China Human Rights Briefing 2 March 2010

Headlines

 

Arbitrarydetention

SichuanDemocracy Activist She Wanbao to BeReleased after Lengthy Prison Terms

CHRDhas learned that democracy activist She Wanbao (佘万宝)willbe released on March 6 after more than a decade in prison. She, who wasimprisoned for four years for taking part in the 1989 pro-democracymovement,remained a leading figure in the Sichuandemocracy movement following his release in 1993. She was then detainedin July1999 and sentenced to 12 years in prison for "subversion of statepower" in August 1999 after participating in the Sichuan preparatorycommittee of the China Democracy Party and organizing public protestscallingfor the release of CDP leaders and other political prisoners. She'ssentencewas reduced for a total of 14 months. (CHRD)[i]

Tortureand Other Cruel, Degrading, and Inhuman Treatment

ChongqingFamilyContinue Quest for Justice following Son’s Suspicious Death in Prison

Fivemonths after the death ofLong Bing (龙冰),a 23-year-old prisoner, in Yongchuan Prison, Chongqing Municipality,his family continues to press prison officials to conduct a properinvestigation into the cause of death. Although prison officials claimthatLong was ill, that he had been taking medications and had died of“naturalcauses” on October 1, they initially refused his family’s request toview thebody. They have also refused to let the family watch videotaperecordings ofthe prison prior to Long’s death. The officials finally ordered anautopsy onOctober 9 at the family’s insistence, but barred the family fromphotographingor videotaping the process. A couple of months later, on December 12,officialssummoned the family and presented them with the autopsy results, whichconfirmed the official cause of death. The officials then offered thefamily severalthousand yuan in exchange for them dropping the matter, but the familyrefused.The family has continued to bring the case to higher authorities, butso farthey have not received any satisfactory response. (CHRD)[ii]

Harassmentof Activists

BeijingPolice Summon Activist Chen Tianshi afterIntercepting Message from European Diplomat

Onthe afternoon of March 2, Christian house church leaderand human rights activist Chen Tianshi (陈天石)wassummoned by National Security police in Beijing's Shunyi District.Policequestioned Chen about articles on cases of religious persecution theybelievedhe had written in recent years as well as his plans to meet withforeigndiplomats. Last week, an official from the delegation of the EuropeanUnion to China hadcontacted Chen to set up a meeting todiscuss the issue of religion in China; Chen believes policeintercepted this message and summoned him as a result. Police whoquestionedChen did not bar him from meeting with European diplomats, but urgedhim toshow "proper restraint." He was released after less than two hours ofquestioning. (CHRD)[iii]

MoreActivists Harassed Ahead of NPC, CPPCC Meetings

Updatingour ongoing reporting of individuals subjected topolice interference in the days before the annual meetings of theNationalPeople’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the ChinesePeople’sPolitical Consultative Conference (CPPCC), CHRD has learned of thefollowingcases:

  • Beginning March 2, Hu Shigen (胡石根), a former professor recently released after spending 17 years in prison for organizing the China Freedom and Democracy Party, has been placed under "soft detention" at his home in Beijing.[iv]
  • On March 2, Xianghe, Hebei activist Li Jinfang's (李金芳) internet service was unexpectedly cut off, and despite repeated calls to her internet company, she has been unable to get back online. Li's home internet service has been disrupted on numerous occasions since 2009, usually during similar "sensitive" periods. (CHRD)[v]

Freedomof association and assembly

Conferenceon AIDS Prevention Cancelled due to TwoMeetings

OnMarch 2, Wan Yanhai (万延海),head ofprominent HIV/AIDS organization Aizhixing, was ordered by Beijing policeto cancel a conferencescheduled for March 3 because it coincided with the opening of the TwoMeetings. Aizhixing had originally scheduled the conference topublicize aletter it has submitted to the State Council, which alleges that somearticlescarried by ten domestic media, including People’s Daily Online and theBeijingTimes, of “seriously damaging to the work of AIDS prevention in China.”Theconference, which would be attended by about 30 people, was scheduledon theInternational Sex Workers Rights Day on March 3. Wan has also beensubjected to“soft detention” and guarded by policemen and police vehicles outsideof hishome since March 1. (Aizhixing)

Correction:TheFebruary 26 – March 2 issue of CHRB reportedthat writer Liao Yiwu was taken off a plane going from Chengduto Beijing, but failed to mention thatLiao’sfinal destination was Germany,where he was to attend the Cologne International Literature Festival.Thearticle also inaccurately attributed the official action tosensitivitiesaround the Two Meetings—Liao would probably have been barred fromleaving for Germanyregardless of the exact timing. 

Editors:David Smalls and Lin Sang

***CHRD’s Human Rights Yearbook 2009 is now available.  Fora free copy, please contact us with yourmailing address at crdnetwork@gmail.com. ***

News updates from CHRD

ThrownOut: Human Rights Abuses in China’s Breakneck Real Estate Development

[i]"Sichuan Prisoner of Conscience She Wanbao To Be Released in March (四川良心人士佘万宝三月将获释放),February 24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100224165509_20058.html

[ii]Chongqing Prisoner Died Mysteriously before Release (重庆监狱犯人出狱前离奇死亡), http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201003/20100302152044_20181.html

[iii]"Chen Tianshi Summoned for Participating in Christian ChurchActivities" (陈天石因参加教会活动受传唤经过), March 2, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/chentianshi/201003/20100302174614_20196.html;see also: "Beijing Activist Chen Tianshi Summoned ahead of 'TwoMeetings'" (“两会”前北京维权人士陈天石被传唤), March 2,2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201003/20100302123744_20178.html

[iv]"Hu Shigen Placed under 'Soft Detention' Before Two Meetings" (两会前胡石根被软禁), March 2,2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/Hushigen/201003/20100302203237_20197.html

[v]"Hebei Activist Li Jinfang's Internet Disconnected Again Before TwoMeetings" (两会前河北维权人士李金芳再次被断网), March 2,2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201003/20100302212642_20198.html

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