China Human Rights Briefing  June 8-15, 2011

Highlights

  • Updates on Detentions and Disappearances Related to the “Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown: The Xicheng District Procuratorate recently approved the arrest of Dong Jiqin (董继勤), the husband of rights defense lawyer Ni Yulan (倪玉兰). At the time of writing, their family had not received formal arrest notices, but the arrests are believed to have been for the same charge—“creating a disturbance”—and approved on the same day following the couple’s detention in early May. 
  • Imprisoned Journalist Sentenced to Eight More Years: Reporter Qi Chonghuai (齐崇淮) was sentenced on June 9 by the Tengzhou City Court in Shandong Province to eight years’ imprisonment for “extortion and blackmail” and “embezzlement.” This sentence is in addition to the nearly four years that he has already served. Prior to this new conviction, Qi had been scheduled to be released at the end of June.  

ContentsArbitraryDetention

Harassmentof Activists

Citizens’Actions

Arbitrary DetentionUpdates on Detentions andDisappearances Related to the “Jasmine Revolution”CrackdownCHRD recently learned that the Xicheng DistrictProcuratorate has approved the arrest of DongJiqin (董继勤), the husband of rightsdefense lawyer Ni Yulan (倪玉兰). Ni’sarrest was reported in May. At the time of writing,their family had not received a formal arrest notice,but Ni’s lawyer, Cheng Hai (程海), informed the couple’s daughter at the end of May that herparents were probably arrested the same day, aroundMay 13, and likely on the same charge, “creating adisturbance” (寻衅滋事). Cheng had requested that Nibe released on medical parole due to herhealth, as Ni cannot walk and has numerous medicalproblems following episodes of torture she suffered indetention over the past decade. The request was notgranted, though detention center officials told Cheng that Niwould be able to see a doctor. The couple’s arrest has ledto severe consequences for members of their family.Their daughter has trouble meeting basic expenses, andpolice tracked down Dong’s younger brother at hisworkplace and demanded he report to the police twice aday during this “sensitive period,” but he has refusedto comply.   Dong’s arrest brings the total number ofindividuals formally arrested in relation to the“Jasmine Revolution” crackdown on civil society tonine; for more information, please see our website: http://chrdnet.org/2011/04/15/jasmine_crackdown/.(CHRD)[i]Jailed Journalist Qi Chonghuai Sentenced toEight More Years on Eve of ReleaseOn June 9, the Tengzhou City Court in ShandongProvince convicted reporter Qi Chonghuai(齐崇淮) of “extortion and blackmail”(敲诈勒索罪) and “embezzlement”(职务侵占罪),sentencing him to eight moreyears in prison in addition to the four years he hasalmost completed. The court sentenced Qi to six yearsfor “embezzlement” and three for “extortion andblackmail.” On top of a four-year sentence, also for“extortion and blackmail,” handed down in 2007, Qi hasbeen sentenced to a total of 13 years in prison, ofwhich he will serve 12. Prior to this recentconviction, he was originally scheduled to be releasedat the end of this month. Qi’s latest conviction is based on four incidents thatoccurred prior to 2007 during which he received moneywhile on assignment.  Policetortured him to coerce a confession regarding thesepayments during an interrogation in 2007; however, theprocuratorate did not indict him on the basis of thisconfession when he was first prosecuted for “extortionand blackmail.” The decision to convict and sentenceQi earlier this month to such a long period ofimprisonment, when he was due to be released fromprison after serving time for the same crime, is aclear instance of politically-motivated persecutionfor his work as a muckraking journalist. Qi’s firstconviction came after he reported on corruptionrelated to the construction of the Haohua GovernmentOffice Building in Tengzhou. He was a reporter andformer Shandong Bureau Chief for the Fazhi MorningPost, known for his articles exposing localcorruption, social injustice, and human rightsviolations.Qi was represented in court by Beijing-based