China Human Rights Briefing April 11-17, 2012

Top News
 

    Petitioner reported rape by interceptor, police refuse to investigate:in one of the most egregious cases of violence against petitioners, Zhu Guiqin from Liaoning Province reported to CHRD that she was raped by a man dispatched by the local government to punish her for petitioning, and yet the police refuse to file the report or to investigate.

 

    Another Guangzhou netizen under criminal detention for participating in a rally that called on officials to disclose their assets and in support of Premier Wen Jiabo’s call for political reform. Netizen Ou Ronggui is the second activist confirmed detained after Xiao Yong.

 
Contents

    Arbitrary Detention
        Shandong Petitioners Receive 15-Day Administrative Detentions
        Disabled Woman Sent to 18 Months of Re-education through Labor for Petitioning
    Liaoning Petitioner Zhu Guiqin Raped by Interceptors, Police Refuse to Investigate
        Guangzhou Netizen Ou Ronggui Criminally Detained for Participating in Rally Calling for Political Reform
        More news stories related to arbitrary detention
    Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
        Suzhou Police Reject Six Applications for Demolition Victims to Rally
    Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment
        Petitioners Tortured and Detained for 38 Days
    Forced Eviction and Demolition/Land Expropriation
        1,400 Farmers Demonstrate against Land Expropriation by Village Cadres
        Elderly Couple’s Home Demolished without Compensation, Prior Notice
    Legal Rights
        Jiangxi Activists Seek Investigation, File Accusations Over Recent Rights Violations

Arbitrary Detention
Shandong Petitioners Receive 15-Day Administrative Detentions

Two Shandong residents, Zhang Ruilian (张瑞莲) and Yang Zhenting (杨振亭), have been issued 15-day administrative detentions after being taken into custody while petitioning in Beijing. On April 12, Beijing police officers and interceptors from Shandong seized four petitioners outside of a guesthouse in Fengtai District. While two in the group were allowed to go home, public security officers from Laizhou City subsequently issued administrative punishments to Zhang and Yang, whose detentions run to April 27. They are currently being held in the detention house at the Laizhou City Public Security Bureau. Zhang has petitioned in recent years over harassment from authorities and financial issues related to a mine that she co-owns with her husband. (CHRD)[1]
 
Disabled Woman Sent to 18 Months of Re-education through Labor for Petitioning
After she was intercepted in Beijing, Zhao Guixiang (赵桂香), a petitioner from Shulan City in Jilin Province, was first administratively detained for 10 days before she was sent to 18 months of Re-education through Labor (RTL). Zhao was at her rented flat in Beijing when over ten police officers and officials from her hometown burst into the property. They seized her mobile phone, identity card, petitioning materials, and then forced her into a vehicle and drove her to Shulan City, where she was first subjected to 10 days of administrative detention and then sent to a RTL facility to serve for 18 months. The official reasons for her detention are unclear. Zhao has been petitioning since 2004 after she was disabled in a traffic accident, when the authorities allegedly failed to properly evaluate the level of her disability. (CHRD)[2]
 
Liaoning Petitioner Zhu Guiqin Raped by Interceptors, Police Refuse to Investigate
Veteran petitioner Zhu Guiqin (朱桂芹), from Fushun City in Heilongjiang Province, was kidnapped and raped in Beijing by unidentified men allegedly hired by the local government between April 11 and 13, in one of the most serious incidents of violence against female petitioners CHRD has documented. On April 11, Zhu was kidnapped off the streets in Beijing and stuffed into a van. The men confiscated her identity card, mobile phones, USB drive, bank cards and cash, hooded her and tied up her hands and feet. They told her that it was the local government that had paid them, and that they had been instructed to “do away with her in five days.” Half an hour after Zhu was kidnapped, the van stopped and her captors told a man named “Xiao Hai” to get into the van. This man then molested and raped her. Afterwards Zhu was driven for half an hour more, where she was taken to a small windowless room and held for two days. On April 13, Zhu was driven back to Fushun City. She was met by the vice party secretary of the subdistrict office in front of her home. She continued to be held in her home for three days, during which she called both the local and the Beijing police, but both refused to investigate. After Zhu was released from house arrest, she went to the local police station, but the police officers again refused to file her case. (CHRD)[3]
 
Guangzhou Netizen Ou Ronggui Criminally Detained for Participating in Rally Calling for Political Reform
Another Guangzhou resident, Ou Ronggui (欧荣贵), has been criminally detained for participating in the March 31 rally in Guangzhou City calling on officials to disclose their assets and in support of Premier Wen Jiabo’s call for political reform. Ou was formally placed under criminal detention for “illegal assembly” on April 4, according to the arrest warrant issued by the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau (PSB) Tianhe Subdivision, which Ou’s sister received on April 11. According to the previous notification from Tianhe PSB dated April 2, Ou was only subjected to 10 days of administrative detention. It is unclear what prompted the change of detention measure to criminal detention. Ou is the second activist confirmed to be criminally detained for participating in the rally after Xiao Yong (肖勇). A number of others, including Huang Wenxun (黄文勋) from Guangdong Province and Yang Chong (杨崇) from Jiangxi Province, have been taken into custody in relation to the rally but no further information is available about their fate. On March 31, a group of about 10 netizens gathered in Guangzhou’s city center and marched, holding signs calling for democracy and transparency. (CHRD)[4]
 
More news stories related to arbitrary detention
“Gansu Netizen Faces Indictment for ‘Inciting Subversion’ for Posts on Microblogs and Blogs” (陈平福被控“煽动颠覆国家政权”,因病被监视居住) April 16, 2012.
 
