China Human Rights Briefing June 20-26, 2012

Top News
 
    •    Controls Tighten Around Activist Feng Zhenghu: Feng Zhenghu, the activist who now has been under house arrest in Shanghai for four months, continues to face heightened harassment. Most recently,authorities cut down branches outside of his residence so it would be easier to monitor him, and they also forced Feng to remove posters he had placed in his window as protest against his illegal detention.
 
    •    Two Tibetans Imprisoned, One Tibetan Monk Dies After Torture: In early June, two Tibetans were sent to prison, reportedly for refusing housing built by the government and after protesting in April against officials who many villagers believe had embezzled funds earmarked for the construction project. In addition, a Tibetan monk died in detention in Sichuan Province after being beaten and tortured, with no compensation offered to the victim’s family.
 
Contents
    •    Arbitrary Detention
    ◦    Tibetans Sent to Prison After Refusing Government-Built Housing
    ◦    Disabled Chongqing Petitioner Sent to RTL for 15 Months
 
    •    Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment
    ◦    Tibetan Monk Tortured, Dies in Custody
 
    •    Harassment of Activists
    ◦    Shanghai Police Step Up Control As Activist Feng Zhenghu Reaches Four Months of House Arrest
    ◦    Beijing Netizen Forced to Move After Seeing Chen Guangcheng’s Relatives in Shandong
    ◦    Sichuan Activist Chen Yunfei Blocked From Going Abroad for Exchange Program

Arbitrary Detention
 
Tibetans Sent to Prison After Refusing Government-Built Housing
 
Two ethnic Tibetans from the tense Aba (Tibetan: Ngaba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province were sent to prison in early June, reportedly for refusing to accept houses built with government aid, and also after protesting what was widely perceived as official corruption tied to the construction project. On June 2, the Aba County People’s Court sentenced Pulten (布丹)to three years’ imprisonment and Gyurko (杰果)to two years in prison, though the precise charges against them remain unclear. Pulten and Gyurko are among many residents who refused to accept keys to small houses built by the local government because they were being required to pay 10,000 RMB (nearly US$ 1,600) plus interest, for a total cost of 80,000 RMB (approx. US$ 12,500) per home. Before the cost requirements became known, the housing was supposedly being provided as free government aid. On April 14, Adhue villagers protested official moves to publicly honor local officials who they believed had embezzled public funds for the housing project. Armed police set upon the protesters, and nearly 100 villagers were injured and up to 20 detained in the incident. Besides Pulten and Gyurko, most of the others detained have reportedly been released, but Pema (白玛)of Peke Village is still being held in Ngaba County. Ngaba County is particularly tense as it is one of the major areas where self-immolations have taken place and also where anti-Chinese government demonstrations broke out in 2008. (TCHRD)[i]
 
Disabled Chongqing Petitioner Sent to RTL for 15 Months
 
A disabled petitioner from Chongqing, Dai Yuequan (戴月权), has been given a 15-month Re-education through Labor (RTL) punishment after being detained for seeking redress for grievances related to workplace injuries in Beijing. Interceptors from Tongliang County seized Dai on May 11 near the residence he was renting in the capital, and proceeded to blindfold, handcuff, and beat him. After Dai was forcibly returned to Chongqing, local police authorities informed Dai’s family that he was being criminally detained on charges of “disrupting social order.” Dai was then taken to the Xishanping RTL facility on June 11. Besides being beaten, Dai told his wife during a visit that his health has declined in the RTL facility and he has also been forced to undergo “training.” Dai Yuequan began petitioning after suffering a debilitating injury while making repairs in a reservoir and receiving little financial compensation to cover lost wages and medical costs. (CHRD)[ii]
 
