China Human Rights Briefing August 16-22, 2011

Highlights

  • Updates on Detentions and Disappearances Related to the “Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown: Guangzhou-based lawyer Liu Shihui (刘士辉), who went missing in February and was released on bail in June, reveals the torture he suffered while in police custody. Also, the “inciting subversion” cases against Sichuan activists Chen Wei (陈卫) and Ding Mao (丁矛) have been transferred for a second time to the procuratorate, while Beijing netizen and writer Hu Di (胡荻) was recently found to be held in a psychiatric hospital.
  • AIDS Activist, Activist-Writer Released: Two prominent activists, Tian Xi (田喜) and Lü Gengsong (吕耿松), were released over the past week after completing prison sentences. An AIDS activist from Henan Province, Tian went home on August 18 after a one-year sentence during which he endured grim prison conditions. Lü, a prolific writer and democracy activist from Hangzhou, was freed on August 23 after serving four years in prison for “inciting subversion.”
  • Closure of Beijing Schools Jeopardizes Migrants’ Children: The Beijing Municipal Education Commission has ordered the closure of about 30 local schools for children of migrant workers. Guidelines issued to remaining schools will make it difficult for thousands of children to become enrolled, and there is concern that many affected children won’t be able to continue their studies despite the government’s plans to arrange for them to access education.

