China Human Rights Briefing August 3-9, 2011

Highlights

  • Updates on Detentions and Disappearances Related to the “Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown: The trial for Beijing rights activist Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), for “creating a disturbance,” will begin on August 12 at the Chaoyang People’s District Court. Her lawyer has encouraged the public and the media to try to attend the proceedings to help ensure a fair trial.

  •  Yao Lifa Seized in Beijing, Whereabouts Unknown: Hubei democracy activist Yao Lifa (姚立法), who had escaped in early July from incommunicado detention and fled to Beijing, was seized on August 6 in the capital by national security officers from his hometown. ThoughYao was last seen in the custody of the police, authorities are refusing to disclose Yao’s whereabouts to his family and friends.

ContentsArbitrary Detention

Enforced Disappearance

Harassment of Activists

Torture and Other Cruel,Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Special Notice

ArbitraryDetention Updateson Detentions and Disappearances Related to the“Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown RightsActivist Wang Lihong’s Trial Set for August 12 The public trialproceedings for Beijing activist Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), who has beenindicted on suspicion of “creating a disturbance,”will begin at 9 a.m. on August 12, at the ChaoyangPeople’s District Court’s Wenyuhe Courthouse. Wangis represented by defense attorneys Han Yicun(韩一村) and LiuXiaoyuan (刘晓原), whoselawyers’ license was finally renewed in late Julyafter a substantial delay. Han has encouragedmembers of the public and the media to apply toattend the proceedings in an attempt to helpensure a fair trial.The case against Wang stems from her involvement indemonstrations outside the sentencing hearing forthree netizens (the “Fujian Three”) in Fuzhou City,Fujian Province, in April 2010.   Since Wang’s case was transferred to thecourt, Han and Liu have met her once at the ChaoyangDetention Center, where she has been held sincebeing detained in March. They indicated Wang is ingood spirits and is confident that her actions donot constitute a crime, but that she is experiencingsome health problems, including aches and weightloss. (CHRD)[i] HarbinNetizenStill Detained After More Than Five Months CHRD has confirmed thatthe netizen Liang Haiyi (梁海怡, akaMiaoxiao [渺小]), of HarbinCity, Heilongjiang Province, remains criminally detained on suspicion of “inciting subversionof state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪), despite reports thatshe might have been released. Harbin activist Wang Lihong (王立红) has informed CHRD that,in early June, she and some friends werequestioned by police after they had gone to the Harbin No. 2Detention Center, where Liang has been held sinceFebruary 19, and tried unsuccessfully to visither. Little is known about Liang’s currentsituation, including her emotional state andphysical health, and her family is not able to becontacted. According to severalof Liang’s friends, Harbinpolice have stated that shehas refused to admit to accusations against her,which involve “posting information from foreignwebsites regarding ‘Jasmine Revolution’ actions ondomestic websites” like QQ, the popular Chinesesocial networking site. Beijinghuman rights lawyer LiangXiaojun(梁小军) had tried to representLiang, but her family did not give himauthorization, so he was not allowed to getinvolved in the case. (CHRD)[ii] Guangxi Court Upholds Village Chief’sConviction On August 2, theBeihai City Intermediate People’s Court upheld theconviction of Xu Kun (许坤), the village chief of Baihutou, BeihaiCity, Guangxi Province, on the charge of “operating an illegalbusiness.” The conviction relates to Xu’sefforts to lead fellow villagersin resisting land expropriation in Baihutou. NeitherXu’s wife nor his lawyer was present in court whenthe verdict was delivered because the court failedto give them adequate advance notice. After the courtfinished reading the decision, Xu and hisco-defendants, GaoShifu (高世福)and Zhang Chunqiong (张春琼), protested loudly andrefused to sign the document.    