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment
 
Tibetan Monk Tortured, Dies in Custody
 
A Tibetan monk has reportedly died after being tortured in police custody in Ganzi (Tibetan: Kardze) Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures in Sichuan Province, according to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). Karwang (卡旺)was seized in Xinlong (Tibetan: Nyagrong) County in mid-May on suspicionof putting up posters calling for Tibetan independence on the walls of a government building. The 36-year-old Karwang, who was from Nyagrong Monastery, was detained for about one week in Kangding (Tibetan: Dartsedo) County as authorities forced him to confess. Karwang refused to confess and was reportedly beaten and tortured before dying days later in detention. Authorities in Kangding then contacted Karwang’s relatives, who went to collect the monk’s body and brought it back to Xinlong while accompanied by armed police and several police vehicles. (TCHRD)[iii]
 
Harassment of Activists
 
Shanghai Police Step Up Control As Activist Feng Zhenghu Reaches Four Months of House Arrest
 
As the illegal house arrest of Shanghai activist Feng Zhenghu (冯正虎)meets its four-month mark, authorities have stepped up measures to restrict Feng’s freedom and harass him. Authorities have had branches outside the balcony connected to Feng’s residence cut off since a surveillance camera was being blocked by the limbs and leaves. In addition, authorities from the Wujiaochang Police Station ordered Feng to take down two posters—reading “Prisoner Feng Zhenghu” and “Under House Arrest for 115 Days”—that he had pasted in his window on June 20 to protest his ongoing detention. After the incident, Feng was summoned to the Daqiao Police Station and held until the early evening.
 
During Feng Zhenghu’s house arrest, which began on February 27, police officers from the Shanghai Public Security Bureau have prevented him from leaving his apartment on his own, and his relatives, friends, and supporters also have been blocked from visiting him. Among other deprivations, Feng’s phone has been tapped, cell phone confiscated, and internet connection cut off. (CHRD, CRLW)[iv]
 
Beijing Netizen Forced to Move After Seeing Chen Guangcheng’s Relatives in Shandong
 
Beijing netizen and writer Lu Haitao (卢海涛) is being evicted from his residence by his landlord, most likely due to Lu’s ties to activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), which include a recent visit to Chen’s relatives in Shandong Province. In the third week of June, Lu visited Chen Guangcheng’s mother and one of his older brothers, Chen Guangfu (陈光福), in Dongshigu Village. While Lu was on his way back to Beijing, his wife told him by phone that their landlord—who is likely under pressure from authorities—wanted them to vacate their home. This is only the latest incident of harassment against Lu, who has been an ardent supporter of Chen Guangcheng. In December 2011, Lu was given a 10-day administrative detention for “unlawful gathering” after he and others held banners expressing support for Chen in Linyi People’s Square. Lu then faced incessant police interrogation following Chen’s escape from house arrest on April 22, and Lu’s wife suffered a miscarriage after being harassed and summoned by police for days.
 
Though Dongshigu is no longer under lockdown, Chen Guangcheng clearly remains a very sensitive subject. Local authorities have issued warnings about not discussing Chen Guangcheng, and also have threatened Chen Guangfu’s family members with retaliation if they give media interviews or contact anyone outside the village. Chen Guangfu’ son, Chen Kegui (陈可贵), remains in police custody since being arrested in early May on a charge of “intentional homicide”after he wielded knives to fend off local officials and thugs who entered their family home in late April.(CHRD)[v]

Sichuan Activist Chen Yunfei Blocked From Going Abroad for Exchange Program
 
On June 16, authorities in Sichuan Province blocked activist Chen Yunfei (陈云飞)from boarding a plane to Europe, where Chen was going to take part in a human rights program. Border control officers and armed police at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport stopped Chen from boarding a flight to Amsterdam, where he planned to switch planes for Geneva to attend the program. National security officers subsequently questioned Chen about his purpose in going abroad. Chen was eventually let go. Chen Yunfei has been the target of police harassment for many years due to his human rights activism. (CHRD)[vi]
 
