐丽艳), a victim of forced evictions from Jiangsu Province who went to Dongshigu Village on November 8 and who had announced online that she planned to visit Chen on his birthday, was monitored by four unidentified individuals in a vehicle parked in front of her apartment. (CHRD)
On November 11, about 70 activists, mostly petitioners, were dispersed by Beijing police and prevented from boarding a train in Beijing bound for Linyi City. (CHRD)
Since November 10, Jiangxi activists Liu Ping (刘萍) and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平), who planned to visit Chen, have not been able to be contacted and are believed to be detained, according to netizen Tang Haiding (唐海丁), who were going to travel with the two. (CHRD)
On November 8, three petitioners from Jiangsu’s Nantong City were barred from entering Dongshigu Village. Yao Hanqing (姚汉清), Zhang Qiuqin (张秀琴) and Xu Li (徐丽) were at the entrance of the village when half a dozen unidentified men shouted at them and told them to leave. The three were then followed on their way out until they left Yinan County, where Dongshigu Village is located. Before they left the county, the petitioners stopped at a police station but the officers took no action against the men following the three petitioners, even though the men were driving a car without a number plate. (CHRD)
Beijing Singer Forced to Cancel Performance in Retaliation of Her Support for Ai Weiwei
CHRD learned on November 9 that well-known Beijing singer and writer Wu Hongfei (吴虹飞) was forced to cancel her performance due to her vocal support for her friend, fellow artist Ai Weiwei (艾未未). The owner of Yigong Yishan Bar in Beijing, where she was scheduled to perform on November 11, told her on November 10 that authorities pressured him to cancel the performance. Reportedly, Wu has both donated money to Ai and spoken out for him as he attempts to raise money to pay for the massive $2.4 million tax bill. (CHRD)
More recent news related to harassment of activists:
CHRD, “Guizhou Police Broke up Gathering of Members of Guizhou Human Rights Forum” (警方阻止贵州人权研讨会成员集会), November 11, 2011.
CHRD, “Guangxi Residents Had Their Freedom of Movement Restricted as Guangxi Held Party Congress” (广西召开党代会 大量市民被控制), November 12, 2011.
Forced Eviction and Demolition/Land Expropriation
Thugs Chopped off Man’s Fingers and Broke His Feet for Resisting Forced Eviction
CHRD learned on November 9 that thugs believed to be hired by the local government in Wuhan City chopped off some of his fingers and broke his feet on November 4 for protesting against the forced eviction of his home. In 2010, the Hongshan District government in Hubei’s Wuhan City declared plans to redevelop Hongqi Village, a “village in city” (a village that has been surrounded by urbanization). Without proper procedures or adequate compensation, the district government reportedly forced the villagers to move using threats and violence. On October 30 for example, 300 unidentified men led by the vice village chief dragged families out of their homes, smashed, torn and poured water on their belongings, and leveled the four buildings where they lived. Although the police came an hour after the evictees called them, they did nothing as the eviction proceeded. On November 4, one of the residents, Zhu Gang (祝刚), protested the eviction by dragging a coffin onto the ruins of his home. In response, the vice village chief again led over a dozen thugs armed with machetes and wooden rods and beat him, breaking Zhu’s feet and chopping off some of his fingers, and took away his cash and mobile phone. Zhu is now undergoing an operation at a hospital, but it is believed that some of the injuries will lead to permanent disability. Again, police were called but they have not yet launched an investigation into the assault. (CHRD)
More recent news related to Forced Eviction and Demolition/Land Expropriation:
CHRD, “Henan County Party Secretary Led 400 Thugs to Forcibly Evict Villager and Her Family” (河南武陟县李小青遭400余政府人员暴力强拆), November 9, 2011
CHRD, “Sichuan Police Looked on as Villagers Resisting Evictions Were Beaten by Unidentified Men,” (四川遂宁警方坐视不同意征地村民被围殴), November 8, 2011.
CHRD, “Jiangsu Villager Beaten after Refusing to Sign a Blank Demolition Agreement, Police Refused to Investigate” (江苏南通陆志华被暴力逼签空白拆迁协议), November 10, 2011.
