China Human Rights Briefing August 10-15, 2011

Highlights

  • Updates on Detentions and Disappearances Related to the “Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown: The trial of Wang Lihong (王荔蕻) opened and concluded in the morning of August 12, with the verdict to be announced at a later date. The proceedings were procedurally flawed, according to her lawyer, and many individuals were temporarily detained around the time of the trial. In addition, Huang Chengcheng (黄成诚), a Chongqing resident initially detained on March 19, has been given a two-year RTL punishment for sending out “Jasmine”-related messages.
  • Anhui Dissident Suspected of “Inciting Subversion”: On August 15, CHRD learned that the charge on which the Bengbu City activist Wu Yuebao (吴乐宝) has been criminally detained is “inciting subversion of state power.” Wu was first taken into custody in mid-July, and his family and friends have not known since that time where he is being held.

ContentsArbitrary Detention

Harassment of Activists

Torture and Other Cruel,Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment

Citizens’ Actions

Arbitrary DetentionUpdates on Detentions andDisappearances Related to the “Jasmine Revolution”CrackdownWang Lihong’s TrialMarred by Procedural Violations; SupportersDetained by Police Later ReleasedOn August 12, the trial of human rightsactivist Wang Lihong (王荔蕻) for “creating a disturbance”took just two-and-a-half hours and was beset byprocedural violations, according to Wang’s lawyers.The trial was held at the Wenyuhe Courthouse of theChaoyang District People’s Court in Beijing, andconcluded without a verdict being announced. Hundredsof people—supporters, uniformed and plainclothespolice, journalists, and diplomats—gathered outsidethe courthouse. Chinese authorities detainedindividuals both in the days before the trial and inthe morning before the proceedings began.  After the trial, one of Wang’s lawyers, Han Yicun (韩一村), noted that the proceedingswere procedurally flawed and that the court hadessentially created the atmosphere of a “closed”trial. Han was hindered in his defense arguments sinceprosecutors were given more time during theircross-examination of Wang, and the judge interruptedboth Han and Wang as they were making theirstatements. Although the court haddeclared the trial open to the public, virtually allapplications to attend had been rejected,including from foreign diplomats. Also, only fiveseats in the small courtroom were designated forobservers, but two of them were occupied by uniformedpolice and two by plainclothes police; the other onewas occupied by Wang’s son, Qi Jianxiang (齐健翔). In their respective writtendefense statements (click to read full texts), HanYicun described the prosecution aspolitical persecution and argued for judicialindependence to ensure the protection of citizens’civil rights, while lawyer LiuXiaoyuan (刘晓原)pointed out numerous errors in the investigation andindictment.   Most of Wang’s supporters known to have beendetained have since been released, including at least20 individuals taken away outside the courthouse onthe morning of August 12. In addition, on August 13, Wu Huaying (吴华英), a defendant in the “FujianThree” netizens’ defamation case, was taken byinterceptors back to Fujian Province after beingseized in Beijing on August 11 and held in a blackjail. (Wang’s trial stemmed from her participation inprotests outside the sentencing hearing for thenetizens in April 2010 in Fuzhou City, Fujian.) Theactivist Zhao Lianhai (赵连海) was forcibly taken from hishome by more than 10 police officers after showing hissupport for Wang outside the courthouse. He wasreleased on the afternoon of August 13. (CHRD)[i]Chongqing Resident Sentto Two Years of RTL for “Jasmine”-Related MessagesHuangChengcheng (黄成诚), a Chongqing Municipalityresident initially detained on March 19, was issuedtwo years of Re-education through Labor (RTL) by theChongqing City RTL Committee on April 18 for sendingout “Jasmine”-related messages online. According tothe RTL decision, Huang is being punished for“inciting subversion of state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪) for messages he posted from February 20 toMarch 17 inviting others to meet him around theChongqing People’s Liberation Monument, where he wouldbe carrying flowers or “jasmine tea.” After takingHuang into custody, officers from the Bishan DistrictPublic Security Bureau questioned him continuously forthree days, during which time he was slapped and hadboiling water splashed on him. Despite such coercivemeasures, Huang insisted he had not participated in“Jasmine” activities. He is being held at theXishanping RTL facility in Chongqing, and those whohave seen him during brief visits have reported thathis mood is stable.    Huang had previously served three years inprison for “inciting subversion” for writing anarticle in 2004 calling on Chinese youth to not acceptthe “imprisonment of Communist ideology.” Huang is thesixth individual known to have been issued an RTLpunishment during the government’s crackdown followingonline calls for “Jasmine Revolution” in February.