Editors: Victor Clemens and Wang Songlian

[i]“Tibetans Sentenced for Corruption Protest,”June 18, 2012, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy; “Farming Boycott Continues in Ngaba Village Against Detention of Fellow Villagers,”May 10, 2012, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy; “Tibetans Beaten, Arrested for Protesting Official Corruption,”April 17, 2012, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (Additional information received via email from TCHRD on June 20, 2012)
 
[ii]Police Question, Threaten Wife of Chongqing RTL Detainee, Petitioner Dai Yuequan” (重庆被劳教访民戴月权的妻子受到警方传唤威胁), June 22, 2012, CHRD;“Chongqing Petitioner Dai Yuequan Beaten, Sent to RTL After Being Seized in Beijing” (重庆访民戴月权在京被抓后遭殴打拘留劳教), June 20, 2012, CHRD
 
[iii]“Tibetan Monk Tortured, Dies in Custody,”June 19, 2012, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (Additional information received via email from TCHRD on June 20, 2012)
 
[iv]“Feng Zhenghu Questioned After Pasting Up Posters, Authorities Cut Tree in Order to Increase Monitoring” (冯正虎贴标语被传唤当局锯大树加强监控), June 20, 2012, CRLW; “Shanghai Rights Activists Blocked by Police When Trying to Visit Feng Zhenghu, He Maozhen Taken Away” (上海维权人士探访冯正虎遭警察阻拦,何茂珍被抓走), June 10, 2012, CHRD; “Activist Feng Zhenghu’s Illegal House Arrest Proves No Lessons Learned From Chen Guangcheng Abuses,”May 24, 2012, CHRD; “Shanghai Rights Activists See Feng Zhenghu, Held Under Soft Detention for More Than 70 Days, From House Window” (上海维权人士隔窗看望被软禁70余天的冯正虎), May 7, 2012, CHRD; “Feng Zhenghu Illegally Held Under House Arrest for 71 Days, Shanghai Petitioners Put Out Call of Concern” (冯正虎被非法拘禁71天,上海访民呼吁各界关注), May 7, 2012, CHRD; “Shanghai Rights Activist Feng Zhenghu Under Soft Detention for Over 20 Days, Petitioners Blocked From Seeing Him” (上海维权人士冯正虎被软禁20余天,访民看望被阻拦), March 16, 2012, CHRD; “Petitioners Go Visit Feng Zhenghu, Feng Taken Away to Police Station” (访民看望冯正虎,而主人却被国保带到派出所), March 16, 2012, HRCC; “Shanghai Rights Activist Feng Zhenghu Has Home Searched” (上海维权人士冯正虎被抄家), March 1, 2012, CHRD
 
[v]“Lu Haitao, After Visiting Chen Guangcheng’s Family Members, Being Forced to Move by Landlord in Beijing” (看望陈光诚家人,卢海涛被房东逼搬家), June 20, 2012, CHRD; “As Retaliation Mounts Against Chen Guangcheng Supporters, Netizen Hai Tao’s Wife Is Summoned, Miscarries Baby” (探访陈光诚遭秋后算帐,海涛妻子被传唤致流产), May 14, 2012, CHRD; “Three Netizens Detained, One Missing for Expressing Support for Chen Guangcheng” (因声援陈光诚三网友被拘一人失踪), December 7, 2011, CHRD; “Writer Lu Haitao, Netizen ‘1.3 Billion Citizens’ Held by Authorities in Linyi City” (快讯:作家卢海涛及网友“十三亿公民”遭临沂当局关押), December 7, 2011, CHRD; “Real Time Report on Group of Marriage Seekers in Linyi City (2)” (临沂征婚相亲团实时报道(2)), December 4, 2011, CHRD; “Real Time Report on Group of Marriage Seekers in Linyi City (3)” (临沂征婚相亲团实时报道(3)), December 4, 2011, CHRD
 
[vi]“Sichuan Democracy Activist Chen Yunfei Recounts Being Blocked From Going Abroad at Shuangliu Airport” (四川民主维权人士陈云飞在双流机场被阻止出关记), June 20, 2012, CHRD
 

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