ContentsArbitrary Detention

Harassment of Activists

Harassment of Human RightsLawyers

Forced Eviction andDemolition/Land Expropriation

Right to Education

ArbitraryDetentionUpdates onDetentions and Disappearances Related to the“Jasmine Revolution” CrackdownSichuanActivists’ Cases Submitted to Procuratorate forSecond Time The cases of twoSichuan activists who have been formally arrested for“inciting subversion of state power,”* DingMao (丁矛) of MianyangCity and Chen Wei (陈卫)from Suining City, have been submitted to the localprocuratorates for the second time, according to theirfamilies. After the local public security bureausfirst submitted their cases to the procuratorate, thecases were sent back for further investigation due toinsufficient evidence. Under Chinese law, aprocuratorate can only review a case twice beforeeither dismissing it or transferring it to a court. The two activists are among10 people documented by CHRD to have been formallyarrested as part of the “Jasmine Revolution”crackdown. Ding, who was seized from his home onFebruary 19 and formally arrested on March 25, isbeing held at the Mianyang City Detention Center. Chenwas criminally detained on February 20 and formallyarrested on March 28, and is being held at the SuiningCity Detention Center. (HRCC)[i]GuangzhouLawyer, Released in June, Reveals Torture DuringDisappearanceLiu Shihui(刘士辉), a Guangzhou-basedhuman rights lawyer released on bail on June 12, hasspoken openly for the first time about torture hesuffered during his disappearance. On February 25,Guangzhou police searched his home and confiscated anumber of items before taking him into custody. Oncein police control, Liu was deprived of sleep andrepeatedly interrogated for five straight days. Hisleft leg, which was broken by a group of unidentifiedindividuals while Liu was waiting at a bus stop toparticipate in the February 20 “Jasmine Revolution”protests in Guangzhou, had become swollen. Thoughalready very thin, he reportedly lost weight while hewas held. From what he endured, Liu is now in poorhealth and has trouble sleeping. Also, against Liu’srepeated wishes, police took his wife, who isoriginally from Vietnam, into custody withoutproducing any legal documentation. Police held herillegally for 17 days before sending her back toVietnam. (CHRD)[ii]Netizen-WriterHu Di Now in Psychiatric Hospital; Police SeizeVisitorCHRD learned on August19 that the Beijing netizen and writer HuDi (胡荻), who had beenmissing since March, is currently being held in apsychiatric hospital. After rumors spread that Hu isbeing held in the Hefei No. 4 Hospital (a psychiatrichospital), netizen Zheng Tao (郑涛, aka @LuoFee [罗非])went to the hospital on August 19 and saw Hu for avery short time before a doctor accompanying himdemanded Zheng leave and finally dragged him away.Zheng reported that Hu was in good spirits but hadgrown thin, and that Hu indicated he had been held inthe hospital for more than 10 days by the time of thevisit. It remains unknown why Hu is being held at theinstitution, whether his family can visit him, or whathappened to Hu during his months of disappearance.  On August 21, officers fromthe Hefei City Public Security Bureau (PSB) took awayZheng, and he cannot be contacted at the time ofwriting. Before being seized and driven off in anunmarked vehicle, Zheng sent a Twitter message outindicating that the police had contacted him and werecoming to get him, presumably since he had visited Hu.(CHRD)[iii]AuthoritiesDismiss Appeal, Lawsuits Pursued on Behalf ofChongqing Resident in RTL CHRD learned on August17 that Chongqing authorities dismissed anadministrative appeal and administrative litigationlawsuit pursued by the family of HuangChengcheng (黄成诚),a Chongqing resident issued two years of Re-educationthrough Labor (RTL) in April. Inthe administrative appeal, Huang’s family arguedthat he was only responsible for some of the speechdescribed in the decision. The Chongqing MunicipalRTL Committee dismissed the appeal on August 4, andthen made corrections to the text in the decision onAugust 5 without lifting the punishment. OnAugust 8, Huang’s family went to the Chongqing No. 1Intermediate People’s Court to file the lawsuitagainst the RTL committee, contendingthat the legal provisions in the RTL decision wereapplied incorrectly, but the court refusedto file the case.  