lawyers Wang Quanzhang (王全章) and Liu Xiaoyuan(刘晓原), who indicated after thetrial that the court disregarded their defense oftheir client, and that his conviction was a foregoneconclusion. Qi’s wife, JiaoXia (焦霞), attended the trial but wasremoved during the proceedings by a bailiff after shespoke out. She has since gone missing, and friends areconcerned that, despondent over her husband’s fate,she may try to harm herself. During his time inprison, Qi has been tortured, beaten, and forced toperform hard labor. A series of letters he was able tosmuggle out in 2009 described the abuse andmistreatment he experienced in graphic detail; forfurther information, please see: http://chrdnet.org/2009/12/09/in-letters-smuggled-out-of-prison-journalist-qi-chonghuai-details-abuses/. (CHRD)[ii]GuangxiHuman Rights Lawyer Yang Zaixin CriminallyDetained On the morning of June 15,CHRD learned from the wife of human rights lawyerYang Zaixin (杨在新), fromBeihai City, Guangxi Province, that he has beencriminally detained and is being held in the BeihaiCity Detention Center on suspicion of “obstructingtestimony” (妨害作证罪).Yang’s wife, Huang Zhongyan (黄仲琰),explained that around 10:30 a.m. on June 14, Yangwas alone at home when police officers took him awaywithout notifying her. When Huang returned homearound noon, she discovered that Yang was gone andtheir home was in disarray. The CriminalInvestigation Unit of the Haicheng branch of theBeihai Public Security Bureau (PSB) left a list ofitems that had been confiscated, including twocomputers, a cell phone, and many other personalitems. Huang then called the Haicheng branch of thePSB and spoke to the chief of the fifth squad, whoinformed Huang of the crime of which he wassuspected and that the legal documents would beprovided to the family later in the day.  Yang Zaixin has worked for years in the area ofrights defense, and has been beaten and summoned forquestioning numerous times, in addition to havingfaced delays in the annual lawyers’ license review andregistration process because of his work. In May,sensing that something might happen to him, Yang lefta message for friends saying that the Beihai PSB wasintent on turning him into the “second Li Zhuang” byframing him with a false charge of suborning perjury,and also asked for their support if he was detained.[iii]Sichuan Activist Huang Qi Released fromPrisonOn June 10, human rights activist HuangQi (黄琦) was released from ChuandongPrison in Dazhu City, Sichuan Province. Chengdu Citypolice returned Huang to his hometown of Neijiang Cityin Sichuan, where he was met by his mother and takento his family’s home. Officials in Chengdu barredHuang’s family and friends from greeting him at theprison, though they were able to gather later atHuang’s family home without police interference. Huangserved a three-year sentence for “illegal possessionof state secrets” (非法持有国家秘密罪) relatedto sharing information with foreign journalists aboutprotests by families whose children had died in theSichuan earthquake in May 2008. Though known to havesuffered from physical ailments while serving hissentence, Huang has indicated that he is in decenthealth and that his greatest worries now arefinancial. (CHRD)[iv]China Pan-Blue Alliance Co-Founder ServingSix Years for “Inciting Subversion” On June 8, CHRD learned that WenYan (文炎, aka Sun Buer [孙不二]),co-founder of the China Pan-Blue Alliance, wasconvicted of “inciting subversion of state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪) on December 11, 2009. He iscurrently serving a six-year prison sentence in HanxiPrison in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, and will besubject to deprivation of political rights for twoyears after his release. Wen has been out of contactwith friends and fellow activists in recent years andhis fate had previously been unclear.   