China Human Rights Briefing  25 January 2010

Headlines

 

Freedomof Expression

FiveChinese Activist Web sites Attacked by Hackers

The websites of Chinese Human Rights Defenders(CHRD), Independent Chinese PEN (ICPC), New Century News, Canyu, andCivilRights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW) were attacked by hackers of unknownoriginbetween January 23 and 24. A DDOS (distributed denial of service)attackparalyzed CHRD's website by consuming its server's resources, leavingtheserver unable to respond to instructions from computers of legitimateusers andrendering the site inaccessible. According to CHRD's internet serviceprovider,the frequency of the attack was the most intense the ISP had everexperienced.Because the hackers used fake IP addresses, CHRD has been unable tolocate itssource; an IT expert associated CHRD believes that, due to the physicalrequirements necessary to launch such an attack, it was likely beyondthecapacity of “ordinary Chinese hackers.” (CHRD)[i]

LegalRights

Guangzhou Court Hears Lawsuit from LawyerDeprived of License

On the morning of January 25, the YuexiuDistrict Court in Guangzhou heard an administrative lawsuit brought byGuangzhou human rights lawyer Liu Shihui (刘士辉) against the GuangzhouMunicipal Bureau of Justice over the Bureau's decision to suspend hislawyers'license. The hearing, which lasted for more than five hours, concludedwithouta verdict. According to Liu, he was able to fully present his case, andthehearing was open; more than 10 supporters of Liu's were able to attend.Liu'slicense was suspended for six months at the end of September, 2009,followingan August 12, 2009 decision by the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau ofJustice. It isbelieved that officials at the Bureau of Justice were retaliatingagainst Liufor his defense of sensitive rights cases, including that of GuoFeixiong (郭飞雄), andfor his efforts on behalf of Guo to draw the attention of officials tothedeath of an imprisoned Falun Gong practitioner whom Guo believed wasbeaten todeath by a prison guard. Liu filed his suit on December 23, 2009;according toreports, it will be two months before the court issues a verdict. (CHRD)[ii]

ArbitraryDetention

GuangxiPetitioners Sent to One Year of RTL for “Abnormal Petitioning”

CHRD has learned that on December 28, 2009, fivepetitioners from Liuzhou, Guangxi—Min Jihui (民继惠), Zhong Ruihua (钟瑞华), ZengZhaokuang (曾昭旷),Li Chunfen (李春芬),and Huang Huiyue (黄惠月)—were sent to one year of Re-education throughLabor (RTL) for “abnormal petitioning.” Zhong’s family said the fivepetitioners visited Beijingmultiple times to voice their complaints about unfair compensation forexpropriated land, forced demolition of their homes, and subsequentillegaldetention. The family added that more people in Liuzhou, including elderly citizensin theireighties, have been beaten, abducted, detained, or put under housearrest forpetitioning. The written decision to send Zhong to RTL claimed that shehadrepeatedly voiced her complaints in districts in Beijing that were off-limits topetitioners. Thefive petitioners plan to appeal for administrative review or proceeddirectlyto administrative litigation. (CHRD)[iii]

LongtimeXi’anPetitioner Seized by Police

On the morning of January 24, a group ofpetitioners gathered outside the Zhangbagou Hotel in Xi'an,Shaanxiinhopes of presenting their petitions to members of the ShaanxiProvincial People'sPolitical Consultative Conference meeting inside. Between 40 and 50plainclothes police were stationed outside of the building, and anumber ofpolice cars were parked nearby. A group of these officers seizedveteranpetitioner Zhang Dalian (张大联) and roughly forced her into a waiting vehicle.Fellow petitioners reported that they were unable to contact Zhangfollowingthe incident; her whereabouts are currently unknown. Zhang has beenpetitioningsince her husband, Zuo Mingwei (左明炜) was beaten to death inApril 2009, allegedly by hired thugs under the direction of a propertymanagement company with which the couple had been in a dispute. (CHRD)[iv]

Harassmentof Activists

Guangzhou Internet Activist Bei Feng Questionedfor Five Hours by Local Officials

On the morning of January 25, Guangzhou internetactivist Wen Yunchao (aka Bei Feng [北风]) was taken in for questioningfor approximately five hours by National Security officers. Wen wasapproachedby police when he stopped by to observe the ongoing protests byGuangzhoucitizens over the Likeng garbage incinerator (for more information onthatcase, please see here)on his way to meet Guangzhou lawyer Liu Shihui (刘士辉) following Liu's courthearing that morning. Because of the interrogation, which focused onthe Likengprotest, Wen was unable to meet with Liu. The authorities have placedincreasing pressure on Wen in recent weeks; he was summoned forquestioning twicein December, and recently forbidden from leaving the country. (CHRD)[v]

Beijing Activist Liu Anjun Preventedfrom Leaving Home to Assist Petitioners

On the morning of January 23, Beijing activistLiu Anjun (刘安军)was prevented from leaving his home by two national security officers.Liu, whohad planned to help deliver food to petitioners in need, was told bytheofficers that they were given "orders from above" not to allow himout. Though Liu could not take part in the relief efforts, othervolunteers stilldelivered food to more than 400 petitioners. Liu and other volunteershavehelped more than 5,000 petitioners in the past three months byproviding foodand clothing for those with little means to survive in the capital.(CHRD)[vi]

ShenzhenWriter Zhao Dagong Released

Zhao Dagong (赵达功), secretary-generalof the Independent Chinese PEN (ICPC) and member of the first group ofCharter08 signatories, was released on January 26. Zhao was seized by thepolice onJanuary 11. The reasons for Zhao’s detention remain unclear but it isbelievedthat he was interrogated for his role in organizing ICPC and Charter08. (CHRD)

