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China Human Rights Briefing   November 24-30, 2010


  • 12 Years Later, Democracy Leader Qin Yongmin Released from Prison: Prominent democracy activist and human rights defender Qin Yongmin (秦永敏) was released from prison this week following 12 years of incarceration for "subversion of state power." However, in a bizarre turn of events, Qin had to be forced out of the prison at the end of his sentence: officials confiscated a lengthy manuscript Qin wrote while in prison, and Qin refused to leave until the text, and other personal items were returned. He was taken by guards to a local police station, where police informed him of severe restrictions on his activities to which he would be subjected in the days to come.
  • CHRD Issues Report on Right to International Travel: On November 24, CHRD published a report on the Chinese government's restriction of citizens' right to leave China and to enter the country. The report covers the evolution of the entry-and-exit management system, and examines specific cases in which Chinese citizens have been barred from travelling internationally. The report finds that the Chinese government violates international human rights standards by preventing its citizens from leaving the country, and offers concrete suggestions for reform. For the full text of the report (in Chinese), please click here.   

Tableof Contents

ArbitraryDetentionVeteranDemocracy Activist Qin Yongmin Released Following 12 Years in Prison

Onthe morning of November 29, prominent democracy activistand human rights defender Qin Yongmin (秦永敏)wasreleased from prison following 12 years of incarceration for"subversionof state power." A lengthy manuscript which Qin wrote while in prisonwasconfiscated by officials, who also held notes written by Qin and thewrittenverdict in his case. Qin refused to leave the prison until these itemswerereturned, but prison guards forced him out and drove him to the localpolicestation, where he was told to obey strict conditions such as not givingpressinterviews. According to a police document outlining restrictions inplace forthe next three years, Qin will be subject to surveillance, and isforbiddenfrom, among other things, taking part in elections or participating indemonstrations or associations. He is required to submit weekly reportson hisactivities to the authorities, and obtain police approval 24 hoursbeforeattending any gathering of more than two people. He is currently athome withhis family in Wuhan City,Hubei Province. (CHRD)[i]

70Year-old Petitioner Given Suspended Sentencefor Staging Protest  

OnNovember 24, CHRD learned that 70 year-old femalepetitioner Liu Qingrong (刘青荣),of LiaoningProvince, was sentenced to twoyearsin prison, with the sentence suspended for three years, for taking partin a40-hour protest atop a smokestack near Beijing'sSouth Train Station in May 2010. Liaoning Provincepetitioner HanXixuan (韩锡轩)was sentenced to four years in prison in the same case.Liu Qingrong was convicted of the same charge as Han- assembling acrowd todisrupt the order of a public place- on August 27, 2010. A total ofsevenpetitioners took part in the demonstration, during which they scattereddocuments listing their grievances and remained at the top of thesmokestackuntil officials promised to grant them compensation for pastinjustices. (CHRD)[ii]

BeijingActivist Bai Dongping Criminally DetainedAfter Posting Picture to QQ Group

Policein Beijinghave criminally detained Beijing-based human rights activist and 1989democracymovement leader Bai Dongping (白东平),CHRD learned on November 28.Bai is currently being held at the Xicheng DetentionCenter.Bai's wife inquired into his case at the Xicheng District PublicSecurityBureau (PSB), but the officer she spoke to could not tell her whatcrime Baihad been accused of committing. Bai was taken from his home shortlyafter 1 amon November 27 by National Security officers and Xicheng Districtpolice, whoalso searched his home and confiscated his computer. Bai was releasedfollowingfour hours of questioning, and told his wife at the time that he hadbeeninterrogated about a picture of student protestors from 1989 which hehadposted to a QQ group. Bai was called back to the Xicheng District PSBStationon the afternoon of November 27, at which point he was detained. (CHRD)[iii]

