China Human Rights Briefing December 21-27, 2011
China briefing highlights:
- Longtime Activists Get Heavy Prison Sentences for “Inciting Subversion”: Over the past week, Sichuan activist Chen Wei and Guizhou activist Chen Xi were each given a lengthy prison sentence in another clear sign of Chinese authorities’ suppressive stance against freedom of expression.
- Trial Date for Ni Yulan, Dong Jiqin Set: After their case of “creating a disturbance” nearly went to trial in late November, Ni Yulan and her husband, Dong Jiqin, are now scheduled to be tried on December 29 in the capital.
- Guizhou Activist Chen Xi Sentenced to 10 Years for “Inciting Subversion”
- Writer Zheng Yichun, Imprisoned for “Inciting Subversion,” Released
- Human Rights Lawyer Tang Jingling, Wife Return Home After 10 Days of “Travel”
Updates on Detentions and Disappearances Related to Jasmine Crackdown
Democracy Activist Chen Wei Gets Nine Years in Prison for Speech Crime
On December 23, the Suining Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan Province rendered a guilty verdict against activist Chen Wei (陈卫) for “inciting subversion of state power,” sentencing Chen to nine years in prison and two years’ deprivation of political rights—the harshest sentence handed down so far to an activist detained in the Jasmine Crackdown (see CHRD’s statement). In its two-page indictment, the Suining Municipal People’s Procuratorate offered as “evidence” four articles that Chen allegedly published between March 2009 and January 2011.
On the day of the trial, about 200 police vehicles blocked the roads leading to the court, and several activists were taken away by police and temporarily detained. In the previous days, a number of activists were harassed, and judicial authorities issued warnings to Chen’s lawyers, Zheng Jianwei (郑建伟) and Liang Xiaojun (梁小军).
Authorities took Chen into custody on February 20, 2011, and formally arrested him for “inciting subversion” on March 28. The court twice sent Chen’s case back to the procuratorate for further investigation due to lack of evidence, and it eventually accepted the case in late November. Since Chen was detained, Suining authorities constantly prevented Zheng from visiting his client, and the two were only allowed to meet three times before the trial.
Chen Wei, 42 years old, was a student at the Beijing Institute of Technology when he became involved in the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests in 1989, which resulted in a prison term. About a year-and-a-half after his release, in May 1992, Chen was arrested for commemorating the June Fourth massacre and organizing a political party, and was sentenced to five years in prison. (CHRD)
Case of Ni Yulan, Dong Jiqin Set to Go to Trial on December 29
The case of “creating a disturbance” against Beijing lawyer Ni Yulan (倪玉兰) and her husband, Dong Jiqin (董继勤), is set to go to trial on December 29 at the Xicheng District People’s Court in the capital. Their daughter, Dong Beibei (董贝贝), has informed CHRD that the court is permitting her to testify on her parents’ behalf, and thus she will not be able to observe the trial. Previously, the court had announced that the couple’s trial would take place on November 24, but the case was sent back to the procuratorate for further investigation only the day before. This was a rare turn of events, for further investigation to be ordered after a trial date is set. Ni, also facing a fraud charge, and Dong have been detained since early April. (CHRD)
Guizhou Activist Chen Xi Sentenced to 10 Years for “Inciting Subversion”
On December 26, the Guiyang Intermediate People’s Court tried and then sentenced activist Chen Xi (陈西, aka Chen Youcai [陈 友才]) to 10 years in prison, with an additional three-year deprivation of political rights, for “inciting subversion of state power” (see CHRD’s statement). In announcing the guilty verdict, the presiding judge cited as “evidence” writings from 36 articles that Chen Xi published on various websites. The judge repeatedly interrupted Chen Xi and his lawyer, Sun Guangquan (孙光权), when they presented their defense arguments, and Chen was not allowed to give his final statement. He did tell the court he was innocent but later said that, given the problems with the legal system in China and the uselessness of trying to follow legal procedures, he would not appeal.
Chen is a member of the Guizhou Human Rights Forum, which was declared by Guizhou authorities as an “illegal organization” on December 5. His case was sent to the Guizhou Intermediate People’s Court on December 16, just five days after Chen’s family received notification of his arrest. Chen was arrested for “inciting subversion” on November 29.
Born in 1954, Chen Xi was imprisoned in 1989 for three years for participating in the pro-democracy movement. He was imprisoned again in 1996 for 10 years for “organizing and leading counter-revolutionary group,” and then released in 2005. (CHRD)
Writer Zheng Yichun, Imprisoned for “Inciting Subversion,” Released
Zheng Yichun (郑贻春), a well-known poet and writer from Liaoning Province, was released on December 19 after serving his full term of seven years’ imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power.” Although in good spirits, Zheng suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes, and is still recovering from an attack of cerebral thrombosis that occurred while he was in prison. Before his release, local police warned Zheng’s family that because Zheng is still subject to three years of deprivation of political rights, he will be imprisoned again if he “participates in illegal activities.” Zheng, the author of hundreds of articles on society and politics, was sentenced on September 22, 2005. (CHRD)
Human Rights Lawyer Tang Jingling, Wife Return Home After 10 Days of “Travel”
Beijing human rights lawyer Tang Jingling (唐荆陵) and his wife both returned home on December 27 after being held for 10 days by Guangzhou national security officers. The officers “summoned” and took away Tang in the evening of December 18—though they did not present a summons—and also took his wife with them. Tang told CHRD that officers questioned him about his call for attention to the recent protests against land expropriation in Wukan Village in Guangzhou. The protests ended last week after local officials offered concessions over the land dispute and a suspicious death of a man who had been held in police custody.
