Text size

All popular browsers allow zooming in and out by pressing the Ctrl (Cmd in OS X) and + or - keys. Or alternatively hold down the Ctrl key and scroll up or down with the mouse.

Line height


China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  April 20-26, 2010

Freedomof AssemblyOneBeijing Activist Harassed, AnotherMissing After Applying to ProtestOnthe afternoon of April 23, Beijing human rightsactivist Li Jinping (李金平)traveled to the Law and Order Unit of the Beijing Municipal PublicSecurityBureau (PSB) to submit an application to stage a demonstration. Theapplication, which Li drafted along with fellow activist Qi Zhiyong (齐志勇),called for protests at Beijing’s Ritan Park and Tiananmen Square fromApril 28to June 6; the pair hoped to enlist the support of others in callingfor anofficial re-evaluation of Zhao Ziyang’s legacy, the release ofpoliticalprisoners, and the return of political power to the people. However, Liwaspulled out of the office by police officers before he could completehisapplication and detained briefly in a black jail before being allowedto returnhome that night. Officers also arrived at Qi’s home on April 23 andwarned himthey would put him in jail if he “made any trouble.” On the morning ofApril26, Qi was taken from his home by National Security officers; at thetime ofwriting, his whereabouts remain unknown. (CHRD)[2]ArbitraryDetentionJiangsuOfficials Approve Arrest ofPetitioner Detained en Route to BeijingCHRDlearned on April 26 that Wuxi City, JiangsuProvince petitioner Shen Guodong (沈果冬)has been detained after attempting to travel to Beijing to petitionregardingthe pending demolition of his home. On March 8, Shen was stopped at theWuxitrain station by interceptors employed by the local government, whoconfiscatedhis petitioning materials before taking him to a local black jail. Shenwasreleased the next day and allowed to return home, but on March 10, Shenwasseized at his home by police. On March 11, Shen was criminally detainedfor"impairing official business," and on March 25, the Huqu DistrictProcuratorate approved his arrest. Shen's wife, Ding Hongfen (丁红芬)reports that, since her husband was taken away, local subdistictofficials havevisited her at home, promising to help her husband if she would consentto signan agreement allowing the demolition of the couple's home. (CHRD)[3]SichuanActivist Zuo Xiaohuan CriminallyDetained for “Inciting Subversion”OnApril 26, Zuo Xiaohuan (左小环),a human rights activist from MianyangCity, Sichuan Province, was taken away from his home by police fromXinshengPolice Station, Santai County Subdivision, Mianyang City PSB. Policealsosearched his home. It later emerged that Zuo has been criminallydetained for“inciting subversion of state power.” The reasons for his detention arecurrently unknown. Zuo is held at Santai County Detention Center inMianyangCity. Zuo, a volunteer for,a human rights monitoring website, and formerly a teacher at DongshanNormalAcademy in Sichuan Province, spent two years in Re-education throughLabor(RTL) between 2006 and 2008. (CHRD)[4]SixShanghai Petitioners Detained by Liaison Office in BeijingOnApril 19, Changping District, Shanghaipetitioners Xu Shunfu (徐顺福),Li Weiqing (李伟青),Han Xiulan (韩秀兰),Huang Xiuqin (黄秀琴),Zhu Haiqin (朱海琴),and Zhu Haijiang (朱海江)were seized while petitioning at the State Bureau of Letters and VisitsBeijingby interceptors from the Beijing Liaison Office of the ShanghaiMunicipalGovernment. As of the time of writing, the six are detained in theLiaisonOffice. According to Xu, their identification cards have beenconfiscated andthey are being held together in a closely-guarded room. The six werepetitioning in the capital regarding the forced demolition of theirhomes to makeway for the Shanghai Expo. (CHRD)[5]Lawyersfor Tan Zuoren Submit Another Application for Appeal HearingOnApril 20, Beijing lawyers Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强)and Xia Lin (夏霖)submitted another application for a court hearing regarding theirclient TanZuoren's (谭作人)appeal to the Sichuan Province High Court. Tan’s lawyers submitted anapplication for an appeal hearing previously but the Sichuan ProvinceHighCourt denied the request on April 19. Tan is appealing his convictiononFebruary 9, 2010 for "inciting subversion of state power." Tan’sconviction stems from posting articles online to commemorate the 20thanniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, though many believe thatTan wasalso punished for conducting investigations into student deaths in the2008Sichuan earthquake. (CHRD)[6]ImprisonedActivist Hu Jia “Thin, But in Good Spirits” Says Wife Following VisitOnApril 19, Zeng Jinyan (曾金燕),wife of imprisoned human rights defender Hu Jia (胡佳),was able to visit with her husband forapproximately 30 minutes.  Zeng reportedthat Hu looked “very thin” but was “in fairly good spirits” duringtheirmeeting, at which their daughter was also present. Hu is takingmedicine totreat his liver cirrhosis and subclinical hyperthyroidism, and the highfeverand diarrhea which hospitalized him in late March seem to havesubsided. Zengspoke with the director of the prison hospital, who informed her thatthestatus of Hu’s liver disease was “on the whole good.” However, thehospital hasyet to provide Hu or his family with written results of medical testsperformedin late March and early April. (Zeng Jinyan)[7]DisabledHeilongjiang Petitioner Once Again Detained in Hospital MorgueOnApril 21, Yichun City, Heilongjiang Provincepetitioner Chen Qingxia (陈庆霞)was once again detained in a Dailing District hospital morgue byofficials fromthe Yichun Letters and Visits Bureau. Chen was en route to Beijing tosearchfor her missing son when she was seized by Beijing police on April 17andsubsequently detained in various black jails and forcibly sent back toherhometown. On April 24, 2007, Chen and her 12-year-old son wereintercepted byDailing District officials while petitioning in Beijing, and in theprocess,interceptors lost her son. Chen subsequently suffered a series ofillegaldetentions and beatings which left her disabled