“Three Independent Candidates Released from Administrative Detention in Chengdu City” (成都双流警方报复性拘留的独立候选人三人获释), April 14, 2012.
 
Beijing Activists Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin’s Daughter Subjected to Soft Detention at Home (北京维权律师倪玉兰之女董璇被软禁), April 11, 2012.
 
Beihai Lawyer Yang Zaixin Barred from Using Computer and Cellphone While under Residential Surveillance in a “Designated Location” (北海维权律师杨在新被剥夺通讯权), April 12, 2012.
 
Three Hubei Petitioners Taken Away for Photographing in Tiananmen Square, Whereabouts Unknown (湖北三访民在天安门广场拍照被抓后失去音信),  April 12, 2012.
 
Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
Suzhou Police Reject Six Applications for Demolition Victims to Rally

Authorities in Suzhou have deprived local petitioners of their right to assembly by rejecting six applications for them to hold a rally to protest government corruption and actions that led to their homes being violently demolished. Since late December, a special armed police unit has turned down the string of applications submitted by Wu Qihe (吴其和) and others. The unit chief has claimed the rally is unlawful and would constitute the crime of “disrupting social order.” In order to try to get a rally approved, the petitioners have repeatedly sought out the unit, redrafted the application according to police specifications, and also contacted relevant agencies, but all to no avail. Besides not granting permission for the rally, police have also refused to issue a written decision to the petitioners. (CHRD)[5]
 
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment
Petitioners Tortured and Detained for 38 Days

Two petitioners from Nanchang City in Jiangxi City were detained and tortured for 38 days for petitioning in Beijing about government corruption between June 10 and July 28 in 2011. On June 10, 2011, the petitioners, Wei Haijin (魏海金) and Xiong Jianjun (熊建军) were taken to the police station in Fota Village Police Station in Nanchang City and interrogated about their earlier petitioning trips to Beijing. A group of about 13 thugs, led by the village’s party secretary arrived and took the two petitioners away. They were first taken to an undisclosed location where they were detained, beaten three to four times daily, forced to kneel, given no water, fed little food, and subjected to other forms of humiliating treatment. They were then transferred to a second location in the mountains, where they were severely beaten by wooden clubs while leaning over chairs and forced to kneel (sometimes on sharp gravel). The two were released only after they had signed guarantees that they would not petition in Beijing again, and that their previous petitioning activities were false accusations against the government. (CHRD)[6]
 
Forced Eviction and Demolition/Land Expropriation
1,400 Farmers Demonstrate against Land Expropriation by Village Cadres

On April 9, 1,400 villagers demonstrated on the streets of Mudan City in Heilongjiang Province, protesting against the illegal expropriation of village land for commercial purposes. The villagers, holding banners with the slogan “safeguard the interests of the people, punish corruption and return our farmland,” were met by large groups of police officers. The police cordoned off the streets and dispersed the protestors, injuring a number of them and took into custody about 20. The villagers are from Wugou Village, which has about 5,000 inhabitants. The villagers allege that the village cadres illegally expropriated about 750 mu (about 0.5 km2) of orchard and used it to build commercial properties for private gain. The villagers had repeatedly petitioned higher authorities but without avail. The villagers also staged a small demonstration a few days before, but the government made no response. (CHRD)[7]
 
Elderly Couple’s Home Demolished without Compensation, Prior Notice
In the morning of April 12, the home of an elderly couple was demolished by Nanning City government in Guangxi Province without compensation or prior notice. Just slightly past 7am on April 12, a crew of about 100, made up of hired thugs and government officials and police officers from Liangqing District government in Nanning City, arrived to demolish the home of Wei Yaorong (韦耀荣) and Yu Linlian (玉月莲) without prior announcement. The crew burst into the couple’s home, forcibly removed them, who is 79 and 78 years old, and bulldozed the building, burying with it all their belongings. The couple fainted and was sent by their family to a local hospital. The crew also prevented the couple’s family from taking pictures of the demolition and seized the camera, threatening to detain anyone who dared to continue photographing. When their son asked the demolition crew to present government documents that might have authorized the action, the heads of the Liangqing District and the district’s legal affairs office told him simply that it was the order of the Liangqing Party and the Liangqing district government. Although the district authorities had signed an agreement with the couple that they would receive one million RMB (roughly USD 158,600) in compensation for their 605m2 home built in 2005, the compensation never materialized. (CHRD)[8]
 
More recent news related to Forced Eviction and Demolition:
 
Shandong Court Ignores Evictees’ Application for Suit against Local Government for Violent Eviction (山东临沂中院拒绝受理民告官,受害人给院长发督办信(图)), April 13, 2012.
 
