Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

China Human Rights Briefing Weekly   January 4-10, 2011


  • Hong Kong Activist and Legislator Szeto Wah Passes Away: On January 2, Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator and activist Szeto Wah (司徒华) passed away at the age of 79. Among those honoring his memory this week were a group of mainland Chinese dissidents, activist, and intellectuals, who circulated a public message commemorating his dedication to the cause of democracy in China and his work to ensure that the events of June 4, 1989 were not forgotten.


Table ofContents


ArbitraryDetentionGuizhouPetitioner Released after FourMonths of Detention in Guangzhou

OnJanuary 7, Ma Shengfen (马胜芬), aGuizhou Province-based petitioner,was released from Guangzhou City'sYuexiuDistrict Detention Center inGuangdong Province after servingfour months for"obstructing official business."Ma was seized by police onSeptember8, 2010. She believes her criminaldetention came as retaliation forherpersistent petitioning forresolution of a labor dispute, andfor trying tofile numerous administrativelitigation lawsuits against theGuangzhou Citygovernment for mistreatment shefaced while petitioning. (CHRD)[i]

VeteranHenanPetitioner Detained in BlackJail over Three Weeks

OnJanuary 8, CHRD learned from HenanProvince-basedpetitioner Wang Qunfeng (王群凤)that she has been detained ina number of black jails operatedby the Lushi County governmentsince December14, 2010. Wang, who waspetitioning in Beijing, was talkedinto returning toher hometown by the director ofthe local branch of All-ChinaWomen’sFederation. Once she returned toLushiCounty in Henan Province,however, Wang was detained byLushi government officials and hassince beenshuttled between a number of blackjails housed in local hotels. Wanghas beenpetitioning for more than 10years, first to obtain payment forher father'smedical treatment, and laterseeking redress for abuses andretaliation shesuffered as a result of herinitial petitioning. She has beensent toRe-education through Labor onthree occasions, and detained andbeaten numeroustimes. (CHRD)[ii]

Motherof Young Worker Imprisoned for“Subversion” Sent to RTL forPetitioning

OnJanuary 5, CHRD learned that WangShuqing (王书清),mother of 21-year old Shandongworker Xue Mingkai (薛明凯),wassent to one year of Re-educationthrough Labor by police in JiningCity,Shandong, in October 2010. Wang,who was detained for petitioningabout herson's case, is currently detainedin the Shandong Women's RTL Camp.Xue hasbeen missing since mid-November2010 after losing a job due topolice pressure.Xue was released from prison inearly November 2010 after serving18 months for"subversion of state power." Hewas charged with “subversion”afterallegedly planning to organize apolitical party called the “ChinaDemocraticWorkers’ Party” with onlinefriends in the summer of 2006, andthen contactingand joining an overseas democracyorganization in early 2009. (CHRD)[iii]

Torture andother Cruel, Inhuman, orDegradingTreatment or PunishmentElderlyGuangxi Villager RemainsHospitalizedOne Month after Police Beating

CHRDlearned on January 7 that 63year-old Li Mingguang (李明光), aresident of Laofang Village,Liuzhou City, Guangxi ZhuangAutonomous Region,remains hospitalized more than amonth after sustaining seriousinjuries in anattack led by a local policechief. Li is receiving treatmentat LiuzhouWorker's Hospital, where policehave placed him under 24-hoursurveillance.Fellow Liuzhouvillagers have lodged complaintswith the Liuzhou Procuratorateabout thepolice beating, but so far theyhave received no response. OnDecember 4, thehead of the Liunan District,Liuzhou City, Public SecurityBureau ledapproximately thirty others intothe home of villager Li Fanghua (李芳华),where they beat Li and hisrelatives, including Li Mingguang.Li Fanghua wasdetained for six days followingthe attack, and his cousin LiMingquan (李明全)wasadministratively detained for fivedays. The attack is believed to beinretribution for a petitioningjourney to Beijing undertaken byLi Fanghua andfour other villagers regarding theseizure of twenty thousand mu(approximately3300 acres) of land by localofficials, who the villagers claimactedillegally. (CHRD)[iv]

ForcedEviction and DemolitionAnhuiResidents Report LocalOfficials' Use of Explosives,Other Harassment in ForcedEviction

Agroup of 20 residents of a HefeiCity, Anhui Provincebuilding have been documenting theactions of local officials inrecent days asthey attempt to hold out against apending forced eviction. Theresidentsreport that, beginning on January4, Mingguang Road subdistrictoffice officials in Hefei’s YaohaiDistricthave been setting off fireworksand explosives outside of theirbuilding, whichhave damaged glass doors andconcrete walls. On January 6, theofficials cutoff the residents' sole supply ofrunning water, and that same dayerected aconstruction wall to isolate thebuilding from the rest of theneighborhood.Residents report that they havealerted the police to the ongoingharassment.(CHRD)[v]

Harassment ofActivistsPolicein WenzhouSummon Three Netizens Involvedin Qian Yunhui Investigation