ForcedDemolition and Eviction

Chengdu Residents Attacked and Beatenby Demolition Workers

On the evening of January 22, demolition andeviction office employees violently beat and injured three residents ofahousing complex in Jinjiang District, Chengdu, Sichuan.According to residentsof the complex, the demolition workers have been harassing andthreatening themsince the beginning of October 2009; on January 22, residents calledthe policeon three occasions, but no officers were present when a group of closeto 20thugs pulled one resident out of his home and violently beat him in thestreet.Two neighbors who attempted to come to his aid were also violentlybeaten. Policeand emergency workers arrived on the scene and took the three to alocalhospital. According to residents, they have continued to sufferharassment andthreats in the days following the incident. (CHRD)[vii]

DozensInjured and Detained in Violent Clash between Police and Villagers inGuangxi

CHRD learned that on the morning of January 18,a violent clash broke out between armed police and villagers resistingtheforced seizure of their land in PingleCounty, Guangxi Province.According to eyewitness reports and interviews with local hospitalworkers,more than 20 villagers were treated for injuries, and four or fiveremainhospitalized. Between 20 and 30 villagers were detained. When hundredsof armedpolice arrived in WeijiangjiaVillage on January18along with government officials, they were met by more than 200villagers whohad not been compensated for the land about to be seized. The policefiredteargas, attempted to disperse the crowd and used batons to beatvillagers.Police broke into the home of one local resident who was photographingthescene from his room, demanding his camera and destroying some of thefamily'sproperty. Police blocked roads out of the village following the clashtoprevent residents from going to internet cafes to post pictures of theviolenceonline. Local officals contacted by CHRD claimed they were unclear onthe factsof the incident or refused outright to discuss it, and state-run mediahas notreported on the incident. (CHRD)[viii]

Citizens’Actions

HundredsSign Letter Protesting Detention of Three Fujian Netizens

On the morning of January 20, Zhu Chengzhi (朱承志), ahuman rights activist from Yunnan Province, delivered a protest letterto theBeijing Liaison Office of the Fujian Provincial Government. The letter,signedby hundreds of netizens and addressed to the Fuzhou People’s Congress,protested against the extended detention of Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), YouJingyou (游精佑),and Wu Huaying (吴华英). Fan, You, and Wu were charged with makingfalse accusations after the three posted articles online in which theyaccusedlocal officials of misconduct in handling the suspicious death of YanXiaoling(严晓玲).Previous letters to Fujian People’s Congress from the family of theaccusedwere returned unopened. (CHRD)[ix]

Law and Policy Watch

BeijingAnnounces “Crackdown” on Liaison Office to Prevent Corruption

According to a China Daily article dated January 25,the central government has ordered close 5,000 liaison offices ofcounty-level governmentsin Beijing.Theseoffices have “unclear functions and inadequate supervision” and arehotbeds forcorruption, according to the central government. Liaison offices ofprovincialgovernments would be unaffected while those of city-level governmentswould bere-evaluated and would need the approval of higher authorities if theywere toremain in the capital. However, the same article quoted experts whosaid that theorder would be met with much resistance, as these offices fulfill“necessary” functions.One of such functions is to maintain “the stability of Beijing bycommunicating and pacifying localpeople who come to the capital to appeal to higher authorities”—aeuphemistphrase for the practice of illegal interception of petitioners. (ChinaDaily)[x]

Editors: Jenn Ling, David Smalls and Lin Sang

News updates from CHRD: http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class10/Index.html

Reining in Civil Society: The Chinesegovernment’s use of laws and regulations to persecute freedom ofassociationhttp://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class11/200908/20090810214902_16733.html

CHRD Yearbook 2007-2008: http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class11/200808/20080807093200_9888.html

[i] “Five Chinese Activists Websites Attacked by Hackers,”January 25,2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class10/201001/20100125160522_19612.html

[ii] "Hearing of Lawyer Liu Shihui's Suit against GuangzhouBureauof Justice Ends without Verdict" (刘士辉律师诉广州市司法局案未当庭宣判), January 25, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201001/20100126001705_19619.html,see also: "Lawsuit by Guangzhou Lawyer Deprived of Professional LicenseHeard Today" (广州律师被剥夺执业资格案今日开庭),January 25, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201001/20100125232727_19617.html

[iii] “Guangxi Petitioners Sent to One Year of RTL for'AbnormalPetitioning'" (广西柳州五访民因上访被劳教一年),January 24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/fmzj/201001/20100124235834_19600.html

[iv] "Xi'an Murder Case Victim Zhang Dalian Cruelly Seized" (西安杀人案受害者张大联被野蛮抓走),January 24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/fmzj/201001/20100124230725_19605.html

[v] "Senior Guangzhou Internet Media Personality Bei FengSummoned" (广州资深网络媒体人北风被传唤), January25, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201001/20100125230008_19616.html

[vi] “Police Restrict Movement of Beijing Activist Liu Anjunto PreventHim from Taking Part in Public Service Activities" (北京维权人士刘安军因阳光公益行动被限制自由),January 23, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201001/20100123104924_19581.html

[vii] "Another Violent Forced Eviction in Chengdu SendsVictims toHospital" (成都再现暴力拆迁致人重伤), January26, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201001/20100126000424_19618.html

[viii] "Guilin, Guangxi Violent Land Requisition Leads toLarge-scaleClash Between Police and Villagers" (广西桂林暴力征地引发大规模警民冲突),January 26, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201001/20100126002424_19620.html

[ix] "Activist Protests against Detention of Three FujianNetizens" (维权人士抗议对福建三网民的羁押),January 20, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/fanyanqiong/201001/20100120232439_19529.html

[x] ChinaDaily, “Crackdown on liaison offices,” January 25, 2010, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2010-01/25/content_9368608.htm

Source: CHRD

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