China Human Rights Briefing 12-15 February 2010 | Countdown for China | 16 Feb 2010 | Amnesty International UK

China Human Rights Briefing 12-15 February 2010

Headlines

 

 

ArbitraryDetention

ShanghaiActivist Tong Guojing Sent to RTL on Eve of Chinese New Year

CHRDhas learned that Shanghaihousing rights activist Tong Guojing (童国菁)was sent to one year and sixmonths of Re-education through Labor (RTL) on February 13. Tong wastaken fromhis home by National Security officers on the morning of February 8 forquestioning, and his family received the notice that he had been sentto RTLfive days later. Tong, who began petitioning following a forcedeviction in2003, has been advocating for other petitioners' rights for years. Hewascriminally detained for a month during the Olympics for applying tostage aprotest in Beijing with other Shanghaipetitioners, and recently briefly detained in December 2009 forshoutingslogans in support of Liu Xioabo (刘晓波)outside of his trial in Beijing.(CHRD)[i]

Harassmentof Activists

FengZhenghu Returns Home

At9:45 am on February 12, Shanghaiactivist Feng Zhenghu (冯正虎)boarded a plane at Tokyo's Narita Airportbound for Shanghai.Nine days earlier, Feng had concludedhis 92-day protest after Chinese officials met with him and agreed toallow himto return home. Though over 100 supporters, fellow activists, andmembers ofthe media had gathered at Shanghai's Pudong Airportto greet Feng on his return, he was taken through a private exit andleft theairport with his wife without speaking to anyone. Feng, a Chinesecitizen,travelled to Japanon April1, 2009, and first attempted to fly back to Shanghai after June 4. He wasprevented fromreturning to Chinaon eightoccasions before he refused to re-enter Japan in early November2009 andcamped in protest outside the immigration hall at Narita. (CHRD)[ii]

BeijingPolice Break up Food Distribution for Stranded Petitioners, BrieflyDetainVolunteer

OnFebruary 13, the eve of Chinese New Year, Beijingpolice broke up a food distribution effort organizedby a group of Beijingvolunteers to aid petitioners stranded in the capital in the coldwinter. SunshineCharity (阳光公益)had organized for petitioners to eat at a restaurant nearthe South Train Station, but police forced the restaurant to cancel theevent. SunshineCharity volunteers then organized the dinner at another restaurantnearby, butthe police arrived and dispersed the 200 petitioners and forced therestaurantto close. Two Sunshine Charity volunteers, Zheng Lin (正琳)andSun Cuihua (孙翠花)were questioned by police, while another volunteer, LiJinliang (李金良),was briefly detained. Li has since been released. SunshineCharity director Liu Anjun (刘安军),who was not at the scene,reported that 7 or 8 National Security officers were stationed outsideof hisrelatives' home, where he and his family had gathered to celebrate theNewYear. (CHRD)[iii]

LaborRights

ManyWorkers Injured, One Critically, Following Protest over Unpaid Wages

Anongoing wage dispute at a hydroelectric plant in Chongqing'sZhongliangTownship turnedviolenton February 7 after a contractor responded to worker demands for backpay bydispatching hired thugs to attack the workers, CHRD has learned.Migrantworkers preparing to return home for the New Year had been protestingover thefailure of the contractor, Lu Jian (卢健),to pay their wages. As Luhad disappeared from the worksite, the workers repeatedly contactedmanagementat the SinoHydro Foundation Engineering Company, a state-ownedenterprise, whichwas responsible for the project.  Inresponse, Lu first threatened the workers, and then, as the workerscontinuedto press for the money owed to them, Lu called in thugs, armed withknives andbats, to attack workers in their temporary housing. A number of workerswereinjured, and one fifty-year old man, surnamed Liu (刘),remains in critical condition after suffering a serious head injury.(CHRD)[iv]