Legal Rights
Jiangxi Activists Seek Investigation, File Accusations Over Recent Rights Violations

Three activists and independent People’s Congress candidates from Jiangxi have pursued legal procedures related to blatant rights violations they have endured in the past two months. In doing so, their principal aim is to establish an official record since the incidents are unlikely to be investigated, much less taken up in a court. Liu Ping (刘萍), Li Sihua (李思华), and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平)—all frequent targets of harassment by Xinyu City authorities—havefaced even greater abuses of late, particularly since around the time of the “Two Meetings,” having been arbitrarily detained, beaten, and robbed of property. Authorities have refused to assume legal responsibility over any of the illegal behavior. On April 9, Liu Ping went to a police station to demand they look into rights violations she endured over two weeks in March—including being strip-searched, severely beaten, and held in a black jail—but officers acted indifferently. Later that day, Li Sihua handed over to officers a report of harassment he suffered after being detained following his return from a training program abroad, but one officer told him that they could not deal with the issue.On April 10, Liu, Li, and Wei Zhongping—Wei was detained for nearly three weeks from late February, and suffered broken ribs and fractured bones in his spine from a beating—went together to file accusations about abuses at the Yushui District People’s Procuratorate. The staff accepted the trio’s materials but refused to issue a certificate confirming their receipt, simply stating the activists will be contacted if higher authorities decide to docket the case. (CHRD)[9]

Editors: Victor Clemens and Wang Songlian

[1]“Laizhou, Shandong Petitioners Zhang Ruilian and Yang Zhenting Issued 15-Day Detentions” (山东莱州访民张瑞莲、杨振亭被拘留15天), April 13, 2012, CHRD;“Laizhou, Shandong Petitioners Jing Meijie, Zhang Ruilian Taken Away By Police, Whereabouts Unknown” (山东莱州访民荆美杰、张瑞莲被公安带走下落不明), March 1, 2012, CHRD
 
[2]“Jilin Petitioner Zhao Guixiang Kidnapped by Local Interceptors, Detained and Sent to RTL” (吉林访民赵桂香被地方绑架拘留劳教(图)), April 15, 2012.
[3]“Liaoning Petitioner Zhu Guiqin Kidnapped and Raped, Police Ignored Her Report” (辽宁访民朱桂芹遭绑架奸污,报案警方不理), April 16, 2012.
[4]CHRD, “Guangzhou Citizen Ou Ronggui’s Administrative and Criminal Detention Notices” (广州公民欧荣贵的行政、刑事拘留书(图)), April 12, 2012.
[5]“Suzhou Demolition Victims Have Six Applications for Protest Rally Rejected” (苏州拆迁访民连续6次申请游行遭拒), April 13, 2012.
[6]“Jiangxi Nanchang Petitioner Detained for 38 Days, Tortured” (江西南昌访民遭关押38天被施酷刑), April 16, 2012.
[7]CHRD, “Heilongjiang Mudan City 1,400 Farmers Demonstrate on the Streets Against Cadres’ Land Sale for Private Gain” (黑龙江牡丹江市1400农民上街抗议干部私卖土地), April 11, 2012.
[8]CHRD, “Government Setup Trap to Obtain Signature to Agreement, Nanning Home Forcibly Demolished in Guangxi Province” (政府设局骗签协议广西南宁一民宅被强拆), April 12, 2012.
[9]“Three Independent Candidates, Rights Activists from Xinyu City, Jiangxi Report, Pursue Lawsuit Over Detentions, Beatings, and Thefts”(江西新余三位独立参选人、维权人士就被关、被毆、被抢事件报案并起诉), April 12, 2012, CHRD; “Jiangxi Independent Candidate Wei Zhongping Reveals Details of Black Jail Detention, Beatings During ‘Two Meetings’” (“两会”期间,江西独立参选人魏忠平被殴打的详细情况), April 2, 2012, CHRD; “Liu Ping: Encounters Horrible Treatment in ‘Black Jail’ During ‘Two Meetings’” (刘萍:“两会”被关“黑监狱”遭虐经过), March 25, 2012, CHRD; “Xinyu, Jiangxi Rights Activists Li Sihua, Wei Zhongping & Others Put Under ‘Soft Detention’” (江西新余维权人士李思华、魏忠平等被软禁), March 2, 2012, CHRD; “Independent Candidate Li Sihua Taken Away by Police at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (Part 1)” (独立参选人李思华在广州白云机场被“警方”带走(之一)), February 29, 2012, CHRD
 

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