Earlier this year, Tang disappeared for months during the Jasmine Crackdown. He was taken into custody on February 22 and then placed under residential surveillance on suspicion of “inciting subversion” in early March at a location outside his home. He was released on August 1 and sent back to his hometown in Hubei Province, but was not allowed to return to Guangzhou until September. Tang and his family have been subjected to continued police surveillance ever since his release. (CHRD)
More recent news related to arbitrary detention:
“Fujian Activist Ji Sizun Under Soft Detention as Police Jittery about Rumored Strike on December 23” (福建维权人士纪斯尊被软禁（图）), December 21, 2011, CHRD
“Family of Four Detained for Suing Local Government in Jiangxi for Destruction of Forest” (江西省新余状告镇政府毁林一家两天四人被拘), December 21, 2011, CHRD
“Tianjin Activist Zhang Jianzhong Placed Under Soft Detention at Home” (天津维权人士张建中被软禁), December 24, 2011, CHRD
CHRD Issues Statement on Wukan Protests
On December 20, CHRD issued a statement (in Chinese) on the protests in Wukan Village, Guangdong Province, criticizing the use of arbitrary detention and torture of the villagers, as well as the cutting off of water, electricity, and communication between the villagers and the outside world as tactics to force the protestors to abandon their right activism. In the statement, CHRD called on the Chinese government to organize a credible team of citizens to investigate the alleged torture, release those villagers who have been detained, respect the committees chosen by the villagers through democratic elections, and implement the villagers’ three demands regarding expropriated land.
Editors: Victor Clemens and Wang Songlian
Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnet
Join us on Facebook: CHRDnet
 “Alert: Chen Wei Gets Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison” (紧急关注：陈卫案当庭宣判，获刑九年), December 22, 2011, CHRD; “Ouyang Yi Taken Away by Police as Activist Chen Wei’s Trial Nears” (维权人士陈卫案开庭在即，欧阳懿被警方带走), December 21, 2011, CHRD; “Court Hears the Case of Chen Wei, Charged with ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’ on December 23” (特别关 注：陈卫“煽动颠覆 国家政权案”本月23日开庭), December 23, 2011, CHRD; “Lawyer Zheng Jianwei Finally Allowed to View Documents for Chen Wei’s “Incitement” Case, But Again Blocked From Seeing Chen” (陈卫“煽动颠覆国家政权案”律师开始阅卷，会见再次遇阻), December 15, 2011, CHRD; “Trial of Chen Wei Imminent, Suining Court Notifies Lawyer to Get Copy of Indictment” (陈卫案开庭在即，遂宁法院通知律师取起诉 副本), December 9, 2011; “Chen Wei’s Attorney Set to Examine Case Documents, But Unable to Contact Judge” (陈卫案代理律师欲到法院阅案卷无法联系到 法官), December 6, 2011, CHRD; “Lawyer Again Blocked From Meeting Chen Wei, Dissident Charged With ‘Incitement’” (陈卫“煽动颠覆国家政权”案律师会见再次受阻), November 30, 2011, CHRD
 “’Creating Disturbance’ Case Against Ni Yulan, Dong Jiqin Going to Trial on December 29, Daughter to Testify” (北京倪玉兰夫妇“寻衅滋事案”29日开庭，女儿将出庭作证), December 27, 2011, CHRD; “On Eve of Trial, Case Against Ni Yulan, Husband Sent Back to Procuratorate” (开庭前 夕，北京维权律师倪玉兰夫妇案件退回检察院), November 23, 2011, CHRD; “Trial to Open for Beijing Rights Defender Ni Yulan, Husband for ‘Creating a Disturbance’” (北京维权人士倪玉兰夫妇“寻衅滋事案”即将开庭), November 21, 2011, CHRD; “Ni Yulan and Husband’s Case Sent Back to Public Security Branch Bureau for Further Investigation” (倪玉兰夫妇案件被退回公安分局补充侦查), August 28, 2011, CHRD; “Ni Yulan and Husband’s Case Transferred to Procuratorate, ‘Fraud’ Charge Added,” (倪玉兰夫妇案移送检 察院，再增“诈骗”罪), July 21, 2011, CHRD; “Arrests of Rights Defense Lawyer Ni Yulan and Husband Both Confirmed, Family Has Not Received Formal Notice” (倪玉兰夫妇双双被捕，亲属未收到法律文书), June 9, 2011, CHRD; “News Flash: Arrest of Human Rights Lawyer Ni Yulan Approved” (快讯：维权律师倪玉兰被批准逮捕), May 17, 2011, CHRD
 “Guizhou Human Rights Defender Chen Xi Sentenced to 10 Years, 3 Years’ Rights Deprivation” (贵州人权捍卫者陈西被判处有期徒 刑10年，剥权3年), December 25, 2011, CHRD; “Guizhou’s Chen Xi’s Case of ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’ Already Sent to Court” (贵州陈西涉嫌“煽动颠覆国家政权”案已被神速移交法院), December 17, 2011, CHRD
 “Freelance Writer Zheng Yichun Subjected to Restriction on Freedom of Movement After Release” (自由作家 郑贻春获释后人身自由仍受限制), December 20, 2011, CHRD
 “Rights Defense Lawyer Tang Jingling Returns Home After 10 Days of ‘Travel’” (维权 律师唐荆陵“被旅游”后回 家), December 26, 2011, CHRD; “Guangzhou Human Rights Lawyer Tang Jingling Has Not Returned Home After a Night of Being Summoned” (广州维权律师唐荆陵 被传唤一夜未归（图）), December 18, 2011, CHRD
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.