Wen was criminally detained by the Ji’an CityPublic Security Bureau in Jiangxi Province in June2007. He was released a month later, and on the sameday the Wuhan City Public Security Bureau placed himunder criminal detention on suspicion of “incitingsubversion.” He was formally arrested for “incitingsubversion” on July 22, 2007. Wen was placed underresidential surveillance between May 7, 2008, andNovember 6, 2008, and then on November 13, 2008, hewas criminally detained again, this time on suspicionof “illegally crossing the border.” He was formallyarrested on this charge on December 19, 2008.Procuratorial organs brought charges of both “incitingsubversion” and “illegally crossing the border” (偷越国境罪) against Sun, but he was onlyconvicted of the former charge. (CHRD)[v]Anhui Officials HoldActivist Qian Jin in Psychiatric Hospital LongerThan Anticipated CHRD learned on ​​June 14that pro-democracy activist Qian Jin (钱进),from Bengbu City, Anhui Province, wouldcontinue to be held in the Anhui Huaiyuan RongguangHospital (a psychiatric hospital) despite earlierindications by Bengbu authorities that his releasewas imminent. Detained in the hospital sinceFebruary 26, Qian—who does not suffer from mentalhealth problems—was despondent during a visit onJune 12 by his sister, Qian Guangming (钱广明),because he had already been detained for more thanthree months and the “sensitive” date of June 4 hadpassed, yet he still had not been released. The twoprevious times officials had detained Qian in apsychiatric hospital, he was released after threemonths. Moreover, when activist Zhang Lin (张林)and other friends sought to visit Qian at thehospital, Bengbu national security officers refusedthe request, stating that Qian would be released verysoon.     In addition, CHRD haslearned that petitioner Hu Dongsheng ( 胡东圣), from Hefei City, AnhuiProvince, a Communist Party member and a formergrassroots Party branch secretary, will likelycontinue to be detained in the local AnkangPsychiatric Hospital for at least two more weeks. OnApril 29, 2011, Hu was seized while petitioning at theMinistry of Public Security in Beijing regarding theforced demolition of his home. He was beaten andforcibly returned to Hefei, and has been detained inthe hospital ever since. This is the second time Huhas been detained in an Ankang Psychiatric Hospitalfor petitioning. (CHRD)[vi]    Anhui PetitionerDetained, Later Arrested After RTL Camp RefusesHim For Medical ConditionCHRDhas learned that Liang Maorong (梁茂荣), a petitioner from SuzhouCity, Anhui Province, has been arrested in LingbiCounty in Suzhou after his initial release fromdetention when the Bangbu Re-education through Labor(RTL) Camp refused to admit him because he hasdiabetes. Liang’s daughter told CHRD that as many as30 officers and plainclothes police came to theirfamily home on May 16 to take her father away on thegrounds that he has outstanding bank debts and had notattended a court-ordered hearing on the matter thattook place in 2006 (Liang had missed the hearing sincehe was serving an RTL sentence at the time).   He was to spend 15 days in the Lingbi CountyDetention House but, on May 24, he received a decisionordering him to RTL for petitioning in Beijing anddisrupting the order of official business of theLingbi County government. He was taken that day to theBangbu RTL Camp, which refused to admit him due to hisdiabetes, and he immediately was returned to thedetention house. Liang’s family, after havingdifficulty locating him and being concerned for hishealth and safety, received a notice that stated thatLiang was being detained beyond May 31 for refusing tocomply with the 2006 verdict related to the bankmatter. Liang’s daughter further informed CHRD that,on June 11, officers from the Lingbi County PublicSecurity Bureau delivered a formal notice of Liang’sarrest (dated June 10) on the charge of not complyingwith the past verdict. (CHRD)[vii]Harassment of ActivistsYao Lifa Faces Increased Harassment afterCalls from Hong Kong Journalist, U.S. EmbassyCHRD has learned that police increasedsurveillance of human rights activist YaoLifa (姚立法) in Qianjiang City, HubeiProvince, and prevented him from leaving his home onat least two occasions recently after he receivedphone calls from Hong Kong Cable Television and theU.S. Embassy in Beijing. Police cut the electricity atYao’s home after the Hong Kong news outlet contactedhim for an interview on June 9. Yao then received acall