China Human Rights Briefing Weekly   December 28, 2010 January 3, 2011

Highlights

  • Children’s Rights and Food Safety Activist Zhao Lianhai Believed to Be Released: Zhao Lianhai (赵 连海), founder of the online advocacy group Kidney Stone Babies, has been released from prison on medical parole, according to a message posted on the group’s site and said to be written by Zhao himself. CHRD has so far been unable to independently verify that Zhao has been released, or that he was the author of the message.
  • Dissident Writer Li Hong Passes Away: On December 31, 2010, Zhejiang Province-based dissident and author Li Hong (力虹, whose given name was Zhang Jianhong [张建红) passed away, less than six months after he was released on medical parole from prison, where he was serving a six-year sentence for “subversion of state power.” He was 53 years old.  Sentenced in January 2007, Li was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, an incurable neurodegenerative disease, during his incarceration and his condition rapidly worsened over the course of his prison term.
  • CHRD Issues Report on Chinese Government's Protection of Children's Rights: CHRD has published a report (in Chinese) on the Chinese government's implementation of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, timed to coincide with the government's submission of their fifth periodic state report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.  The report is divided into three sections, focusing on the government’s record in promoting children’s rights to life and to health, to protection, and to education in the past five years. The report is available here.

Table ofContents

ArbitraryDetentionChildren’sRightsand Food Safety Activist Zhao Lianhai Releasedon Medical Parole, According to Statement

 

According to a message postedon the website of the online advocacy group KidneyStone Babies, activist Zhao Lianhai (赵 连海) has been released on medicalparole and is currently receiving treatment at anundisclosed hospital. The message, which ispurported to come from Zhao himself, states thatZhao refuses to speak with anyone about his case,acknowledges the punishment handed down to him bythe courts, and "wants to live a normal life."CHRD has so far been unable to contact Zhao or hisfamily to independently verify that Zhao has beenreleased on medical parole or that Zhao is theauthor of the online statement. Zhao, who foundedKidney Stone Babies in response to the 2008tainted milk powder scandal, was convicted of“creating a disturbance” and sentenced to two anda half years in prison on November 10, 2010.Zhao's apparent release on medical parole seems toconfirm earlier suspicions that he had beenpressured by officials into firing his lawyers anddropping his plans to appeal his conviction inexchange for this release. (CHRD)[i]

ZhejiangVillage Director FacesDetention for Leading Protests, Petitions overLand Seizure

 

On the evening of December 30,police in Anji County, Zhejiang Province arrivedat the home of Henglu village director JiangMiaotu (蒋 苗土) totake him away. However, Jiang was not at home atthe time. Police told Jiang's daughter that Jiangfaced nine days of administrative detention for aNovember protest outside of the local Bureau ofForestry, a protest which was connected to anearlier incident during which Jiang was beaten byBureau of Forestry employees while discussing adispute over village land. Another villager whotook part in the protests, Hu Chungen (胡春根), iscurrently subjected to seven days ofadministrative detention. In recent years, Jianghas led villagers seeking compensation for landrequisitioned by the government for a reservoir.(CHRD)[ii]

ShanghaiActivistDuan Chunfang Released Following 18 Months ofDetention

 

On January 2, Shanghaiactivist Duan Chunfang (段春芳) wasreleased from the Minhang District DetentionCenter following a year and half of detention for"obstruction official business." Duan's husbandand her brother-in-law traveled to the detentioncenter to greet Duan upon her release, butdetention center officials neglected to specify atime for her release and deliberately waited untilafter Duan's relatives had departed beforeallowing her to leave. Duan reported that food andmedical care in the detention center wereextremely poor, and her health suffered as aresult; at one point she had lost around 25kilograms. Duan was imprisoned after she wasseized by police at a local government office onJuly 3, 2009. At the time, she was negotiating thepayment of a hospital bill incurred after she wasbeaten and injured by security guards keeping herunder residential surveillance on June 22, 2009.Duan was later charged with “obstructing officialbusiness” (police claimed she attacked a policeofficer) and was sentenced to a year and a half inprison on October 23, 2009. (CHRD)[iii]

VeteranHenanPetitioner Seized in Beijing, Detained in BlackJail

 

On the morning of December 26,Henan province petitioner Ruan Kaixiang (阮开香) wasseized in Beijing by police along with eightbusloads worth of fellow petitioners. Ruan wasfirst detained in Jiujingzhuang, a central blackjail, before being turned over to interceptorsfrom the Tanghe County, Henan, government. Theseindividuals took Ruan to a black jail operated bythe Beijing Liaison Office of the Tanghe Countygovernment, where she remains detained as of thetime of writing. According to Ruan's husband, Ruanhas been similarly detained on a number ofoccasions, most recently during Legal PublicityDay on December 4 of this year. Ruan and herhusband have been petitioning since 1998, whenlocal family planning officials falsely accusedthem of violating family planning regulations,confiscated their tractor, and levied a steep fineagainst them, causing them to lose the land theyhad leased from the local government to cultivate.(CHRD)[iv]

HarassmentofActivistsZhejiangDissidents Placed under Soft Detention toPrevent Mourning for Writer Li Hong

 