TianjinPetitioner-turned-Activist Sent toRe-education through Labor

CHRDlearned on November 26 that Tianjinhuman rights activist Wu Xiuling (毋秀玲)hasbeen sent to eighteen months of Re-education through Labor (RTL) by theTianjinCity RTL Committee. Ms. Wu, who is 57, was seized in Beijingby Tianjin police in October as sheattempted tosecure legal representation for fellow Tianjinpetitioners facing prosecution for allegedly setting their car ablazeon Tiananmen Square. She wasadministratively detained for10 days, but at the conclusion of her detention, she was accused by theRTLCommittee of "disrupting social order" instead of being released andsent to RTL. Ms. Wu began petitioning after her daughter was lured to Shandong Province and then killed in asuspicioustraffic accident in 2005. She has since become an advocate for fellowpetitioners and has spoken out to the media about problems facingpetitioners.(CHRD)[iv]

Hundredsof Shanghai Petitioners Seized in Beijing, Held inBlackJail

OnNovember 30, CHRD spoke with Shanghaipetitioner-turned-activist Zhang Guilan (张贵兰),whoreported that a group of Shanghai-based petitioners seized in Beijingon November 26 are currently being detained in a Beijing black jail. According toZhang, atotal of approximately 200 petitioners were seized by interceptors fromtheBeijing Liaison Office of the Shanghaimunicipal government and taken to a black jail. On the evening ofNovember 29,some members of the group were forcibly returned to Shanghai, while those that remainedindetention began a hunger strike in protest. Zhang believes thegovernmentdetained the petitioners in Beijingbecause theywere afraid they would attempt to return to Shanghaito take part in memorial demonstrations for victims of the November 15apartment fire in Shanghai.The majority of petitioners were seeking redress for the loss of theirhomes orland to development for the Shanghai World Expo without appropriatecompensation. (CHRD)[v]

HumanRights Defender YaoLifa Missing

CHRDlearned on November 30 that Qianjiang City, HubeiProvince human rights defender Yao Lifa (姚立法)travelled to WuhanCity on November29 togreet democracy activist Qin Yongmin (秦永敏)on his release from prison.However, Yao was last seen outside oftheHanyang Prison in Wuhanthat morning, and his current whereabouts remain unknown. According toanotheractivist who was at the scene, Yao was present when Qin's supportersweredriven away by plainclothes and uniformed police officers, but did notappearat Qin’s home later when the supporters gathered there, having learnedQin hadalready been released from prison. Efforts to contact Yao for the pasttwo days have beenunsuccessful. (CHRD)[vi]

ActivistsSeized by Police While Seeking to Report Earlier Detention

Onthe morning of November 29, Beijingactivists Ms. Ye Jinghuan (野靖环),Ms. Yang Lingyun (杨凌云),Ms.Wang Ling (王玲),and Mr. Bao Longjun (包龙军)travelled to the Ministry of Railways to discuss the outcome of lawyerWangYu's (王宇)appeal in Tianjinas well as circumstances outside of the courthouse during the verdictannouncement.However, before they reached the Ministry offices, Ye and Yang wereseized by Beijingpolice and takenaway. According to Bao and Wang, Ms. Ye and Ms. Yang were roughlyhandled bythe police officers who took the two into custody.

OnNovember 18, the TianjinRailway Court upheld theconviction of Wang Yu, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for“causingbodily harm due to negligence” on September 21, 2010. According towitnesses atthe scene, a number of activists and supporters who had hoped atobserve thehearing, including Ye and Wang, were roughly handled by plainclothespoliceofficers and taken away from the courthouse. (CHRD)[vii]

Harassmentof ActivistsWorkers’Rights Advocate Interrogated, Forced toLeave Guangzhou

Onthe morning of November 24, human rights lawyer TangJingling (唐荆陵)and Li Yuanfeng (李原风),a migrant worker and laborrights advocate, were stopped at an Asian Games-related securitycheckpoint in Guangzhou City,GuangdongProvince for an ID inspection. When a checkpoint staffer refused to letLipass, lawyer Tang remained behind and both were taken to a local policestation. Tang was released after four hours; however, Li was held forquestioning as police accused him of seeking to "incite migrantworkers" to demand overdue wages during the Asian Games. That evening,Liwas forced to board a train bound for Changsha City, HunanProvince.Li had arrived in Changshaat the time of writing, but his current situation is unclear. (CHRD)[viii]

