China Human Rights Briefing October 18-24, 2012

China Human Rights Briefing
 
October 18-24, 2012
 
Contents

Arbitrary Detention
    •    Beijing Activist Ni Yulan’s Health Worsening, Medical Parole May Be Sought
    •    Shanghai Activist Mao Hengfeng Criminally Detained After Being Seized in Beijing
    •    Village Head in Guangdong Criminally Detained After Protest
Harassment of Activists
    •    Beijing Dissident Hu Jia Under Tighter Restrictions, Facing Health Concerns As Party Congress Nears
Harassment of Human Rights Lawyers
    •    Rights Defense Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan’s Firm Forced to Close After Licensing Standoff

 
Arbitrary Detention
Beijing Activist Ni Yulan’s Health Worsening, Medical Parole May Be Sought

Ni Yulan (倪玉兰), the Beijing housing rights activist serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for “creating a disturbance,” has a thyroid tumor that is not being treated, according to her daughter, Dong Xuan (董璇), who visited Ni on October 19 at a prisoner transfer station in Beijing, where the tumor was detected. Separated by a glass partition and monitored by police officers, Ni and Dong Xuan spoke for about a half hour, during which Ni told her daughter of her new medical problem. Ni was sent to the prisoner transfer station on September 25 and will likely be transferred to a women’s prison very soon. Although Dong Xuan and Ni’s lawyer, Wang Quanzhang (王全章), believe that Ni’s condition qualifies her for medical parole, authorities have rejected earlier applications for Ni to be released on health grounds. Ni Yulan was detained in April 2011 as part of the Jasmine Crackdown, tried in December, and sentenced this past April.[1]
 
Shanghai Activist Mao Hengfeng Criminally Detained After Being Seized in Beijing

Mao Hengfeng (毛恒凤), a longtime reproductive rights and housing activist from Shanghai, has been criminally detained on a charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” after being intercepted in Beijing several weeks ago, according to a CHRD source. Currently being held at the Yangpu District Detention Center in Shanghai, Mao has been out of contact since September 30, around the time that she was reportedly being followed by two plainclothes police officers. Police are not allowing Mao’s family members, who are in the process of hiring a lawyer, to visit her in detention. Mao began petitioning when she lost her job in 1988 after refusing to terminate a pregnancy, and has been subjected to torture and other mistreatment while detained numerous times for her rights activism.[2]
 
Village Head in Guangdong Criminally Detained After Protest

A village chief in Guangdong Province, Fan Shuihe (范水河), who has been fighting for the land and water rights of fellow villagers for the past eight years, was criminally detained on October 3 in connection with an incident involving the blocking of a road at the entrance to Dadong Village. During the protest, which took place on October 2 and 3 in Lianzhou City, police officers barged into Fan’s home and seized him on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order.” Fan has insisted that he had nothing to do with the protest, however, and even tried to dissuade villagers from blocking the road. The police violently suppressed the protest, resulting in the hospitalization of several Dadong villagers. The protestors demanded the return of their land and rights to the underground river beneath it, which, through a suspicious deal between the local government and private developers, was turned into a tourism area. The villagers have not benefited economically from the tourist attraction. Fan is currently being held at the Lianzhou Detention Center.[3]
 
Harassment of Activists
Beijing Dissident Hu Jia Under Tighter Restrictions, Facing Health Concerns As Party Congress Nears
 
With Beijing police holding dissident Hu Jia (胡佳) under house arrest for over a month, the harsher restrictions in place as the 18th Party Congress approaches may be taking a toll on his fragile health. Hu, who suffers from liver disease, has reportedly seen a decline in his health since he has not been allowed to go out and buy fresh produce or get regular sunlight, and thus is not getting the essential nutrition that doctors have recommended. On October 23, police took Hu to a hospital for a routine physical exam that he has twice a month, appointments that recently have been his only opportunity to leave his home. Preliminary results show that he has a liver hemangioma and cysts on his liver—common signs of liver problems—but for now exclude the possibility of liver cancer. Under tighter restrictions since September 18, Hu has also not been able to see his parents, though they have been bringing food to him, and police recently seized another person who tried to drop off food. Hu has been under heavy surveillance since his release from prison in June of 2011 after serving three and a half years for “inciting subversion of state power,” and is still feeling the effects of beatings from earlier this year at the hands of those monitoring him.[4]
 
Harassment of Human Rights Lawyers
Rights Defense Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan’s Firm Forced to Close After Licensing Standoff

