China Human Rights Briefing June 27-July 6, 2012

Contents
    •    Arbitrary Detention
    ◦    Chen Kegui Remains Detained, Family Warned as Officials Offer Token Compensation
    ◦    Activist Song Ze Remains Held in Undisclosed Location
    ◦    UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Finds Chen Wei’s Imprisonment “Arbitrary”
 
    •    Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment
    ◦    Former 1989 Prisoner Tortured by Police in Shandong
 
    •    Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
    ◦    At Least Two Protesters Die in Clash Over Plans for Chemical Plant in Shifang

Arbitrary Detention
Chen Kegui Remains Detained, Family Warned as Officials Offer Token Compensation
 
A policeman who assaulted Chen Guangfu’s (陈光福) son Chen Kegui (陈克贵) during a late-April home intrusion in Shandong Province was recently handed a five-day administrative detention, with Linyi City officials also offering up compensation for a television destroyed in the incident. These appear to be the first official gestures in redressing the rampant illegal acts committed against the Chen family, including Chen Kegui, a nephew of activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光城), who was under house arrest for 19 months before his escape in April. Unidentified men had invaded Chen Guangfu’s house and injured his wife in the incident over two months ago. The local government has again warned Chen Guangfu, who revealed torture he endured in police custody in late April, not to give media interviews and to cooperate with officials, or else his son, arrested on an “intentional homicide” charge tied to the clash in the family home, may face a harsh punishment.[i]

Activist Song Ze Remains Held in Undisclosed Location

Legal advocate Song Ze (宋泽), a volunteer for the Constitution Initiative (Gongmeng) criminally detained in Beijing in May, is being held in an unknown location as authorities maintain that he is under residential surveillance. Song’s family and his lawyer, Liang Xiaojun (梁小军), have not received any documentation related to his ongoing detention, and Beijing police refuse to disclose Song’s whereabouts.Detained on May 5 on a charge of “creating a disturbance,” Song is believed to have tried to help the wife of Chen Kegui (陈克贵), the arrested nephew of activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光城), to reach Beijing after she was searched by police and went into hiding.[ii]

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Finds Chen Wei’s Imprisonment “Arbitrary”
A UN independent expert group, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), has found that the imprisonment of Sichuan activist Chen Wei(陈卫) on an “inciting subversion” charge is “arbitrary.” In an opinion issued at a WGAD session this spring, the UN experts stated “the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Chen is arbitrary, being in contravention of Article 19of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” and called on the Chinese government to “release Chen Wei and accord him an enforceable right to compensation.” (The full opinion, which directly references information provided by CHRD, is available on CHRD’s website.) Chen Wei is serving a nine-year prison term in Suining City in Sichuan. CHRD submitted Chen’s case to the WGAD alleging arbitrary detention on July 6, 2011, and offered additional comments in April 2012 after the Chinese government issued its own response on the case.[iii]
 
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment
 
Former 1989 Prisoner Tortured by Police in Shandong
 
Shi Xiaodong (史晓东), an activist imprisoned for five years over his role in the 1989 pro-democracy movement, was recently held overnight by policy in Shandong Province and tortured. On June 21, Shi was brought to a police station in Qingdao after a dispute with a computer repairperson who then called the police. Authorities took Shi away, handcuffed him, and secured his legs to a chair in an interrogation room, a position similar to when torture is done using a “tiger bench.”* Shi cried out in pain and protested, but was only loosened from the chair after several hours. Authorities refused to let Shi make phone calls or use the bathroom. Shi was allowed to go home the next morning after being held for nearly 10 hours. Shi’s hands are still numb as he recovers from numerous bruises, and he has been unable to identify his assailants, which makes it difficult to file a report of the incident.[iv]
 
Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
 
At Least Two Protesters Die in Clash Over Plans for Chemical Plant in Shifang
 
Protests against the construction of an alloy plant in Sichuan Province led to a violent conflict on July 2 between police and local residents that reportedly claimed at least two lives. While officials announced that the project would be put on hold until there is more public approval, authorities have tried to silence and intimidate those who have circulated information about the recent incident. After residents took to the streets in Shifang City, authorities sent out armed police and anti-riot officers, who used tear gas and flare bombs to try to disperse the crowd. Some protesters fought back in self-defense and injured officers by throwing beer bottles, pieces of brick, and other objects. According to eyewitnesses, a student died from being beaten, while a young man died in a hospital after being struck by a flare. Many were injured and more than 20 students were also taken into custody, and residents later went to the local government building to demand their release. Locals now fear retaliation, and police have been monitoring activists trying to verify allegations of the deaths, injuries, and detentions.[v]

Editors: Victor Clemens and Renee Xia

[i]“Police Officer Who Entered Home in Chen Kegui Case Given Detention, Officials Threaten Chen Guangfu” (陈克贵案入室警察被拘留,陈光福遭官员威胁), June 29, 2012, WQW; “China Human Rights Briefing: Special Edition – Lawyers Pose Challenge After Police Prevent Meeting With Chen Kegui,”May 22, 2012, WQW; “China Human Rights Briefing: Special Edition – Shandong Police Torture Chen Guangfu, Brother of Chen Guangcheng, As Relatives Live in Fear,”May 16, 2012, CHRD; Chen Guangcheng: A Special Bulletin – Updates on Situation of Chen Guangcheng & His Family Members, Relatives & Supporters Since Chen’s Flight for Freedom, July 2, 2012 (updated), CHRD; “The Chinese Government Must End Persecution of Chen Guangcheng, His Family & Supporters, Seek Accountability,”April 27, 2012, CHRD; “Chen Guangcheng Escapes, Several Relatives Seized” (陈光诚出逃多名亲人被抓), April 27, 2012, WQW
 
[ii]“Hubei Rights Defender Song Ze Put Under Residential Surveillance, Lawyer and Family Unaware of Location” (湖北维权人士宋泽被监视居住,律师及家人不知关押地点), June 30, 2012, WQW; “Hubei Activist Song Ze Accused of ‘Creating Disturbance,’ Lawyer Gets Permission to Visit” (湖北维权人士宋泽被控“寻衅滋事罪”,律师获准会见), May 15, 2012, WQW; Chen Guangcheng: A Special Bulletin – Updates on Situation of Chen Guangcheng & His Family Members, Relatives & Supporters Since Chen’s Flight for Freedom, July 2, 2012 (updated), CHRD
 
[iii]CHRD Submission on Chen Wei, July 6, 2011. For more information on Chen Wei, please see his “prisoner of conscience” profileon CHRD’s website.
 
[iv]“6/4 Political Prisoner Shi Xiaodong Endures Extreme Torture by Huangdao District Police”(“六四”政治犯史晓东遭遇黄岛恶警肉刑折磨), June 29, 2012, WQW [*Tiger bench: A torture victim is forced to sit upright on a long bench with hands tied behind their back. Their thighs are fastened to the bench while feet are raised off the floor by bricks, putting extreme strain on the knees. Torture using a “tiger bench” is extremely painful, especially when conducted for a long period of time.]
 
[v]“Residents of Shifang City, Sichuan Gain Initial Victory After Protesting Pollution, Demand Release of Detained Students” (四川什邡民众抗污染初步胜利,要求释放被关押的学生), July 4, 2012, WQW; “Residents in Shifang City, Sichuan Protest Pollution, Large Show of Police Clash With Citizens” (四川什邡市民抗议污染,大批警察与市民冲突), July 3, 2012, WQW; “Injured Shifang, Sichuan Citizens Remain Hospitalized” (四川什邡被打伤的民众仍在医院治疗), July 5, 2012, WQW
 

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