(CHRD)[ii] Hubei Activist, Detainedin February, Arrested for “Inciting Subversion”Gao Chunlian (高纯炼), an elementary schoolteacher, rights activist, and Charter O8signatory from Xianning City, Hubei Province, wasformally arrested for “inciting subversion of statepower” in April, according to his family. Publicsecurity officers began following Gao after a “JasmineStroll” protest in Wuhan City on February 27, and theytook him into custody on February 28, just after Gaopublished an article online. Authoritieshave refused to allow his family to contact him. Amember of Gao’s family stated on August 8 that theonly information they have about Gao is an arrestnotice dated April 2 issued by the Wenquan branch ofthe Xianning Public Security Bureau.    An active online discussant about China’s humanrights situation, Gao is the tenth individual known toCHRD to have been formally arrested as part of the“Jasmine Revolution” crackdown.  (CHRD)[iii]Sichuan Activist RanYunfei Released, Begins Six-Month “ResidentialSurveillance” In theevening of August 9, Ran Yunfei (冉云飞), a prolific writer, blogger,and activist from Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, wasreleased after being detained since February, and heis now beginning a six-month term of residentialsurveillance at home. A friend contacted a member ofRan’s family who confirmed that Ran was at home, butthat he was unable to have contact with anyone. Ranexpressed thanks for the concern and support of theoutside world during his detention, and hoped that hisfriends would be understanding about the limits placedon his communications. His family member explainedthat “during the six months of residentialsurveillance, it’s not convenient for Ran to acceptinterviews or speak publicly.” Ran had initially beentaken into custody on February 20 on suspicion of“subversion of state power,” but he was arrested inMarch on the charge of “inciting subversion.” (CHRD)[iv]  Read further about individuals affected by thecrackdown, as documented by CHRD: http://chrdnet.org/2011/06/17/jasmine_crackdown/Anhui Dissident Wu YuebaoSuspected of “Inciting Subversion”On August 15, CHRD learnedthat the activist Wu Yuebao (吴乐宝), from Bengbu City, AnhuiProvince, is being criminally detained on suspicion of“inciting subversion of state power.” The charges stemfrom statements Wu made via Twitter that “abused”leaders of the Chinese Communist Party. Wu wasinitially taken away by police on July 14, when hishome was searched and several items confiscated,including a computer. He then completed 10 days ofadministrative detention and was subsequently takeninto criminal detention. Sin­­­ce Wu was first takeninto custody in mid-July, his friends and family havenot known where he is being held. (CHRD)[v] Guangdong Petitioner Heldin Psychiatric Institution for Past Five MonthsLuo Yinghua (罗映华), a petitioner and rightsdefender from Xiongzhou Town, Nanxiong City, GuangdongProvince, has been held since March in a psychiatricinstitution in Lechang City, Guangdong, in retaliationfor petitioning over a forced eviction and homedemolition. She went to Beijing in mid-March topetition, but was taken back to Guangdong by XiongzhouTown public security officers and personnel from theXiongzhou Letters and Visits Office. They tricked Luointo getting into a vehicle, and then took her toYuebei No. 3 People’s Hospital (a psychiatricinstitution) in Lechang City, where they have held herever since. Though little is known about Luo’ssituation, her son, Chen Zhiwen (陈志文), saw Luo on July 25 anddescribed her as being in a very bad state. He isworried that the treatment his mother—who is notmentally ill—is being subjected to is taking a severetoll on her. Luo began petitioning in 2004 after shewas abducted and then beaten by a deputy police chiefin connection with the forced demolition of her home.(CHRD)[vi] Harassment of ActivistsSecurity Officers ConfineHunan Activist During International SportsCompetitionCHRD has learned from Luo Qian (罗茜), a longtime rights activistfrom Xinning County, Shaoyang County, Hunan Province,that national security officers on August 11 forciblytook him away to Guilin City, Guangxi Province, wherethree officers are confining and monitoring him in ahotel. He stated that Xinning County officers arerestricting his freedom because he is considered an“unstable element” who needs to be watched carefullyduring the 2011 Summer Universiade, which is beingheld in Shenzhen. In late July, Luo returned homeafter serving a RTL punishment issued in January 2010for “disrupting social order” for his investigation ofthe suspicious death of Yang Kuansheng (杨宽生), the former vice-mayor ofWugang City, Hunan Province. (CHRD)[vii]Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, orDegrading TreatmentHunan Activist Beaten,Subjected to Solitary Confinement in RTL FacilityHunan rights defender Peng Xinzhong (彭新忠), of Chenzhou City, HunanProvince, has been subjected to beatings and solitaryconfinement in a small cell in the Chenzhou RTLfacility, according to friends and family. Afterlearning about Peng’s situation, family members twicewent to the RTL facility to meet him but were refused.Peng was sent to RTL for one year in March for“disrupting official business” after setting offfirecrackers outside of Chenzhou City governmentoffices and presenting grievances to the municipalparty committee. Officials cited this as evidence inthe RTL decision, though it is believed that Peng wasdetained ­­­­­to keep him from petitioning in Beijing.  