on June 10 from an employee at the U.S. Embassywho was attempting to set up a meeting. Later thatday, more guards were added to the detail stationedoutside Yao’s apartment building. The guards preventedYao from leaving his home on June 11 to go see adoctor, and he was told again on June 12 that he wasnot permitted to go out. Yao, whose home has beenunder 24-hour-a-day surveillance since February 20,has been detained by public security four times thisyear. (CHRD)[viii]Qin Yongmin Again Harassed By Police,Friend Visiting Him Forced to Leave WuhanActivist QinYongmin (秦永敏), a co-founder of the bannedChina Democracy Party (CDP), reported to CHRD that hewas called on June 8 to the Xingouqiao Police Stationin Wuhan, where he was verbally threatened and abusedfor three hours. Officer Wang Hui (王辉) demanded he pay a fine of200 RMB for giving 1,000 RMB to dissident LiWangyang (李旺). Outraged by Wang’s extremebehavior, Qin refused to pay a fine and later calledthe Wuhan City Public Security Bureau to demandsomeone come and talk to Wang about his abuse. Inaddition, at 11 p.m. that evening, a friend of Qin’svisiting from Tianjin, Zhang Wei (张伟), called from the HankouTrain Station, reporting that after he and Qin hadparted earlier that night, police removed Zhang from abus he had boarded, placed him in a police vehicle,and took him to the train station in an attempt toforce him to leave town. (CHRD)[ix]Citizens’ ActionsChangsha Residents Respond Strongly toForced EvictionsOn the morning of June 13, more than 500residents from across the city demonstrated againstforced evictions in front of the Changsha CityGovernment building, and several dozen police officersand anti-riot forces were dispatched to halt theprotest. In the afternoon that same day, nearly 1,000individuals—judicial staff, police forces, and othergovernment personnel—converged near the home of Zeng Wu (曾武) to oversee its demolition.Zeng was trying desperately to prevent the destructionof his home and was subsequently taken into custodyalong with his wife and child.  These incidents come during a heated period ofcontroversy surrounding forced evictions in Changsha.Several residents, who had been detained in blackjails in late May after they were evicted from theirhomes in connection with development projects, filed acomplaint on June 9 with the Hunan People’s ProvincialProcuratorate accusing 67 government personnel ofabuse. The group has been informed they will receivean official response to their complaint by June 16.Also, several citizens submitted complaints to theChangsha City Public Security Bureau after beingdetained for petitioning in Beijing in March aboutproperty demolished to clear land for development.(CHRD)[x]Anhui Petitioners ThwartPolice’s Attempt to Seize ThemAround 8 a.m. on June 13, about 100 petitionersfrom across Anhui Province converged in front of theDaoxianglou Guest House in Hefei City, where theysought to present grievances to a central inspectionteam they believed was still at the guest house.Although they were informed that the centralinspection team had already left Hefei, thepetitioners did not disperse. One of the petitioners,Ma Hailing (马海玲), from Hefei, has beenseeking an explanation for the past few years as towhy localofficials secretly dug up and moved her mother’sgrave, but she has still not received an explanation.Two other individuals present on June 13, Zhang Guobao(张国宝) and Qi Baolian (齐宝莲)(音), both from Huainan City, were petitioningabout mistreatment they suffered at the hands ofHuainan police officers in connection with theirattempts to present grievances to the centralinspection team earlier in June.      Several hours later, approximately eight policeofficers from Huainan and seven individuals from MaHailing’s Hefei neighborhood committee arrived at theDaoxianglou Guest House to seize Ma and thepetitioners from Huainan. Ma Hailing refused to gowith them, and the other petitioners supported her bydenouncing the interceptors and the actions of theHefei officials in surreptitiously moving Ma’smother’s grave. The petitioners also successfullyprevented the Huainan police officers from seizinganyone by yelling in unison “Go away!” and thenappealing to an Anhui government official responsiblefor assisting the central inspection team who waspresent to intervene. The official eventually spoke tothe Huainan police, who then retreated to one side,and by around noon, the officers had left the areaaround the guest house and the petitioners were ableto disperse safely.