On April 29 of thisyear, the Yinhai District People’s Court sentencedXu to four years in prison for “operating anillegal business” and also fined him 200,000 RMB.Gao and Zhang were each given two years’imprisonment on the same charge and fined 150,000apiece. After beingelected village chief in August 2008, Xu began hisadvocacy against land expropriation, andsubsequently was subjected to government pressure,expelled from the Communist Party, and facedsurveillance and monitoring. He was initiallydetained in May 2010. Altogether, eight villagersfrom Baihutou have been convicted and imprisoned inrelated cases since October of 2009, either for“operating an illegal business” or “obstructingofficial business.” (CHRD)[iii] EnforcedDisappearance Yao LifaSeized in Beijing, Activist’s Whereabouts RemainUnknown On August 6, elections expert YaoLifa (姚立法),from Qianjiang City, Hubei Province, was seized byseven or eight plainclothes officers in Beijing,according to his wife Feng Ling (冯玲), who learned the news from friends inBeijing. Their friends told her that Yao identifiedthe officers as being from the national securityunit of the Qianjiang Public Security Bureau (PSB),and that they had seized Yao under the pretext ofFeng’s having filed a “missing person” report inJuly when Yao was disappeared. Despite having Yao incustody, Qianjiang authorities have refused to letFeng see him or tell her of his whereabouts. TheirBeijing friends have also called the Qianjiang PSBnational security unit to inquire about Yao, butofficers responded that they don’t know where he is.Yao fled Qianjiang and went to Beijing on July 4after escaping from incommunicado detention byjumping out of a building. Their friends also told Feng that Yao had severely hurt his lowerback during this escape, and that his injury hasgone untreated for over a month. They said Yao hadspent most of his time in Beijing resting in bed.(CHRD)[iv] Harassmentof Activists PoliceQuestion Sichuan Activist Huang Qi About HisRenewed Advocacy At noon on August 4, police took away Huang Qi (黄琦),activist and founder of TianwangHuman Rights Center, andquestioned him for several hours at the Yunxi PoliceStation in Wenjiang District, Chengdu City. Policeseized Huang from a teahouse when he was meeting Lei Zaiyue (雷再跃, aka Yutian [雨田]), an activist from Zhangjiajie in HunanProvince. Police let Huang go around5:30 p.m. after asking about the resumption of hisadvocacy work since leaving prison, including why hewas reporting on the rights of farmers whose landhad been expropriated and whether he was trying toincite suppressed citizens to defend their rights,such as Wenchuan County residents affected by theearthquake in May 2008. Releasedfromprison on June 10, Huang Qi had served a three-yearsentence for “illegal possession of state secrets” (非法持有国家秘密罪) related to sharing information withforeign journalists about protests by families whosechildren had died in the 2008 earthquake. (HumanRights Campaign in China)[v] Tortureand Other Cruel, Inhuman or DegradingTreatment and Punishment LawyerTangJingling Describes Torture During RecentDetention On August 6, CHRD spoke withGuangzhou-based human rights lawyer TangJingling (唐荆陵), who wasreleased on August 2 after more than five months ofillegal residential surveillance, and learned thatalthough Tang’s overall health is now pretty good,he was subjected to severe sleep deprivation whiledetained in Guangzhou. Takeninto custody on February 22 on suspicion of“inciting subversion of state power,” Tang said thathe was first taken on a “trip” and then detained inthe Dashi Training Center. Beginningon March 13, Tang was questioned for over a weekaround the clock by three rotating teams ofinterrogators, during which time he was notallowed to sleep or rest. After Tang began tosuffer from trembling, numbness in his hands, andchest pains, police allowed Tang one to two hoursof sleep per day. Beginning in April, policegradually permitted him to sleep for longerperiods of time each night. At the time, Tang toldhis guards that such sleep deprivation violatedprovisions of a UN treaty that China had ratified(the Convention against Torture), and said hewould bring a lawsuit against the perpetrators.Police responded that they were acting on “ordersfrom above.” When Tang requested a lawyer, thepolice gave him the same response: orders fromsuperiors prohibited Tang from hiring an attorney.   