Peng was previously sentenced to four years inprison for “malicious accusation” after reporting oncorruption among local officials in 2005. Though theconviction was overturned on appeal, officialscontinued to harass Peng and have detained him on fourseparate occasions. Lawsuits brought by Peng havefailed to bring a satisfactory resolution to thesituation. (CRLW)[viii]Citizens’ ActionsAizhixing CriticizesHubei Police Crackdown on Sex WorkersOn August 10, Aizhixing, aBeijing-based health rights NGO, issued an open lettercriticizing a recent crackdown on sex workers by theXiangyang City police in Hubei Province. According tomedia reports, on August 3, Xiangyang police raided 45“illegal” rental apartments and confiscated and burnedthe bedding on the premises. Aizhixing argues thepolice’s actions violated laws and regulations, sincethe raid was not conducted in response to alleged actsof prostitution, and that the raid and the destructionof bedding constitute a violation of private propertyrights. Aizhixing also is critical of media reports onthe raid, which have included pictures of condomsfound on the premises, implying the use of condoms asevidence of prostitution. (Aizhixing)   Editors of this issue:Victor Clemens and Wang Songlian Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnet  Join us on Facebook: CHRDnet(NEW!)Newsupdates from CHRD [i]“Liu Xiaoyuan: Defense Statement in First Hearingof Wang Lihong Case for Creating a Disturbance,” (刘晓原:王荔蕻寻衅滋事案一审辩护词), August 14, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_8059.html;“Rights Defender Wu Huaying, Held forGoing to Beijing to Support Wang Lihong, ReturnsHome to Fujian,” (维权人士吴华英因上北京声援王荔蕻被押送回福建),August 13, 2011, http://rightscampaign.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_9909.html;“Wu Huaying: Diary of Black Jail Experiences AfterGoing to Beijing to Assist Wang Lihong,” (吴华英:进京声援王荔蕻遭遇黑监狱记), August 15, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_2629.html; “LawyerHan Yicun: Defense Statement on Behalf of WangLihong,” (韩一村律师:王荔蕻案辩护词),August 12, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_12.html;“Petitioners from All Over Come to Beijing toSupport Rights Defense Activist Wang Lihong,” (各地访民前往法院声援维权人士王荔蕻), August 12, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_3130.html?spref=tw;“Trial Concludes for Human Rights Activist WangLihong, Lawyer Calls the Proceedings Unjust,” (人权活动家王荔蕻案结束庭审,律师指审判不公), August 11, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_7932.html?spref=tw;“Wang Lihong Trial Opens, Supporters’ Applicationsto Observe Denied,” (王荔蕻案开庭,现场声援者申请旁听被拒), August 11, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_9093.html?spref=tw;“Fujian Rights Defender Wu Huaying Held in “BlackJail” in Beijing,” (福建维权人士吴华英在北京被关入“黑监狱”), August 11, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_6533.html?spref=tw;“Before Wang Lihong Trial, Many Prevented FromGoing to Beijing, Others Put Under SoftDetention,” (王荔蕻案开庭在即,多人赴京被阻或遭软禁),August 11, 2011,http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_7525.html   [ii] “Chongqing Resident Sentto Two Years of RTL for ‘Jasmine Speech’,” (重庆市民黄成诚因“茉莉花言论”被劳教), August 14, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_9207.html    [iii] “GaoChunlian of Xianning, Hubei Arrested for“Inciting Subversion of State Power,” (湖北咸宁市高纯炼被以“煽动颠覆国家政权罪”逮捕), August8, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_6850.html?spref=tw  [iv] “SichuanWriter Ran Yunfei Returns Home as Punishment‘Changes to Residential Surveillance,’” (四川作家冉云飞被“改为监视居住”回家), August 9, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_1655.html  [v] “Anhui Dissident WuYuebao Suspected of ‘Inciting Subversion of StatePower,’” (安徽异议人士吴乐宝被控涉嫌“煽动颠覆国家政权”), August 15, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_888.html;“Bengbu, Anhui Dissident Wu Yuebao CriminallyDetained, Several Rights Defenders Warned byPolice,” (安徽蚌埠异议人士吴乐宝被刑拘,多名维权人士被警告),July 24, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-post_8787.html?spref=tw;“Wu Yuebao Not Released When Detention PeriodEnds; Li Wenge Taken Away, Has Home Searched,” (吴乐宝到期未放,李文革被带走抄家), July 24, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-post_24.html;“Urgent Alert: Bengbu Democracy Rights Activist WuYuebao Has Home Searched, Is Detained,” (紧急关注:蚌埠民主维权人士吴乐宝被抄家拘留), June 18, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-post_6893.html  [vi] “Petitioning Over ForcedDemolition, Luo Yinghua of Nanxiong City,Guangdong Province Held in Psychiatric Hospitalfor Five Months,” (广东省南雄市遭强拆访民罗映华被关精神病医院达5月之久), August 8, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/5_08.html  [vii] “On Eve of SportsConference, Hunan Rights Defender Luo QianConfined in Faraway Location,” (大运会开幕前夕,湖南维权人士罗茜被异地囚禁), August 13, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_8588.html   [viii] “HunanRights Defender Pen Xinzhong Beaten in RTLFacility,” (湖南维权人士彭新忠劳教所内遭殴),August 14, 2011, http://www.msguancha.com/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=14537; “Hunan Activist Peng XinzhongSent to Re-education through Labor” (湖 南维权人士彭新忠被劳教), April 29, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_78.html

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