as she tried to pressofficialsto locate her son. In the past month, she has been detained in the samemorgueon one previous occasion and has been detained as well in multipleblack jailsin Beijing. (CHRD)[8]65Year-old Petitioner Sent to RTL for Second TimeOnApril 9, Nantong City, Jiangsu Provincepetitioner Ji Guiying (吉桂英)was sent to one year of Re-education through Labor (RTL) forpetitioning. Ji, aveteran petitioner who has been seeking redress for years after herhome wasforcibly demolished, was sent to RTL previously on July 31, 2008.According tothe RTL notice, Ji is being punished for "disrupting public order"for planning to kneel on a board of nails as part of her petitioningactivities. She was seized in Beijing on March 14, and claims that, farfromplanning to kneel on a board of nails, she was simply mailingpetitioningmaterials at a post office in the capital. (CHRD)[9]Tortureor Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or PunishmentShanghaiActivist Mao Hengfeng HeldIncommunicado CHRDlearned on April 19 that family of Mao Hengfeng(毛恒凤),a Shanghai reproductive and housing rights activist, has not been ableto visitor communicate with the activist since the Shanghai MunicipalRe-educationthrough Labor (RTL) Committee decided to send her to 18 months of RTLon March4. It is not clear where Mao is currently held. At the time of the RTLdecision, Mao was held at Yangpu Detention Center in Shanghai, but sheshouldhave been transferred to a RTL camp since then. However, Mao’s husbandWuXuewei (吴雪伟),has not received a notification regarding the transfer. Wu’sapplication tovisit the activist has been denied and his letters to Mao are suspectedto beintercepted by the officials at the Detention Center. When Mao’slawyersrequested to visit her on March 15, they were denied entry. Mao wasrepeatedlytortured and subjected to cruel and degrading treatment during herprevious detentionin the RTL camp and during her imprisonment. Mao’s family is worriedthat sheis again subjected to torture and ill-treatment. (CHRD)[10]ForcedEviction and DemolitionShanghaiResident Placed under Surveillance Following Forced EvictionMinhangDistrict, Shanghai resident Huang Yuqin (黄玉芹)has been under tight surveillance since April 19, CHRD has learned.Securityguards have followed her whenever she leaves her home, and haveprevented her fromleaving on at least one occasion. Huang, whose home was demolished onMarch 2,stated that she had not been petitioning regarding the demolition, buthasrequested an administrative review and filed a couple of administrativelawsuits to challenge the decision to demolish her home, without anysuccess,since before the demolition was carried out. The guards informed Huangthat oneof the reasons she was being placed under surveillance was opening oftheShanghai Expo, and on April 21 she received a notice warning her not togatheror petition on or near the Expo grounds for the next five months. OtherShanghai petitioners have received an identical notice in recent weeks.(CHRD)[11]LegalRightsHearingon Revocation of Lawyers’Licenses Ends without Decision, Lawyers Condemn Baseless Punishment About200 lawyers, activists and petitionersgathered outside of the building of the Beijing Bureau of Justice (BBJ)on themorning of April 22 in a show of strong support to human rights lawyersLiu Wei(刘巍)and Tang Jitian (唐吉田),who attended ahearing concerning the proposed revocation of their licenses by theBBJ. Representativesfrom 14 foreign embassies—Canada, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, theUK, the US,France, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Austria, the EU, andthe CzechRepublic—attempted to attend the hearing, but were denied entry. Nodecisionwas announced at the hearing. CHRD believes that the two are retaliatedagainstfor their human rights activism, and notes with concern the harshnessof thepunishment: once a lawyer’s license is revoked (吊销),s/he will be permanently barred from practicing as a lawyer. (CHRD)[12]LawFirm of Lawyer Defending Fujian Netizens Ordered to DissolveFaweiLaw Firm, the law firm at which Lin Hongnan (林洪楠),defense attorney for convicted Fujian digital activist Wu Huaying (吴华英),was a partner, was informed on April 21 by the Fuzhou Bureau of Justicethat itmust close within 15 days. The notice received by the firm, dated April20,gives the following explanation: in December 2009, Lin's lawyer'slicense wassuspended for one year. Since Lin was a partner at the firm, and couldnolonger continue in that capacity without his license, the firm wasobligated toname another partner to replace him. The Bureau of Justice citesArticles 22and 53 of the Lawyers' Law in its notice. Lin's license was suspendedinretaliation for his handling of "sensitive" human rights cases,including defending Wu Huaying, though officials cited a 2001 case inwhich Linallegedly "divulged secrets" in justifying their decision. Before hewent into private practice, Lin, who turns 71 this year, was agovernmentofficial in Fuzhou who once headed the Lawyers' Management Office ofthe FuzhouBureau of Justice—the same office which is now retaliating against himand hisfirm. (CHRD)[13]Harassmentof ActivistsPoliceSummon, Search Home of Shanghai Activist Feng Zhenghu in Middle of NightAroundmidnight on April 19, five police officersunexpectedly burst into the home of Shanghai activist Feng Zhenghu (冯正虎),announcing that they were summoning him for "slandering others." Fengwas taken to the Wujiaochang Police Station in Yangpu District by oneofficerwhile the remaining four stayed behind to search his home. According toFeng,police confiscated four computers and printers, a scanner, wirelesscards, andother computer equipment. He believes the summons was primarily apretense toget him out of his home so that police could conduct the search.  Duringthe interrogation, however, policethreatened Feng that they could "make him disappear like Gao Zhisheng (高智晟)"if he continued to pursue his plans to setup a “Shanghai Expo of  UnjustCourt Cases” during the officialShanghai Expo. He was released around 4 am. (CHRD)[14]

