China Human Rights Briefing July 13-19, 2012

Contents
 

    Arbitrary Detention

Artist Hua Yong Sent to RTL Over Tiananmen Massacre Performance Piece
 
Beijing Activist Zhu Fuxiang Detained Nearly Eight Months Without Trial
 
Jiangsu Farmer Detained After Attempted Self-Immolation in Protest against Land Grab
 
Hunan Residents Beaten, Criminally Detained Over Home Demolition Conflict
 

    Freedom of Expression

Qinghai Man Detained on Political Charges for Online Expression
 
 

    Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Guizhou Activist Tortured During Prolonged Illegal Detention, Family Now Under Residential Surveillance
   
Arbitrary Detention
 
Artist Hua Yong Sent to RTL Over Tiananmen Massacre Performance Piece
 
Beijing-based artist Hua Yong (华涌) has reportedly been sent to Re-education through Labor (RTL) after being detained for performing an art piece memorializing the Tiananmen Massacre near the square on June 4. Hua’s lawyer, Liang Xiaojun (梁小军), only learned of the punishment early this week when he called the detention center to inquire about Hua, but an officer would not specify the alleged crime or length of the RTL term. Hua was seized just as he began his performance piece, for which he cut his middle finger and wrote “64” in blood on his forehead. Hua was criminally detained the next day on a charge of “causing a disturbance.” When Liang previously met with Hua at the Tongzhou District Detention Center, an officer told the lawyer not to discuss too many issues with his client, claiming that Hua’s case “involves state security” and may have been “instigated by foreign forces.”[1]
 
Beijing Activist Zhu Fuxiang Detained Nearly Eight Months Without Trial
 
Beijing petitioner-activist Zhu Fuxiang (朱福祥) remains locked up almost eight months since being taken into custody in late 2011. In early November, demolition company personnel stormed and forcibly demolished Zhu’s home, and police took him away later that month after he had petitioned over the demolition and also submitted an application to hold a demonstration. Zhu was then criminally detained on December 7 on a charge of “intentionally destroying property.” Due to lack of evidence, Zhu’s case has already been sent back twice for further investigation, and in April it appeared that he may be sent to Re-education through Labor, but a final decision never materialized. Now held at the Haidian District Detention Center, Zhu has helped many Beijing residents seek justice after their homes were forcibly destroyed, and he ran last fall as an independent candidate in a local People’s Congress election.[2]
 
Jiangsu Farmer Detained After Attempted Self-Immolation in Protest against Land Grab
 
Jiangsu farmer Liao Qiang (缪强), who attempted self-immolation in protest over a violent land takeover, has been detained on suspicion of “intentional injury” after three other individuals were also burned in the incident. The Rudong County Public Security Bureau issued a detention notice on July 19, though the notice was not signed by an officer. On April 10, Liao doused his body with gasoline and set himself on fire in a desperate attempt to try to protect his grain fields. While Liao was recovering from his injuries in a hospital, police took him into custody due to the charge against him. Liao is being held at the Rudong County Detention Center.[3]
 
Hunan Residents Beaten, Criminally Detained Over Home Demolition Conflict
 
A Hunan resident was recently beaten and his relative has ended up criminally detained over contentious home demolition issues. On July 11, Changsha police officers seized Xie Yan (谢燕), and her uncle, Zhou Sangui (周三桂), was summoned the next day to negotiate about the demolition of his home; however, the discussion broke down and Xie was placed in a detention center. With no demolition agreement in place, more than 20 unidentified individuals later came to Zhou’s home and took him away in handcuffs. After coming home, Zhou revealed that police had beaten him while he was handcuffed and shackled, claiming that he had “forged documents.” Meanwhile, Xie’s husband tried to secure his wife’s release, but on July 15 instead received notice of her criminal detention, which indicated that Xie had allegedly “forged certificates and seals.”[4]
 
Freedom of Expression
 
Qinghai Man Detained on Political Charges for Online Expression

Liu Benqi (刘本琦), a former People’s Liberation Army soldier  residing in  Qinghai Province, has been criminally detained on serious charges, most likely for posting his opinions online and contacting political dissidents. Public security officers from Ge’ermu City seized Liu from his home on July 18 and took him into custody on suspicion of “spreading rumors or slanders or using other means to incite subverting state power or overthrow the socialist system” (Criminal Law, art. 105 (2)). Days earlier, national security officers from three different provinces reportedly summoned Liu for questioning and confiscated two laptop computers from his home. Liu was allowed to return to his residence that same evening but indicated he had been threatened. Liu is being held at the Ge’ermu City Detention Center.[5]
 
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment
 
Guizhou Activist Tortured During Prolonged Illegal Detention, Family Now Under Residential Surveillance
 
After being held incommunicado and being physically abused for weeks, Guizhou democracy activist Mi Chongbiao (糜崇彪) returned home on July 8. His wife and two sons, in custody with him since June 2, were also released. The family now faces 24-hour residential surveillance that will reportedly last for six months. A member of the banned Guizhou Human Rights Forum, Mi and others openly demanded justice in Guiyang City People’s Square on May 28. Two days later, officers took Mi into custody, twisting his arms and causing bruises and breaking blood vessels. In his 70s, Mi was then interrogated for 25 straight hours with his hands tied to a chair. Not allowed to rest or eat, he fainted several times during the interrogation.Fearing Mi’s family would expose the abuses, officers from June 2 detained his wife and two sons in black jails with Mi. Both Mi and his wife fell ill during their detention and received medical care at a hospital, where Mi was beaten by an officer and suffered a broken nose and a concussion. Upon returning home, Mi found that police had confiscated a large amount of property as well as money. Authorities are reportedly willing to discuss the conditions of the family’s confinement if Mi promises to give up rights advocacy activities.[6]
 
Editors: Victor Clemens and Renee Xia
[1]“Artist Hua Yong Sent to RTL for Memorializing June Fourth Massacre” (艺术家华涌因纪念六四被劳教), July 17, 2012, WQW; “Beijing Artist Hua Yong Criminally Detained for ‘Creating a Disturbance’ for Commemorating June Fourth” (北京艺术家华涌纪念六四被以“寻衅滋事罪”刑事拘留), June 12, 2012, WQW; “Beijing Artist Hua Yong Taken Away by Police for Performance Art Commemorating June Fourth” (北京艺术家华涌行为艺术纪念六四被警方带走), June 5, 2012, WQW
 
[2]“Beijing Rights Defender Zhu Fuxiang Now Held Over 8 Months” (北京维权人士朱福祥被超期羁押逾8个月), July 16, 2012, WQW; “Beijing Independent Candidate Zhu Fuxiang Criminally Detained” (北京独立参选人朱福祥被刑事拘留), December 7, 2011, WQW
 
[3]“Rudong County, Nantong Resident Liao Qiang Detained” (南通如东自焚人缪强被刑拘), July 19, 2012, WQW
 
[4]“Changsha Victim of Forced Demolition Xie Yan Criminally Detained, Zhou Sangui Held, Beaten” (长沙拆迁受害人谢燕被刑事拘留,周三桂遭扣押殴打), July 18, 2012, WQW
 
[5]“Qinghai Dissident Liu Benqi Criminally Detained” (青海异议人士刘本琦被刑事拘留), July 19, 2012, WQW
 
[6]“After Release, Guizhou Democracy Activist Mi Chongbiao’s Details Torture” (特别关注:贵州民主人士糜崇彪获释后讲述遭受酷刑经历), July 17, 2012, WQW

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