China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  December 22-27, 2010

Highlights

  • Happy Birthday Liu Xiaobo: December 28 is the 55th birthday of Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), activist, intellectual and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. This is the third consecutive birthday Liu will spend in detention, and his first in Liaoning Province’s Jinzhou Prison. Liu will not be able to celebrate the occasion with his wife, Liu Xia (刘霞), who remains under illegal house arrest at the couple’s home in Beijing, nor will he see any of his other relatives, as prison officials have cut him off from family visits since December 16, 2010. CHRD wishes Liu a happy birthday, and once again calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
  • Authorities in Beijing Turn to Psychiatric Institution to Detain Prominent Activist: CHRD learned this week that Beijing dissident and activist Li Jinping (李金平), who has been missing for more than one month, is being detained in a Chaoyang District psychiatric institution. Li’s brother, who discovered his whereabouts, has so far been unable to obtain any further information about his detention. Psychiatric institutions have long been used by officials to quietly detain activists, dissidents, and petitioners, as police are able to order individuals hospitalized indefinitely without an evaluation by mental health professionals.

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 Contents

Happy Birthdayto Nobel Laureate LiuXiaoboDecember 28 is the55th birthday of Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波),activist, intellectual and 2010 Nobel Peace Prizelaureate. Held in remoteJinzhou Prison in Liaoning Province, where thetemperature has plunged wellbelow zero, Liu has been denied access to his familysince December 16, 2010.This is Liu’s first birthday in Jinzhou: on December28, 2009, Liu was held inBeijing Number One Detention Center, while on December28, 2008, he was under“residential surveillance” at an undisclosed locationon the outskirts ofBeijing.  CHRD would like to take this opportunity towish Liu Xiaobo ahappy birthday, and to once again call for hisimmediate and unconditionalrelease.Liu’s wife, Liu Xia (刘霞), continues to beconfined to her home in Beijing, where she has beenheld under house arrestsince October 8, 2010. Since October 18, she has beencut off from the outsideworld, as police have blocked her phone and internetconnections. There isabsolutely no legal basis for any of the measurestaken against her by Beijingofficials. CHRD is concerned that Liu Xia may continueto face illegal housearrest for an extended period of time, and wereiterate our call for animmediate end to her persecution.Our website contains a collection of material relatedto Liu Xiaobo’s NobelPeace Prize; for more information, please see:

ArbitraryDetentionBeijingActivist Li Jinping Detained in PsychiatricInstitution, Says BrotherCHRD learned onDecember 25 that Beijing dissidentand activist Li Jinping (李金平) has been detained inthe Chaoyang District Mental Health Center on theorders of the ChaoyangDistrict National Security police. Based on the bestavailable information,CHRD believes Li has already been detained in theinstitution for more than onemonth. Li's younger brother attempted to visit him onDecember 24 afterlearning of his whereabouts, but was rebuffed by thehead nurse. Li's brotherlater learned that National Security police hadinstructed staff at the mentalhealth center not to reveal any information about Li’sdetention to anyone. Asa result, details of Li's detention and presentcondition are not currentlyknown. Li, a former police officer whose home wasforcibly demolished in 2008,has been detained on numerous occasions over the yearsas a result of hisadvocacy on behalf of former CCP General SecretaryZhao Ziyang (赵紫阳)as well as fellow petitioners. (CHRD)[i]RTLCamp in Liaoning Province Holds Woman in Detentiondespite Order for ReleaseCHRD learned onDecember 27 that Qu Huasong (曲华松),a petitioner from Dalian City, Liaoning Province,remains detained in ShenyangCity's Masanjia Women's Re-education through Labor(RTL) Camp despite an orderfrom officials in Dalian that she be allowed to serveher RTL term outside ofthe camp. Qu was sent to two years of RTL in March of2010 by Dalian officialsas punishment for her persistent petitioning. Qu hadtraveled to Beijing topetition for redress of a complaint related to theforced demolition of herhome on numerous occasions. Her lawyer was able tosecure permission fromDalian officials for Qu to be released from the RTLCamp on December 9 on thegrounds that her child suffers from depression andneeds her care. However, asof the time of writing, officials at the Masanjia Camphave refused to releaseQu. (CHRD)[ii]Updateson Nobel-Related Harassment of ActivistsDingZilin and Husband Jiang Peikun Return to Beijing,Begin to Reconnect withFriends and FamilyOn December 21, DingZilin (丁子霖),founder of the Tiananmen Mothers, and her husbandJiang Peikun (蒋培坤)returned to their home in Beijing, and on December 22they were allowed tobegin contacting friends and family for the first timesince they were placedunder "soft detention" on October 8. Ding and Jianghad beenillegally held incommunicado in a rural locationoutside of Wuxi City, JiangsuProvince, where they had been staying when the NobelPrize was announced. Dingand Jiang have written an article about theirexperiences during the past fewmonths, which is available here (in Chinese).Freedomof ReligionPolicein Chengdu City Disrupt Christmas Eve Services,Detain House Church LeaderOn the evening ofDecember 24, police in Chengdu City,Sichuan Province interrupted a Christmas Eve serviceheld by Chengdu's Blessingof the Autumn Rain (qiuyu zhi fu) house church,taking away churchleader Wang Yi (王怡). The officers didnot produce any legaldocumentation which might have authorized theiractions. Church membersgathered later that evening on Chengdu's Chunxi Roadto sing hymns, but weredriven away by police. Police also seized more than adozen church members atthe scene, and took them in for questioning beforereleasing them. As of thetime of writing, it is unclear whether Wang has beenreleased. (CHRD)[iii]Freedom ofExpressionAuthoritiesOrder Bei Feng’s Microblogs Shut DownOn December 21, CCPinternet censors orderedinternet portals Sina, Netease, and Tencent to closedown microblogs written byblogger and internet activist Bei Feng (北风).The order called for Bei Feng’s accounts to be shutbecause he had discussedthe microblog opened by Fang Binxing (方滨兴), known as the"father of the 'Great Firewall.'" Fang opened a Sinamicroblog lastweek, but the account was hastily closed after it wasinundated by mostlynegative comments from Chinese netizens. While Sinadid not notify Bei Feng ofits actions, he was contacted by someone at Tencent,who explained thesituation. A well-known internet commentator, Bei Fenghas been harassed by thepolice on many occasions and had his microblogs closedpreviously inretaliation for his online human rights activism.(CHRD)[iv]Harassmentof ActivistsLawyerTeng Biao and Activist Zhang Yongpan Seized byPolice to Prevent Visit to FanYafeng’s HomeOn the evening ofDecember 23, Beijing human rightslawyer Teng Biao (滕彪) and activist ZhangYongpan (张永攀)were accosted by police outside of activist FanYafeng's (范亚峰)home. They were roughly handled and taken to theShuangyushu police station,where police threatened them and held them for morethan two hours beforereleasing them around midnight. Close to a dozen humanrights lawyers andactivists arrived at the station in person, and otherscalled the station todemand the release of Teng and Zhang. (CHRD)[v]Torture andOther Cruel, Inhuman, orDegrading Treatment or PunishmentDetainedGuangxi Village Chief Subjected to Long Hours ofLabor, Cut off From FamilyOn December 21, lawyerZheng Jianwei (郑建伟)traveled to Beihai City Number Two Detention Center inGuangxi ZhuangAutonomous Region to visit with detained Baihutouvillage director Xu Kun (许坤),who has been detained without a trial since May 2010for leading his fellowvillagers in standing up to developers and localofficials carrying out forcedevictions and demolitions. According to Zheng, Xu isbeing forced to workfourteen hours a day. Xu stated that the work, whichinvolves threading smallpearls onto fine thread, caused his eyes to ache andhas led to other healthproblems. Xu is not allowed to read books ornewspapers in the center, and hasbeen barred from communicating with his family whiledetained. Xu, who has beencharged with “operating an illegal business,” wasdenied release on bail toawait trial in November. Altogether, eight villagershave been detained fortheir opposition to the land grab in Baihutou,including three who have beensentenced to prison for “obstructing officialbusiness. (CHRD)[vi]Policein Guangxi Lead Attack on Villager Who Petitionedabout Illegal Land SeizureAccording to a reportreceived recently by CHRD, afamily in Laofang Village, Guangxi Zhuang AutonomousRegion, was attacked by agroup of individuals led by a local police chief onDecember 4. The head of theLiunan District (Liuzhou City) Public Security Bureauled approximately thirtyothers into the home of villager Li Fanghua (李芳华),where they beat Li and his relatives. Li's 63 year-oldfather Li Mingguang (李明光)suffered a broken femur and fractured vertebra in theattack. Li and anotherrelative were taken away by police; their whereaboutsremain unknown as of thetime of writing. Residents of Laofang Village andsurrounding villages havebeen protesting the seizure of a total of twentythousand mu (approximately3300 acres) of land by local officials, who thevillagers claim actedillegally. The attack is believed to be in retributionfor a petitioningjourney to Beijing undertaken by Li Fanghua and fourother villagers regardingthe land seizure on November 24. (CHRD)[vii]Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang Follow us on Twitter:  @CHRDnetNewsupdates from CHRD

[i]"Special Alert: Beijing Dissident Li JinpingDetained in PsychiatricInstitution" (特别关注:北京异议人士李金平被关入精神病院(图)),December 25, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012251239.shtml

[ii]"Masanjia Women's RTL Camp, in Shenyang, Refusesto Release Detainee toServe Sentence outside of Camp" (沈阳马三家女子劳 教所拒不释放所外执行者(图)), December 27, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012272028.shtml

[iii]"Christmas Eve Not Peaceful; Wang Yi, Elder ofChengdu's Blessing of theAutumn Rain Church, Seized" (平安夜不平安 成都秋雨之福教会 长老王怡被抓), December25, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012250005.shtml

[iv]"French Human Rights Prize Winner Bei Feng'sMicroblog Closed by CCPAuthorities" (法国人权奖获得者北风的微博被中共当局封杀),December23, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012231635.shtml

[v]"Human Rights Lawyer Teng Biao Beaten, Taken Awayfor Visiting FanYafeng's Family" (维权律师滕彪看望范亚峰家人被殴打并被抓),December24, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012240116.shtml

[vi]"Beihai Rights-Defending Village Head Xu KunAbused in DetentionCenter" (北海维 权村主任许坤在看守所中遭到虐待), December 22, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012220122.shtml

[vii]"Liuzhou Public Security Bureau Director LeadsGroup to BeatRights-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

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