Local People’s Congress Elections Watch
Police Restricted Movement of Beijing Independent Candidates; Procedural Violations Observed in Polling Stations Including the One Hu Jintao Voted
On November 8, the day of Beijing People’s Congress elections, Beijing police closely monitored and followed 13 independent candidates while another candidate, Ye Jinghuan (野靖环), was forcibly taken to the outskirts of Beijing. One candidate, He Depu (何德普) went to the polling station in his district and found that voters were not allowed to cast their votes in secret, but voted under the supervision of officials at the polling station. Similarly, even in the voting station where President Hu Jintao voted—Huairen Hall in Beijing’s Xicheng District—voters could not vote in secret either and President Hu was seen on TV filling out his ballot on a long table without any privacy, according to activist and expert in local people’s congress elections, Yao Lifa (姚立法). (CHRD)
Guizhou Independent Candidates and Supporters Released after Election
Over 10 independent candidates and supporters in Guizhou Province were released after they had been detained in hostels or their homes in the period leading up to, and during, the local people’s congress elections on November 8. Independent candidate Li Renke (李任科) was released after he was subjected to “forced travel” between November 5 and 9. Chen Xi (陈西) was first taken on “forced travel” on November 6, then detained at home until after the elections ended. Lü Yongxiang (卢勇祥) and Huang Yanming (黄燕明) were disappeared for two-and-a-half and four days respectively; Mo Jiangang (莫建刚), Xu Guoqing (徐国庆), Mi Chongbiao (糜崇标), Fan Zejun (范泽俊), Tian Juxiang (田祖湘) were detained for four days and allowed to return home on November 9. Ironically, Guizhou authorities took ballot boxes to the locations where these candidates and their supporters were held and asked them to cast their ballots. (CHRD)
Editors: Wang Songlian
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News updates from CHRD
 CHRD, “Sichuan Rights Activist Liu Zhengyou Released; All Writings Confiscated” (四川维权人士刘正有获释，所有书稿被扣), November 10, 2011.
 CHRD, “Shanghai Rights Representative Zhang Weimin Appeals Sentence” (上海维权代表张维敏不服判决上诉), November 12, 2011.
 CHRD, “Charges against Rights Activist Zuo Xiaohuan Dismissed, Converted to Residential Surveillance” (维权人士左晓环被撤销起诉，改监视居住), November 11, 2011.
 CHRD, “Petitioners Who Went to Ai Weiwei’s Studio to Make Donations Were Seized” (前往艾未未工作室捐款的访民被抓（图）), November 13, 2011.
 CHRD, “Miaojue and Ning Wenzhong Visited wang Yi, Who Was Released from RTL Facility” (妙觉、宁文忠探望劳教获释的王译), November 10, 2011; CHRD, “Wang Yi’s Letters and Other Items Were Ordered Burnt When She Was Released, Subjected to Soft Detention in Hostel after Release” (王译获释时信件等被勒令烧毁，获释后被软禁在宾馆), November 9, 2011; CHRD, “Henan Rights Activist Wang Yi Released after Serving Full Term in RTL Facility”, (河南维权人士王译劳教期满获释), November 8, 2011.
 CRLW, “Two Workers’ Representatives of Chongqing Grain Group Sent to RTL Facility” (重庆粮食集团二位维权工人代表被劳教), November 10, 2011.
 CHRD, “People from All Walks of Life in Jinan City Urge to Free Chen Guangcheng” (济南各界人士呼吁还陈光诚自由), November 11, 2011; CHRD, “Hefei Activists Gathers for Dinner to Celebrate Chen Guangcheng’s Birthday” (合肥维权人士庆祝陈光诚生日晚宴), November 11, 2011; CHRD, “Citizens in Fujian and Sichuan Provinces Wishes Chen Guangcheng Happy Birthday From Afar” (福建、四川公民遥祝陈光诚生日快乐), November 12, 2011; CHRD, “Guizhou Human Rights Forum Wishes Mr. Chen Guangcheng Happy Birthday!” (贵州人权研讨会祝陈光诚先生生日快乐！), November 14, 2011.