[xi] Editors: Victor Clemens and Tanya Wang  Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnetNews updates from CHRD    [i] “Arrests of Rights DefenseLawyer Ni Yulan and Husband Both Confirmed, FamilyHas Not Received Formal Notice,” (倪玉兰夫妇双双被捕,亲属未收到法律文书), June 9, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_09.html; “News Flash: Arrest ofHuman Rights Lawyer Ni Yulan Approved” (快讯:维权律师倪玉兰被批准逮捕), May 17, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_4735.html   [ii] “Shandong Journalist QiChonghuai Given Heavy 12-Year Sentence” (山东维权记者齐崇淮被重判12年), June 9, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/12.html   [iii] “Beihai,Guangxi Rights Defense Lawyer Yang ZaixinCriminally Detained,” (广西北海维权律师杨在新被刑拘 ), June14, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_9513.html   [iv] “Huang Qi Returns HomeAfter Completion of Sentence, Met By Friends,” (天网黄琦刑满回家,各地朋友为他接风), June 10, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_4460.html; “Sichuan RightsActivist Huang Qi Released From Prison,” (四川维权人士黄琦出狱), June 10, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_3762.html; “Huang Qi To BeReleased From Prison, Family Forbidden To GoReceive Him,” (黄琦将出狱,家人被禁到监狱迎接),June 7, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_8016.html     [v] “China Pan-Blue AllianceCo-Founder Sun Buer Serving 6 Years in Prison forInciting Subversion of State Power,” (中国泛蓝联盟创始人孙不二被以煽动颠覆国家政权罪判刑六年), June 8, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_1826.html    [vi] “BengbuAuthorities Break Promise, Continue to Detain QianJin in Psychiatric Hospital,” (蚌埠当局违反承诺将钱进继续关押 精神病院), June 14, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_3889.html; “HefeiPetitioner Hu Dongsheng Detained 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  [vii] “Suizhou, AnhuiPetitioner Liang Maorong Arrested,” (安徽宿州访民梁茂荣被逮捕), June 11, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_11.html; “Anhui Petitioner LiangMaorong Returned to Criminal Detention After RTLCamp Refuses Him Due to Medical Condition,” (安徽访民梁茂荣劳教被拒收后遭刑拘), June 9, 2011,http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_4299.html;    [viii] “Elections Expert YaoLifa Subjected to Restrictions on Personal LibertyAfter Call from U.S. Embassy,” (选举专家姚立法接美国使馆电话后被限制人身自由), June 12, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_12.html    [ix] “Qin Yongmin AgainCalled in By Police, Friend Visiting Him Forced ToLeave Wuhan,” (秦永敏再遭传唤,探访他的朋友被强制离开武汉),June 8, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_2605.html    [x] “More than 500 ChangshaResidents Protest at City Government Building OverForced Evictions,” (长沙500余名被拆迁户到市政府抗议游行), June 13, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/500.html; “Changsha ResidentsContinue to Pursue Rights Defense Over IllegalDetention; Procuratorate to Respond to FiledComplaint in 7 Days,” (湖南长沙遭非法拘禁的公民继续依 法维权,省检察院表示7日后给答复 ), June 13, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/7.html; “Changsha Resident ZengWu Desperately Protests Against Demolition Team,”(长沙公民曾武以死抗 争千余人的强拆队伍 ), June 13, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_3221.html; “Forcibly EvictedChangsha Residents Accuse Government Workers ofIllegally Establishing Black Jails,” (长沙遭强拆户控告国家工作人员涉嫌私设黑监狱,滥用职权非法拘禁 ), June 10, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_5535.html   [xi] “Anhui Petitioners BlockPolice from Taking Petitioners Away at CentralInspection Team Station,” (安徽访民 在中央巡视组驻地阻止警察抓人), June 14, 2011,  http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_787.html; “Petitioners Who ClimbedChimney in Beijing to Protest Detained” (北京登烟囱抗议的访民被拘留), November 11, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011102118.shtml  

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