Updateson Post-Nobel Harassment of ActivistsDissidentLiu Di, Already Under Soft Detention, Taken in for Questioning

OnNovember 24, Beijing National Security police tookdissident Liu Di (刘荻)from her home, where she has been held under softdetention for 47 days, and interrogated her at a local police station.Thequestioning focused on Liu's translation of a handbook on nonviolence.Ms. Liu,who writes online under the name "Stainless Steel Mouse," has been avocal advocate for freedom of expression and a major figure in domesticcivilsociety since the early 2000's. (CHRD)[ix]    

Human Rights Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan Barredfrom Travelling to Japan

Humanrights lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原)wasstopped at Beijing's CapitalAirport on November 28,becoming thelatest high-profile member of China'scivil society to be told by border guards that his departure would"endanger state security." Liu had been planning to travel to Tokyo to takepart in aconference at a Japanese university. Border officials refused to issueLiu awritten explanation of their refusal to allow him out of the country,explaining that the decision to bar him from travelling internationallywasmade by the Beijing Public Security Bureau. (CHRD)[x]    

Citizens’ActionsAiWeiwei Calls for “Citizens’ Investigation”Into Toll of November 15 ShanghaiFire

Onthe morning of November 24, prominent artist and activistAi Weiwei (艾未未)announced the launch of a "citizen'sinvestigation" into the November 15 fire in a Shanghai apartment building whichclaimed thelives of dozens of residents. Much as citizen activists, including Aiandimprisoned environmentalist Tan Zuoren (谭 作人),haddone following the 2008 Sichuanearthquake, Ai called for the compilation of a list of the deceased.The actioncomes in response to the Shanghaigovernment's refusal to make public such a list. Ai and volunteers arein theprocess of collecting information from netizens and concerned citizensand aremaking the names public as they independently confirm them. (CHRD)[xi]

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

[i]"Democracy Activist Qin Yongmin Released from Prison; Written Verdict,Manuscripts, and Other Documents Confiscated" (民主维权人士秦永敏出狱,判决书、手稿等全部被抢走),November 29, 2010, "After Release from Prison, Qin Yongmin Receives StrictFixed-PeriodAccesory Penalty" (秦永敏出狱后受到极为苛刻的附加刑期限制), November29, 2010,

[ii]"Seventy Year-old Female Petitioner Liu Qingrong Sentenced for Scaling Tower to Voice Grievances" (爬高塔喊冤的70岁女访民刘青荣被 判刑), November 24, 2010,

[iii]"BeijingCharter 08 Signatory, Human Rights Activist Bai Dongping CriminallyDetained" (北京《零八宪章》签署人、维权人士白东平被刑拘), November28, 2010,

[iv]"Tianjin Activist Wu Xiuling Sent to Re-education through Labor" (天津维权人士毋秀玲被劳教(图)),November 26, 2010,

[v]"Shanghai Petitioners Begin Hunger Strike to Protest Detention in BlackJail, Some Petitioners Forcibly Returned" (上海访民在北京救济站“黑监狱”绝食抗议,部分访民被送回),November 30, 2010,

[vi]"Elections Expert Yao Lifa Missing as Qin Yongmin is Released fromPrison" (选举专家姚立法迎接秦永敏出狱时失踪(图)),December 1, 2010,

[vii]"Human Rights Activist Ye Jinghuan and Others Beaten, Detained WhilePresenting Grievances outside Railway Ministry" (维权人士野靖环等在铁道部门前反映情况被殴打抓走),November 29, 2010,

[viii]"Human Rights Lawyer Groundlessly Interrogated, Forcibly Returned" (维权律师无故被盘查并遣返),November 24, 2010,

[ix]"Dissident Liu Di, Under Soft Detention, Interrogated by Police" (软禁中的异议人士刘荻受到警方传讯(图)),November 25, 2010,

[x]"Human Rights Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan Prevented from Leaving Country byBeijing Border Guards" (维权律师刘晓原被北京边检拒绝出境),November 28, 2010,

[xi]"Ai Weiwei Launches Shanghai Fire Victim 'Citizens' Investigation'Action" (艾未未发起上海火灾遇难者“公民调查”行动), November 24,2010,

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