 CHRD, “12 Citizens Celebrate Chen Guangcheng’s Birthday; Police Mobilized More than 80 Officers to Maintain Stability” (上海12市民给陈光诚过生日，警方动用80多人维稳), November 12, 2011.
 CHRD, “Many Netizens in Guangzhou Threatened for Making an Appointment to Celebrate Chen Guangcheng’s Birthday” (相约为陈光诚过生日，广州多名网友被威胁), November 11, 2011; CHRD, “Police Interrogated Guangzhou Netizens for Making and Distributing T-shirts” (因制作转送文化衫，广州网友被警方约谈), November 10, 2011.
 CHRD, “Police Monitor Shanghai Petitioners as They Prepare Birthday Presents for Chen Guangcheng” (上海访民为光诚准备生日礼物，公安全程监控), November 9, 2011.
 CHRD, “Shandong Province Block Roads and Hotels on Chen Guangcheng’s Birthday” (陈光诚生日山东警方封路封宾馆), November 13, 2011.
 CHRD, “Petitioners Who Went to Ai Weiwei’s Studio to Make Donations Were Seized” (前往艾未未工作室捐款的访民被抓（图）), November 13, 2011; CHRD, “Petitioners in Beijing Blocked by Police En Route to Linyi City to Celebrate Chen Guangcheng’s Birthday” (在京访民前往临沂祝贺陈光诚生日被警方阻截), November 11, 2011; CHRD, “Breaking News: Groups of Citizens Planning to Visit Chen Guangcheng Barred and Detained” (快讯：陈光诚生日公民探访团遭扣押、拦截), November 11, 2011.
 CHRD, “As Chen Guangcheng’s Birthday Nears, He Peirong (Known Online as Pearl) Lost Freedom and Goes on Hunger Strike” (陈光诚生日将到 何培蓉（网名珍珠）连续失去自由，宣布绝食), November 10, 2011.
 CHRD, “People Subjected to Soft Detention and Harassment in Various Locations for Intending to Visit Chen Guangcheng on His Birthday” (陈光诚生日各地欲探访者遭软禁骚扰), November 12, 2011.
 CHRD, “Breaking News: Groups of Citizens Planning to Visit Chen Guangcheng Barred and Detained” (快讯：陈光诚生日公民探访团遭扣押、拦截), November 11, 2011.
 CHRD, “Netizens Agreed to Travel to Visit Chen Guangcheng Together, but Liu Ping and Others Lost Contact with the Outside World” (网友相约探访陈光诚，刘萍等人与外界失去联系), November 9, 2011.
 CHRD, “Nantong Petitioners Tell of Trip to Visit Chen Guangcheng in Dongshigu Village” (南通访民谈探望陈光诚在东师古村的经历), November 8, 2011.
 CHRD, “Well-known Beijing Singer Wu Hongfei Forced to Cancel Performance for Her Support of Ai Weiwei” (北京著名歌手吴虹飞因支持艾未未乐队演出被迫取消), November 9, 2011.
 CHRD, “Wuhan Villagers Receive Treatment after He was Beaten for Using a Coffin as a Symbolic Means to Resist Forced Evictions” (武汉村民抬棺材抵制强拆遭殴打入院救治), November 9, 2011.
 CHRD, “China Election Monitor 2011 (Issue No.9): Beijing Zhongnanhai Huairen Hall’s Polling Station Did not Meet Election Standards: ” (中国选举观察（2011）之九：北京中南海怀仁堂投票站选举不规范), November 9, 2011; CHRD, “Ye Jinghuan: I Didn’t Expect the Government Would Use these Means Against Independent Candidates” (野靖环：没想到政府用这种手段对付独立参选人), November 10, 2011; CHRD, “Movement of Beijing Independent Candidates Restricted on Voting Day” (北京独立参选人在投票日被限制自由), November 8, 2011.
 CHRD, “Guizhou Human Rights Defenders Freed in Succession after End of Elections” (选举结束，贵州人权捍卫者陆续获自由), November 9, 2011.
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