LegalRights

JiangsuWoman Loses Suit against Family PlanningBureau

OnFebruary 12, the Quanshan District Court in Xuzhou City,Jiangsu Province announced that it had found in favor of the QuanshanDistrictFamily Planning Bureau in a lawsuit brought by Wang Ying (王莹),a 30year-old former lawyer who was barred from obtaining a civil servicepositionby the Tongshan County government on the grounds that she had violatedfamilyplanning regulations by having a child before marriage. During the period of 13 months between Wang'swedding and when she and her husband were able to obtain a marriageregistration, Wang had a baby, and the suit was to determine whethertheQuanshan District Family Planning Bureau acted properly in decreeingthatWang's baby was born out of wedlock.  Hercase, which touched on issues of discrimination, right to privacy, andtheright to work, was closely watched domestically. (CHRD)[v]

Citizens’Actions

AsChinese New Year Arrives, Send a Postcard to an Imprisoned Human RightsDefender

CHRDhas launched a Facebook campaign, called "OnePerson, One Card," calling on members of the domestic and internationalcommunity to send New Year's cards to imprisoned human rightsdefenders.Supporters are encouraged to send cards to demonstrate their concernfor theimprisoned activists as well as their dedication to the importantcauses towhich these activists have sacrificed their freedom; more information,including a list of imprisoned activists and relevant addresses, can befound here(in Chinese).

LawandPolicy Watch

GovernmentAnnounces End to Hepatitis B Testing

OnFebruary 10, three government ministries, including theMinistry of Health, announced that health examinations required toattendschool or begin a job will no longer test for Hepatitis B. The decisionis thelatest effort by officials to combat systemic discrimination againstHepatitisB carriers in China.It is estimated that 100 million Chinese citizens are Hepatitis Bcarriers, andmany have faced cases of health-based discrimination. (Beijing News)[vi]

Thislatest step by the government to combat discrimination againstHepatitis B carriers is a testament to the efforts that have been madeinrecent years by individuals and organizations like Beijing'sYirenpingCenter. However, deeply-rooted bias at the local level will not beeasilyovercome, and independent judicial oversight is critical to ensuringthatcitizens' rights will be protected should anyone disregard this latestedict.

NewEviction Regulations Receive over Ten Thousand Comments

Accordingto a February 13 Beijing News report, the StateCouncil Legal Office received overthirteen thousand comments from the public on the draft of theRegulations forExpropriation and Compensation of Houses on State-Owned Land.  The draft regulations, which were made publicon January 29, were open to comment until February 12. The reportstated thatthe majority of comments were related to provisions in the newregulationswhich would still permit the expropriation of private housing for realestatedevelopment, as opposed to projects which benefit the "public good."(Beijing News)[vii]

Thoughthe regulations did address some of the problemswhich exist under the current regulations governing forced evictions,it wasclear from the outset that protecting citizens' rights was not theirprimaryconcern. For CHRD's recommendations to the Chinese government, which wesubmittedvia email (but was bounced back) and mail, please see our most recentreport onforced evictions, ThrownOut: Human Rights Abuses in China’s Breakneck Real Estate Development..

 

News updates from CHRD

[i] "Shanghai Human Rights Defender Tong GuojingSent to RTL on New Year's Eve" (上海维权人士童国菁大年三十被劳教), February 14,2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100214003803_19935.html

[ii] "Feng Zhenghu Arrives in Shanghai" (冯正虎抵达上海),February 12, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100212143555_19914.html

[iii] "Beijing Petitoners' New Year Dinner SpoiledbyPolice" (北京访民年夜饭被警察搅局),February 13, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100213190044_19932.html

[iv] "Rural Workers Seriously Beaten, InjuredFollowing Wage Dispute" (农民工讨工资被打至生命垂危), February 12, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100212134350_19913.html

[v] "Xuzhou Female Lawyer Wang Ying Loses'Babygate'Suit" (徐州女律师王莹“婚育门”一审败诉),February 12, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100212131953_19912.html

[vi] "Beijing Eliminates Hepatitis B Testing" (京高招体检取消乙肝检测), February 12, 2010, http://epaper.bjnews.com.cn/html/2010-02/12/content_66062.htm?div=-1

[vii] "Housing Expropriation Regulations ReceiveOver10,000 Comments (房屋征收条例获万余意见), February 13, 2010, http://epaper.bjnews.com.cn/html/2010-02/13/content_66273.htm?div=-1

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
View latest posts
0 comments