Detained on March 19 andcurrently held at the Xishanping RTL facility, Huangwas sent to RTL for “incitingsubversion of state power” for allegedly sending“Jasmine”-related messages in February and March thatinvited others to meet around the Chongqing People’sLiberation Monument, where he would be carryingflowers or drinking “jasmine tea.” (CHRD)[iv] Read more about individualsaffected by the crackdown, as documented by CHRD, at:http://chrdnet.org/2011/06/17/jasmine_crackdown/Writer-ActivistLü Gengsong Released, Others’ Face Restrictions inMovementOn August 23, thewriter and democracy rights activist LüGengsong (吕耿松), fromHangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, was released fromXijiao Prison after completing a four-year sentencefor “inciting subversion of state power.” Prior to hisrelease, authorities attempted to restrict the freedomof dissidents who had planned to receive him outsidethe prison. Wei Zou (邹巍)was forcibly taken by Hangzhou National Securityofficers on a “trip” to nearby Lin’an City. Inaddition, dissident Wu Yilong (吴义龙) was taken away for“tea” by the police. A member of the ChinaDemocracy Party, Lü Gengsong was initially detainedfor “inciting subversion” in August 2007, convicted ina closed trial in January 2008, and later sentencedthe to four years in prison. (CHRD)[v]AIDS Activist Tian XiFreed, Subjected to Grim Conditions in DetentionIn the earlymorning of August 18, Tian Xi (田喜),an AIDS activist from Xincai County, Henan Province,was released and taken back to his home by authoritiesafter completing a one-year sentence for “intentionaldestruction of property.” Tian was reportedly held invery poor conditions at the Shangcai County DetentionCenter, as he was kept in an unheated cell and notprovided adequate nutrition. Tian suffers a myriad ofillnesses due to complications from AIDS, includinghepatitis B and C, and due to his ongoing fragilehealth, his lawyer had previously requested he bereleased on medical parole, but authorities refused.  Tian, who has worked foryears to defend the rights of AIDS patients, wasdetained and then arrested in August of 2010 after adispute with the director of the Number One People’sHospital in Xincai County, where he contracted AIDS asa young boy from a tainted blood transfusion. Histrial was held last September, and the Xincai CountyPeople’s Court eventually convicted him in February.(CHRD)[vi]HeilongjiangFarmer Sentenced, Had Advocated for Son Disabledby VaccinesYang Yukui(杨玉奎), a farmer from TieliTown, Tieli City, Heilongjiang Province, was sentencedon August 15 to five months for “creating adisturbance” by the Xicheng District People’s Court inBeijing. The case stemmed from Yang’s efforts to seekaccountability and treatment for his five-year-oldson, who Yang believes was made ill by faultyvaccinations given by a Tieli hospital on the day hewas born. On July 27, officers from the XichengDistrict Public Security Bureau took Yang into custodyafter he went to the Beijing Children’s Hospital toobtain medical care for his son. After an argumentbroke out between Yang and the doctors, the officerscame and took him away under the pretext of mediatingthe situation, but then arrested him. The judge atYang’s trial ignored requests from Yang and hisattorney to view hospital surveillance video thatcould have proven his actions hadn’t constituted acrime. In June, security personnelfrom the Beijing hospital beat Yang and his wife, Zhou Suying (周素影)on three separate trips they made there to addresstheir son’s situation. Yang had also approached theMinistry of Health about his child’s problems, only tobe beaten by ministry security officers and driversfrom the local health bureau. (CHRD)[vii]Hebei PetitionerSent to RTL, Whereabouts Unknown CHRD has learned thatMa Lijun (马丽君),a petitioner from Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province,who was seized in Beijing in early August, has beensent to 18 months of Re-education through Labor (RTL)for “disrupting public order,” according to herhusband, Jin Qi (金琪).Jin received a notice on August 22 from theShijiazhuang RTL Management Committee outlining thepunishment, which began on August 9. But the noticedoes not reveal where she is being detained and, inviolation of RTL regulations, her family was nevertold of a hearing before she was sent to RTL. Jincontacted the local police chief about the situation,but the chief told Jin that the matter was out of hishands. Jin then was unable to contact the RTLcommittee to find out about his wife, as thecommittee’s number was not listed in the telephonedirectory. According to Jin, various local authoritieshave reprimanded and threatened him for giving mediainterviews about his wife’s case. (CHRD)[viii]FuzhouPetitioners Issued Detentions for Leafleting inFront of U.S. EmbassyOn August 11, Beijingpolice issued five-day administrative detentions toeight petitioners from Cangshan District, Fuzhou City,Fujian Province, who had passed out leaflets outsidethe U.S. Embassy after their grievances over homedemolitions hadn’t been resolved through petitioning.In Beijing, officers from the Chaoyang District PSBtook into custody and ordered detentions for, amongothers, Zhang Xiuping (张秀屏),LinDongfa (林东发), Zheng Borong (郑伯榕),HuShuyuan (胡淑媛), and Lin Hong (林鸿).In