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

*** CHRD’sHuman Rights Yearbook 2009 is now available.Fora free copy, please contact us with your mailing address at ***

News updatesfrom CHRD

AnnualReport on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in China (2009)

[1]Declarationon Human Rights Defenders, General Assembly Resolution 53/144 (Distri.GENERALA/RES/53/144, 8 March 1999), Article 2

[2]"LiJinping Summoned, Qi Zhiyong Threatened for Applying to Demonstrate" (因申请游行李金平被传唤,齐志勇被威胁), April 25, 2010,;"Disabled June 4 Veteran Qi Zhiyong Loses Contact with Outside World;ZuoXiaohuan Taken Away by Police" (六四 伤残者齐志勇与外界失去联系 左小环被警方带走), April 26, 2010,

[3]"WuxiResident Arrested for Carrying Reporting Materials to Beijing toPetition"(无锡市民因携带举报材料上 京被捕), April 26, 2010,

[4]“SichuanDissident Zuo Xiaohuan Criminally Detained for ‘Inciting Subversion ofStatePower’” (四川异议人 士左晓环被以煽动罪刑事拘留), Apriil 27, 2010,; Zuo Xiaohuan Taken Away by Police" (六四伤残者齐志勇与外界失去联系 左小环被警方带走), April 26,2010,

[5]"UrgentAlert: Many Shanghai Petitioners Detained in Beijing Liaison Office forDays" (紧急关注:上海多位访民被关押在驻京办多日失去自由), April 22, 2010,

[6]"Applicationfor Open Hearing of Appeal for Tan Zuoren and Defense Statement Sent toSichuanHigh Court" (谭作人二审开庭审理申请与辩护词寄送四川高院), April 21, 2010,

[7]ZengJinyan, ‘431days to go until I can come home and be united with my family,’ April21, 2010,

[8]"ParalyzedPetitioner Chen Qingxia Once Again Detained in Dailing, Yichun HospitalMorgue" (瘫痪访民陈庆霞再次被关入宜春带岭医院太平间中), April 21, 2010,

[9]"JiGuiying, of Nantong City, Sent to RTL Again for Petitioning" (南通吉桂英因上访维权再次被劳教),April 20, 2010,

[10]“ShanghaiActivist Mao Hengfeng not Heard from since She Was Sent to Re-educationthroughLabor” (上海维权人士毛恒凤被劳教后音信皆无),April 19, 2010.

[11]"AsTest Run of Expo Begins, Shanghai Resident Huang Yuqin Has MovementsResticted" (世博会试运行之时,上海市 民黄玉芹被限制自由),April 25, 2010,

[12]“Hearing on Revocation of Lawyers’ LicensesEnds without Decision, Lawyers Condemn Baseless Punishment,” April 22,2010,

[13]"LawFirm of Lawyer Lin Hongnan, Counsel in Case of Three Fujian Netizens,Dissolvedby Fuzhou Authorities" (三网民案代理律师林洪楠所在事务所被福州当局解散), April 21,2010,

[14]"AsWorld Expo Approaches, Home of Shanghai Activist Feng Zhenghu SuddenlySearched" (世博会临近,上海维权人士冯正虎突然被抄家), April 20, 2010,

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