Beijing rights defense lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原) has determined he has no other option but to shut down the Qijian Law Firm, which he heads, since it is operating without a license due to the government’s ongoing refusal to complete the assessment required for Chinese law firms to operate legally. Since April 2011, officials from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice (BOJ) have blocked it from being licensed, when last year’s annual assessment of firms began. The BOJ has given Liu the runaround when he has inquired about the issue, leaving him no choice but to apply for the firm’s closure. Liu has said that if he does not apply to close his law firm, there is no way he can work as a lawyer, nor would he be able to transfer to another law firm. A longtime target of harassment for his work on rights defense cases, Liu went missing for five days in April 2011 after being called in for questioning as part of the Jasmine Crackdown. Police also have prevented him from leaving China, claiming that his departure would “endanger state security.”[5]

Edited by Victor Clemens and Joan Wen

[1] “Beijing Human Rights Activist Ni Yulan Suffering From Illnesses, Family Set to Apply for Medical Parole” (北京维权人士倪玉兰身患疾病,家人欲申请保外就医), October 22, 2012, WQW; “’Fraud’ Charge Against Ni Yulan Tossed Out, ‘Creating a Disturbance’ Punishment Upheld,” (倪玉兰“诈骗罪”撤销,夫妇二人仍因“寻衅滋事罪”获刑), July 28, 2012, WQW; “Verdict to be Announced April 10 for Detained Activist Ni Yulan, Husband Dong Jiqin” (被羁押一年的倪玉兰夫妇将于4月10日开庭宣判), April 7, 2012, WQW; “Dozens of Petitioners Detained for Trying to Attend Hearing of Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin” (数十位访民欲旁听倪玉兰夫妇宣判遭关押), April 10, 2012; “Petitioners who Tried to Attend Ni Yulan’s Verdict Hearing Were Detained for Nearly Eight Hours” (倪玉兰开庭各地在京访民欲旁听被警方关押近8小时), April 10, 2012; “Witnesses Harassed Before Lawyer Ni Yulan’s Trial for Creating Disturbance” (倪玉兰律师被控寻衅滋事案开庭前证人被控制), December 28, 2011, WQW; “Ni Yulan, Husband Go To Trial, Many At Scene Taken and Held at Police Station” (倪玉兰夫妇庭审,现场多人被抓往派出所), December 28, 2011, WQW; “’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, WQW; “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, WQW; “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, WQW; “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, WQW; “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, WQW; “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, WQW; “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, WQW
 
[2] “Shanghai Rights Activist Mao Hengfeng Goes Missing in Beijing, Cui Fufang Seized by Police”
(上海维权人士毛恒凤北京失踪,崔福芳被警方带走), October 18, 2012, WQW; “Well-Known Shanghai Rights Activist Mao Hengfeng Searched, Detained in Beijing Without Reason” (上海知名维权人士毛恒凤在京无故 遭盘查扣押), September 29, 2011, HRCC; “Shanghai Activist Mao Hengfeng Seeks Treatment Outside of Detention for Torture Suffered During Re-education through Labor” (上海维权人 士毛恒凤所外就医, 劳教期间遭受酷刑), February 22, 2011, WQW
 
[3] “Fan Shuihe, Village Head in Guangdong, Criminally Detained” (广东维权村长范水河被刑拘), October 18, 2012, WQW; “Villagers Defending Rights Block Road in Datong Village in Lianzhou, Guangdong, Confirm Village Head Criminally Detained” (广东连州大同村村民维权堵路,确认村长刑拘), October 14, 2012, WQW; “Violent Home Demolition in Lianzhou City in Guangdong, Many Hospitalized, Taken Into Custody” (广东连州市暴力强拆,多人住院与被抓), October 3, 2012, WQW
 
[4] “Beijing Rights Defender Hu Jia Under Soft Detention for Over a Month, Health Deteriorating”
 (北京维权人士胡佳被软禁月余,身体每况愈下), October 23, 2012, WQW
[5] “Liu Xiaoyuan, Head of Qijian Law Firm in Beijing, Now Has No Option But to Apply To Shut Down” (今刘晓原为主任的北京市旗鉴律师事务所无奈申请注销), October 12, 2012, WQW; “Rights Defense Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan’s Qijian Law Firm Still Has Not Passed Annual Registration After Nearly One Year” (维权律师刘晓原的旗鉴律师事务所年检被卡近一年), March 26, 2012, WQW
 
 

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