addition, Zhang was taken to the Chengmen PoliceStation once she was back to Cangshan and ordered toserve a 10-day administrative detention for the sameoffense. (HRCC)[ix]ShandongPetitioners Seized in Beijing for Contacting“Hostile” WebsitesCHRD learned on August19 that Beijing police officers recently seized agroup of five petitioners from Danxian County,Shandong Province, according to a friend of thepetitioners. The friend called the emergency numberseveral times, but police responded they did not knowwhere the petitioners were being held and were unableto help. Reportedly, the group was being held becausethey allegedly had “contacted websites run by hostileforeign elements.” The petitioners, who include Guo Nana (郭娜娜),had gone to Beijing after experiencing violentdemolitions of their homes, and had unsuccessfullypursued their grievances in Beijing for a week by thetime they were seized. At the time of writing, thefate and whereabouts of the petitioners could not beconfirmed. (CHRD)[x]Police Take AwayHeilongjiang Petitioner From Tiananmen SquareOn the evening ofAugust 15, police at Tiananmen Square seized Chu Dongfang (初东方), a petitioner from Yanjiang Township,Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, as shedistributed leaflets about a life imprisonmentsentence issued to her brother, according to a fellowJiamusi petitioner. Chu, who had escaped on August 11after 11 days of detention in a black jail forpetitioning, was taken back into custody by policewhen she went to Tiananmen to pass out petitioningmaterials. Police on the scene questioned Chu and thenhanded her over to the Tiananmen Square branch of theBeijing Public Security Bureau. After being held atthe branch station until around midnight, Chu washanded over to interceptors from the HeilongjiangProvincial government, who took her to a black jail. Chu’spetitioning stems from a life sentence given to herelder brother in 2000. According to Chu, thedirector of the Yanjiang Police Station framed herbrother in the incident, and he fabricated evidencethat the Jiamusi City Intermediate People’s Courtweighed heavily in its verdict. For petitioning onher brother’s behalf, Chu had previously beenimprisoned for three years and has been detained ina black jail several times. (CHRD)[xi]Harassment ofActivistsAuthorities TakeAway Anhui Activist for Questioning, Search Home CHRD has learned that,on August 19, police questioned Li Wenge(李文革), an activist fromBengbu City, Anhui Province, and also searched hishome. After producing a search warrant and summons,members of the local national security divisionentered Li’s residence, confiscated a camera and thehard disk from his computer, and threatened his wife.Li came home later that evening after beinginterrogated, but without his property. A longtimerights activist, Li has recently been subject toheightened harassment for expressing support onlinefor fellow Bengbu activist Wu Yuebao (吴乐宝), who was criminallydetained in July for “inciting subversion of statepower” after sending out messages on Twitter thatallegedly “abused” leaders of the Chinese CommunistParty. (CHRD)[xii]Guizhou OfficersBreak Up Rights Activity, Take Away KeyParticipants On August 20,authorities broke up a public activity organized bymembers of the Guizhou Human Rights Forum in GuiyangCity, Guizhou Province, and took away severalparticipants. The activity, where members of the Forumread aloud a list of citizens’ political rights anddistributed copies of political news downloaded fromdongtaiwang.com, a website blocked in China, was heldat the main entrance of Qingling Park. Guiyangnational security officers and up to 60 publicsecurity officers interfered with the activity, whichhad attracted many people. Police took away fiveorganizers and participants of the activity, includingMi Chongbiao (糜崇标),LiRenke (李任科), and Fan Houcheng (范厚成).They were released on August 22. (CHRD)[xiii]Shenzhen SecurityPersonnel Harass, Restrict Freedom of PetitionersAround Summer UniversiadeCHRD learned on August16 that, around the time of the Summer Universiade inShenzhen City, Guangdong Province, police haveharassed several petitioners and restricted theirmovement and personal freedom. On the morning ofAugust 15, seven or eight police officers from theShenzhen PSB and personnel from the Futian SubdistrictOffice went to the Citic Tower and tried to takepetitioner Yuan Peiwei (袁佩玮)away, but she broke free, returned to her office, andlocked the door. Officers threatened her and continuedto keep watch outside her office and only left after10 p.m. The next day, Yuan was monitored by personnelfrom the Huaqiang Subdistrict Office, who constantlywarned and threatened her while following her to aUniversiade soccer match. Several rights violationssuffered by other individuals have also been reported:

  • Zhao Guoli (赵国莉), a petitioner and rights activist, was seized and then detained in an apartment in Xinxiu Village before the Universiade began. A friend of Zhao who had come to Shenzhen to see her was also locked up by hired thugs. Li Xiaozhen (李小贞) and her husband, petitioners from Guangzhou who had gone to where Zhao was held, called the police. But officers ignored Zhao’s situation and instead took the couple to a police station, and a dozen officers later took them back to Guangzhou.
  • Luo Xiancai (罗贤才), a Shenzhen petitioner, was taken away on a “tour” of Yellow Mountain and Hangzhou after refusing to sign a letter of guarantee not to stir up trouble.
  • Petitioners Zeng Xiankai (曾宪开) and Zhou Xiufeng (周秀峰) were taken to Sichuan Province and being held in a guesthouse. (CHRD)[xiv]

Harassment ofHuman Rights LawyersPolice SeizeRights Lawyer in HarbinIn the morning ofAugust 18, police in Harbin City, HeilongjiangProvince seized human rights lawyer WuZhenqi (吴镇琦), who hadcome to Harbin from his home in Guangzhou City,Guangdong Province, to assist with the case of Yu Yunfeng (于云峰),a petitioner sent to two years of RTL in late July. OnAugust 18, after Wu had interviewed LiErping (李二平), a Harbinnetizen connected with the case, seven or eightofficers from the Northeast Forestry UniversitySecurity Division came and took them in forquestioning. Li was released that afternoon, but Wucontinued to be held. Attempts to contact Wu by phonehave failed. (CHRD)[xv]ForcedEviction and Demolition/Land Expropriation Hundreds inShanghai Protest for Days Over Land Requisition,DemolitionsSince August 17,several hundred residents from Anting Town, JiadingDistrict, Shanghai Municipality, have protested overland requisition and demolitions. The residents, whoreportedly have numbered more than 300, are demandingthe Shanghai government look into possibleillegalities in their local town government’s processof property demolition and land requisition, and alsoinvestigate those responsible. Police officers andsecurity guards have intimidated and threatenedprotesters, and security has been stationed around theAnting subway stop in an attempt to prevent residentsfrom reaching the city center. A number of individualshave been taken away to local police stations aftermanaging to reach the city to protest at thegovernment building. To try to quell the protest,Anting’s vice-mayor has ordered other local officialsto forcibly hold between 20 and 30 Anting residentsinside their homes. A staff member at the ShanghaiMunicipality Letters and Visits Office reportedly hastold protesters that they would not accept any oftheir grievances. (CHRD)[xvi]SichuanAuthorities Beat Women, Elderly OpposingEvictions, DemolitionsOn August 19,authorities beat women and elderly residents who hadgathered to protest land expropriation and homedemolitions in three villages in Shengdeng Township,Chengdu City, Sichuan Province. The previous day, 40local residents went to the township government toprotest, but the government refused to receive them.More than 20 women and elderly residents continued towait into the early morning of August 19, when a totalof about 50 police officers, security personnel,government personnel, and unidentified individualscame and beat the residents, who suffered variousinjuries. One elderly woman, ChenYunxiang (陈云香), was takento a hospital for treatment. Local residents accusethe local government of expropriating their landwithout following legal procedures, compensation orresettlement, of threatening and beating them, and ofhiring thugs to steal and damage their property.(CHRD)[xvii]Right toEducationClosure ofBeijing Schools for Migrant Workers’ ChildrenUshers in Educational, Social CrisesOn August 17, CHRDlearned that approximately 30 schools in Beijing forthe children of migrant workers have been orderedclosed by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission.Currently,guidelines issued by district and county governmentsaffected by the closures require that migrant workers’children who wish to attend public schools or approvedprivate school in the vicinity must disclose theso-called “five cards”: proof of absence of guardiansin their place of origin, an urban worker permit, anurban temporary residence card, proof of registeredpermanent residence (hukou),and proof of residence. However, it is extremelydifficult for rural migrants who have been in thecapital for a short time to acquire all of thesecertifications. Further exacerbating difficulties inaccessing education, many public schools make migrantspay a fee for their children to receive what shouldlegally be free education, and so-called approvedprivate schools are in fact quite rare. Activistsfollowing the situation are concerned that, despitethe Beijing Municipal Education Commission’s vow toensure education for those affected, many of thesechildren will be forced to discontinue their studies.(CHRD)[xviii] Editorsof this issue: Victor Clemens and Wang Songlian Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnet Join us on Facebook: CHRDnet (NEW!)Newsupdates from CHRD [i]“Stay Tuned: Bengbu Human Rights Activist Li WengeTaken Away by National Security, Has House Searched,”(敬请关注:蚌埠人权活 动人士李文革被国宝带走家被抄), August 19, 2011, http://rightscampaign.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_1312.html(*shandong dianfu guojiazhengquan zui

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