Police sent Tang back to his hometown,Yaojia Village in Hubei Province, after his release,having told him that he could not contact hisfriends or give media interviews. Before leavingGuangzhou, he was not permitted to see his wife, WangYanfang (汪艳芳),who was subjected to “soft detention”in their home while Tang was detained, and alsodeprived of contact with the outside world. Tang’swife has gone to Yaojia to reunite with Tang. (CHRD)[vi] SpecialNotice CHRDUrges Accountability, Lifting of PressRestrictions After Wenzhou Train Crash CHRD issued a statement about the Chinesegovernment response after the high-speed railwayaccident in Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, whichoccurred on July 23. CHRD pointed out the lack ofrespect for human life and other human rights abusesfollowing the tragedy, and urged the government totake measures to better handle its aftermath andprevent similar rights violations in the future.    To read the statement in Chinese, click here, and click here for theEnglish version. (CHRD)[vii]   Editors of this issue: Victor Clemensand Tanya Wang  Follow uson Twitter: @CHRDnet   Join us on Facebook: CHRDnet (NEW!)News updates from CHRD [i]“Special Attention: Trial forRights Activist Wang Lihong’s ‘CreatingDisturbance’ Case to Open August 12,” (特别关注:人权活动家王荔蕻“寻衅滋事”案8月12日上午开庭),August 8, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/812.html; “Special Attention: Wang LihongCriminal Charge Changed Back to ‘Creating aDisturbance,’” (特别关注:王荔蕻案涉嫌罪名再变回“寻衅滋事”),August 1, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_1848.html; “Case Against Wang Lihong Going toCourt, Many Willing to Testify,” (王荔蕻案将移送法院,多人愿为其出庭作证), July 17,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-post_17.html   [ii] “HarbinNetizen Liang Haiyi in Custody Over Five Months,”(哈尔滨网民梁海怡被羁押逾5个月),August 3, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/5.html “Individuals Affected by the CrackdownFollowing Call for ‘Jasmine Revolution,’” August2, 2011 (updated), http://chrdnet.org/2011/06/17/jasmine_crackdown/   [iii] “Verdict Upheld inSecond-Instance Trial of Beihai’s Xu Kun,” (北海许坤案二审维持原判), August 6, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_5694.html; “Health ofBeihai Rights-Defending Village Chief Xu Kun inPrison Worth Serious Consideration” (北海维权村官许坤狱中情况堪忧), April 30, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_30.html    [iv]“Feng Ling Uncovers Nothing at PoliceStation, Yao Lifa’s Whereabouts Still Unknown,” (秦永敏:冯玲找派出所无果 姚立法仍无下落), August 8, 2011,http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_323.html; “Yao Lifa’s Lower Back SeverelyInjured, No Information for Over 50 Hours SinceBeing Taken Away,” (姚立法腰部严重受伤,被带走逾50个小时没消息), August 7, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/50.html; “UrgentAttention: Elections Expert Yao Lifa Seized inBeijing,” (紧急关注:选举专家姚立法在北京被抓), August 6, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_3525.html   [v]“Huang Qi Freed, Expresses Thanks forWidespread Concern,” (黄琦已获自由感谢各界关注), August 4, 2011, http://rightscampaign.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_2263.html; “Huang Qi Taken Away by Police,Accompanying Dissidents and Petitioners FaceLimits on Freedom,” (黄琦被警方带走,陪同的义工和访民被限制自由), August 3,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_9073.html; “Urgent Attention: Wenjiang Police TakeAway 6/4 Tianwang Founder Huang Qi,” (紧急关注:六四天网创始人黄琦被温江警方带走), August 3,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_7583.html  [vi] “Human Rights LawyerTang Jingling Deprived of Sleep for Days DuringResidential Surveillance,” (人权律师唐荆陵监视居住期间 多日被禁睡眠), August 5, 2011,http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_4458.html; “Guangzhou Rights Defense Lawyer TangJingling Sent Back to Hubei Hometown,” (广州维权律师唐荆陵被送回湖北老家), August 2, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_9127.html  [vii]“CHRD Urges Accountability &Lifting of Press Restrictions—The ChineseGovernment Must Respect Human Rights in Handlingthe Wenzhou Train Crash,” August 3, 2011, http://chrdnet.org/2011/08/03/chrd-urges-accountability-lifting-of-press-restrictions/; “Cherish Life,Defend Human Rights—CHRD Network Statement on7/23 High-Speed Railway Disaster on Yong-WenLine,” (珍惜生命,捍卫人权——“维权网”就“7.23甬温线高铁特大车难”的声明),July 30, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/07/723_30.html

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