OnJanuary 8, three netizens whotraveled to Wenzhou City,Zhejiang Province, as part of a"citizens' investigation team" tolook into the suspicious death ofactivist and village director QianYunhui (钱云会)weresummoned for questioning bypolice, who also confiscated someof their personalproperty. Zheng Chuangtian (郑创添),Lai Yongxian (赖永献)andLiu Dejun (刘德军)had gathered at the Wenzhou Cityhome of netizen Huang Wei(黄伟) when,around 10 pm, a group of more thanten Wenzhou police officersarrived. Theofficers displayed legal documentsstating they were summoning thethree forquestioning on suspicion of"fabricating false information anddisruptingsociety." Police also confiscateda notebook computer, flash drive,cellphone, digital camera, and otherpersonal items belonging to thethree. Zheng,Lai, and Liu were released around2 am that night after beingseparatelyquestioned. (CHRD)[vi]

CHRDMember Zhou Weilin Summoned byPolice forInvestigating Taxi Drivers’Petition

Onthe morning of January 4, activistand CHRD member ZhouWeilin (周维林)was seized by police outside ofthe Anhui ProvincialLetters and Visits Office in HefeiCity and summoned for questioningat a localpolice station. Zhou had beeninterviewing a taxi driver who wastaking part ina collective petition along withapproximately 100 other taxidrivers employedin Suzhou City, Anhui. Accordingto Zhou, the drivers werepetitioning the government becausethey were being discriminatedagainst bytheir employers and the governmentas a result of not having a Suzhouhukou. Zhou was questioned andheldfor approximately six hours beforebeing released. His cell phone wasconfiscated by police. (CHRD)[vii]

Citizens’ActionsMainlandChinese Activists, Dissidents,andIntellectuals Honor Memory ofSzeto Wah

OnJanuary 5, CHRD obtained a copy ofa message drafted by agroup of mainland Chinesedissidents, activist, andintellectuals honoring HongKong pro-democracy legislator andactivist Szeto Wah (司徒华),whopassed away on January 2 at theage of 79. The message expressedadmiration forSzeto Wah's courage, wisdom, anddedication to the cause ofdemocracy in Chinaand his work to ensure that theevents of June 4, 1989 were notforgotten. Themessage was signed by nearly 40members of Chinese civil societyfrom aroundthe country, many of whom wereinvolved in pro-democracydemonstrations in1989. (CHRD)[viii]

Law and PolicyWatchBeijingLawyerReleases Report on ForcedEvictions in 2010, Calls forAmendments to ‘EntireSystem’

Accordingto a January 10 Beijing Newsreport, lawyerWang Cailiang (王才亮),head of Beijing's Cailiang (才良)LawFirm, has released a report onforced evictions and demolitionsin 2010. Thereport calls not only foramendments to the regulationsgoverning forcedevictions and demolitions, butamendments to the “entire system”of forceddemolitions and evictions. Thereport, which cites an increase inclashesbetween evictees and thegovernment in 2010, notes thatgovernmentrepresentatives are increasinglytaking the place of developers asadversariesof residents facing forcedevictions. A new set ofregulations governing forcedevictions and demolitions wasreleased in draft form in 2010 andtwice openedfor public comment, but has notbeen put into effect. (BeijingNews)[ix]

Editors:David Smalls and Lin Sang Follow us on Twitter:  @CHRDnetNews updates fromCHRD

[i]"Common People Become Pigs, LawBecomes Knife in the Hand of aButcher" (百姓成了猪,法律成了屠夫手中的刀),January 8,2011,

[ii]"Henan Petitioner Wang QunfengTricked into Detention in BlackJail"(河南访民王群凤被诱骗后囚入黑监狱(图)),January 9, 2011,

[iii]"Xue Mingkai, of Shandong, LosesJob; Mother Sent to RTL" (山东薛明凯失掉工作,母亲被劳教),January 5, 2010,

[iv]"Liuzhou PSB Head Leads Crowd inAttack on Villager" (柳州一公安局长率众殴打村民(续)(图)),January 10, 2011,

[v]"In Hefei City, Residents ofJindatang Building ResistingForced EvictionFace Cut Water, Blocked Roads,Firecrackers and Harassment" (合肥金大塘被强拆户遭断水、封路、开门炮骚扰(图)),January 7, 2011,

[vi]"Wenzhou Police Ready forEmergency, Summon and Search'Citizens'Inspection Team'" (温州警方荷枪实弹对“公民观察团”成员传唤查抄), January9, 2011,

[vii]"Suzhou City, Anhui ProvinceTaxi Owners CollectivelyPetition, CHRDInformation Team MemberSummoned" (安徽省宿 州市出租车主集体上访,维权网信息员被传唤(图)),January 4, 2010,

[viii]"Mainland 1989 Veterans,Intellectuals, and DissidentsMourn SzetoWah" (大陆八九人士和知识分子、异议人士吊唁司徒华), January5, 2010,

[ix]"Lawyer Issues Year-End REporton Forced Evictions in China,ProposeAmendments to Eviction andDemolition Regulations" (律师发布中国拆迁年度报告建议修改 拆迁制度),January 10, 2011,

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
View latest posts