China Human Rights Briefing 24 February 2010

Headlines

ArbitraryDetention

Hunan Activist Sent to Two Years ofRTL for Investigating Death of Official

CHRD has learned that Wugang City, HunanProvince activist Luo Qian (罗茜) was sent to two years of Re-education throughLabor (RTL) on January 8, 2010 for "disrupting social order" for hisefforts to investigate the suspicious death of Yang Kuansheng (杨宽生), theformer vice-mayor of Wugang City. According to Luo's wife, DaiMingliang (戴明亮), Luois still detained at Xinning County Detention Center and has yet to besent toan RTL camp. Further information about his condition is not available,asdetention center officials have repeatedly refused Dai's attempts tovisit herhusband. Yang Kuansheng died under mysterious circumstances on November26,2009, and though local officials declared his death a "suicide," theinjuries Yang sustained before his death have led many to believe thathe wasin fact murdered. Luo was detained in Beijing along with Lü Kaihua (吕开化) andLiu Yuehong (刘月红),relatives of Yang, as the three prepared to hold a press conference onYang'scase. The whereabouts of Lü and Liu are currently unknown. (CHRD)[i]

Sichuan Democracy Activist to BeReleased after Lengthy Prison Terms

According to Wei Xinyu (魏心玉), wifeof imprisoned democracy activist Wang Sen (王森), Wang is scheduled to bereleased from prison in July following more than 9 years ofincarceration. Weivisited her husband, who is also imprisoned in Chuanzhong Prison in Nanchong City, during the Chinese NewYear andwas informed of his release date. Wang, a leader of the China DemocracyPartyin Sichuan,was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in 2002 for “subversion ofstatepower.” (CHRD)[ii]

OfficialsTransfer Activist Huang Qi to Prison without Notifying Family

CHRD has learned that Sichuan human rightsactivist and director of the Tianwang Human Rights Center Huang Qi (黄琦) wastransferred to Chuandong Prison in Dazhu County, Dazhou City, SichuanonFebruary 10 to begin serving his three-year sentence for “illegalpossession ofstate secrets.” According to Huang's wife, Zeng Li (曾丽),Huang's family has yet to receive a written verdict from the court, indefianceof relevant regulations. Zeng believes PSB officials purposefully movedherhusband without informing the family of his whereabouts to preventfamilyvisits; she has only learned of his current location through theassistance offriends. Huang, who is believed to have been imprisoned for reportingandgiving interviews to foreign journalists about protests staged byfamilies ofschoolchildren killed in the Sichuanearthquake in May 2008, had his sentence upheld on February 8 followinganappeal. (CHRD)[iii]

Guizhou Petitioner Detained, LocalActivists Worry Detention Could Be Extended

Lu Yanfei (路言飞), a petitioner fromBijie City, Guizhou, was seized outside of the city government officesin Bijieon February 22 by local police officers, and concerned citizensfollowing hercase were informed later that evening that she had been detained inBijie CityDetention Center. Because Lu, who has been petitioning since her homeand landwere seized by the government, had previously been successful incircumventingefforts by local officials to prevent her from petitioning, localactivists in Guizhouare nowconcerned that she may face an extended detention. They point to thecase offellow Bijie petitioner Liu Junchun (刘俊春), who has been detainedsince September 2009, as an example of local officials' harsh measuresindealing with long-term petitioners. (CHRD)[iv]

Rightto Education

Dozensof Schools for Children of Migrant Laborers Demolished in Beijing

On February 23, elementary and secondary schoolstudents in Beijingreturned to their classrooms for the spring semester. However, morethan 10,000students in Chaoyang, Changping, and Daxing Districts, the children ofmigrantlaborers, could not; dozens of schools established to serve the migrantworkercommunity had been forcibly demolished over the New Year's holiday.Despitecritical media coverage and opposition from public interest groups, thegovernment carried out the demolitions without making any provisionsfor thestudents affected by the destruction of their schools. It is extremelydifficult for children of migrant laborers to enter state-run schoolsfor avariety of reasons: problems with residency certifications, languagebarriers,and supplemental costs are only some of the factors which prevent themfromreceiving an education alongside other children their age. (CHRD)[v]

ForcedEviction and Demolition

Jiangsu Man Sentenced to Five Monthsin Prison for Resisting Forced Eviction

On February 24, CHRD spoke with Zhang Yurong (章玉荣), aRugao City, Jiangsu Province resident who was arrested and sentenced tofivemonths in prison for resisting the forced demolition of his home.According toZhang, on the morning of August 29, 2009, without any advance notice,and withoutfollowing proper procedures, an official from the City Administrationand LawEnforcement Bureau (chengguan) led a group of men armed with hammersintoZhang's home. Zhang was detained by PSB officers at the scene whoclaimed thathe "used a hammer to strike and cause minor injuries to others" aftera fight broke out between Zhang and the city official. Police declaredtheywould detain Zhang for seven days and fine him 500 RMB; however, onSeptember3, Zhang was criminally detained, and later formally arrested for"intentionally injuring" the official. On January 18, 2010, Zhang wassentenced to five months in prison by the Rugao City Court and releasedonJanuary 28 based on time already served. Though Zhang has appealed hisconviction, the NantongCity Intermediate Court has yet to act onhis appeal. Zhang'shome was demolished while he was in detention. (CHRD)[vi]

Harassmentof Activists

PoliceSummon HangzhouActivist, Confiscate Computer

On the evening of February 24, Wei Zhenling (魏桢凌),member of the Pan-Blue Alliance of Chinese Nationalists, was summonedfrom hishome in Hangzhou by two police officers and taken to the local policestationfor questioning. At the same time, his home was searched by police, whoconfiscated a computer and flash drive. Wei was questioned for fourhours abouta couple of articles he had recently posted on the internet and allowedtoreturn home. Last month, Wei was released following one year and ninemonths inRTL in retaliation for his years of democracy and human rights work.(CHRD)[vii]

 Editors:David Smalls and Lin Sang

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

News updatesfrom CHRD

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

[i] "Hunan Activist Luo Qian Sent to Re-education throughLabor" (湖南维权人士罗茜被劳教), February24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100224125530_20055.html

[ii] "Wang Sen to Be Released in July" (王森今年七月将被释放),February 24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/wangsen/201002/20100225001250_20065.html

[iii] "Huang Qi Already Transferred to Chuandong Prison toServeSentence" (黄琦已被转到川东监狱服刑), February24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/huangqi/201002/20100224165627_20059.html

[iv] "Bijie, Guizhou Petitioner Lu Yanfei Taken Away,Detained byPolice" (贵州毕节访民路言飞被公安强行抓走关押),February 24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/fmzj/201002/20100224103410_20051.html

[v] "New Semester Begins in Beijing, More than 10,000Children ofMigrant Laborers Have No School" (北京新学期开学 上万农民工子女没学上), February 24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100224190039_20061.html

[vi] "Rugao, Jiangsu Homeowner Detained, Home ForciblyDemolished" (江苏如皋强拆民房,房主被拘役),February 24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100224103046_20052.html

[vii] "Hangzhou Person of Conscience Wei Zhenling Summoned,Has HomeSearched and Computer Confiscated" (杭州良心人士魏桢凌被传唤并查抄电脑),February 24, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201002/20100225005030_20067.html

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