Ningbo City, Zhejiang Provincedissident writer Zhang Jianhong (张 建红, also known by his pen name, LiHong [力虹]) passed away onDecember 31, less than six months after beingreleased from prison on medical parole. Zhang, whowas sent to prison in January 2007, developedmotor neurone disease, a fatal neurodegenerativedisease, while incarcerated, and his conditionrapidly worsened as he was reportedly deniedproper medical attention.Friends and supporters report they have beenunable to contact Zhang's family, and a number ofdissidents in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang, have beenplaced under soft detention or had their movementsrestricted by local officials to prevent them fromtraveling to Li’s home to pay their respects.Among those affected are dissidents Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫), WuYilong (吴 义龙), ZhuZhengming (祝正明), Chen Shuqing (陈 树庆), Wen Kejian (温克坚), ZanAizong (昝 爱宗), andMao Qingxiang (毛庆祥). (CHRD)[v]

UpdatesonPost-Nobel Harassment of ActivistsShaanxiActivist Zhao Changqing Released after More thanTwo Months of Soft Detention

 

On December 31, police inShaanxi Province released activist Zhao Changqing(赵常青)after more than two months of soft detention. Zhaoreturned to Xi'an City from Shanyang County, wherehe had been held since October 25. Before thisperiod of soft detention, Zhao was alsoadministratively detained for eight days inBeijing for celebrating the news that Liu Xiaobohad been awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.(CHRD)[vi]

Tortureand Other Cruel, Inhuman, or DegradingTreatment or PunishmentPoliceinGuangxi Lead Attack on Villager Who Petitionedabout Illegal Land Seizure

 

According to a report receivedrecently by CHRD, a family in Laofang Village,Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was attacked bya group of individuals led by a local police chiefon December 4. The head of the Liunan District,Liuzhou City, Public Security Bureau ledapproximately thirty others into the home ofvillager Li Fanghua (李芳华),where they beat Li and his relatives. Li's 63year-old father Li Mingguang (李明光)suffered a broken femur and fractured vertebra inthe attack. Li and another relative were takenaway by police; their whereabouts remain unknownas of the time of writing. Residents of LaofangVillage and surrounding villages have beenprotesting the seizure of a total of twentythousand mu (approximately 3300 acres) of land bylocal officials, who the villagers claim actedillegally. The attack is believed to be inretribution for a petitioning journey to Beijingundertaken by Li Fanghua and four other villagersregarding the land seizure on November 24. (CHRD)[vii]

Citizens’ActionsIndependentResearchers Rush to Zhejiang to InvestigateSuspicious Death of Village Head

 

The suspicious death of QianYunhui (钱云会),Zhaiqiao village director and land rights activistwho was crushed by a truck on December 25, has ledto widespread outrage and discussion online asgruesome images of the scene of the incident havebeen circulated among netizens. As the state-runmedia rushed to cover the event, so too did anumber of citizen journalists and independentresearch teams, who arrived in Zhejiang Provincein recent days. On December 29, local officialsdeclared Qian's death the result of a trafficaccident, a conclusion many challenged. Doubtsremain regarding the lack of surveillance footagefrom the scene as well as police actions takenagainst Qian's family and witnesses to theincident. As of December 30, at least threeindependent research teams were attempting toconduct investigations into the incident; CHRD isawaiting the results of their work. (CHRD)[viii]

CHRDIssues Report on Chinese Government's Protectionof Children's Rights

 

CHRD has published a report onthe Chinese government's implementation of theConvention of the Rights of the Child, timed tocoincide with the government's submission of theirfifth periodic state report to the Committee onthe Rights of the Child.  The report is dividedinto three sections, focusing on the government’srecord in promoting children’s rights to life andto health, to protection, and to education in thepast five years. It finds that children havesuffered from unsafe buildings, food, vaccines,medical care and pollution and that they have beenthe victims of child labor, trafficking and sexualassault. Children of petitioners, human rightsdefenders and dissidents have been subjected todiscrimination and persecution as a result oftheir parents’ political activities. Finally, thereport also finds an unequal playing field in theprovision of educational opportunities andresources to children depending on their familybackground, most notably between those living incities and rural areas. The report (in Chinese) isavailable here.

Editors: DavidSmalls and Lin Sang Follow us on Twitter:  @CHRDnetNewsupdates from CHRD

[i]"Kidney Stone Babies' Father Zhao LianhaiPossibly Released on Medical Parole" (结石宝宝之父赵连海或已保外就医), December 29, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012290034.shtml

[ii]"Anji, Zhejiang Rights-Defending Village HeadFaces Detention" (浙江安吉维权村长面临被拘留),December 31, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012310037.shtml

[iii]"Shanghai Activist Duan Chunfang Released fromPrison, Family Blocked from Greeting Her" (上海维权人士段春芳出狱,家属被阻止迎接), January 3, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101031233.shtml

[iv]"Henan Petitioner Ruan Kaixiang Detained inTanghe County Black Jail by Interceptors" (河南访民阮开香被截访人关入唐河县黑监狱), December 28, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012282023.shtml

[v]"Many Dissidents Placed Under Soft Detention asZhejiang Dissident Author Li Hong Passes Away" (浙江异议作家力虹去世,多位异议人士被软禁(图)),January 1, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101011207.shtml

[vi]"Democracy Activist Zhao Changqing Releasedafter 66 Days of Soft Detention" (民主人士赵常青在被软禁六十六天后获释), January 1, 2011, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101011326.shtml

[vii]"Liuzhou Public Security Bureau Director LeadsGroup to Beat Rights-Defending Villager" (柳州一公安局长率 众殴打维权村民(图)), December 25, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012251021.shtml

[viii]"Rights-Defending Village Head Qian Yunhui DeathCase Draws Interest, Civil Society IndependentResearch Teams Travel to Site of Incident" (维权村长钱云会致死案引关注,民间独立调查团陆续前 往事发地), December30, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012301112.shtml

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