China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  January 25-February 1, 2011

Highlights

  • Chang Ping Removed from Southern Media Group: Outspoken media figure Chang Ping has been asked to leave the Southern Media Group, CHRD learned this week. Chang, a columnist who frequently wrote about social problems, democracy, and civil society, had previously lost his position as deputy-editor-in-chief of Southern Metropolis Weekly and had his columns removed from Southern Weekend and Southern Metropolis Daily as a result of his work on “sensitive” issues.
  • Former Government Official Alleges Torture, Dies in Detention: CHRD learned this week that the family of Cai Fuchen (蔡福臣) is seeking a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. Cai, a former tax bureau official, died in Jilin Province’s Gongzhuling Prison on September 15, 2010; in meetings with his family prior to his death, he repeatedly complained that he was being tortured. Prison officials have stated that Cai killed himself by jumping from a prison building.

  Contents

Freedomof ExpressionProminentMedia Figure Chang Ping Asked to Leave SouthernMedia GroupOn January27, prominent columnist Chang Ping (长平) wasasked to leave the Southern Media Group. In astatement posted to Twitter, Chang thanked his friendsand said that he "despised and protested" the practiceof prosecuting individuals for crimes as a result oftheir speech. Chang spent years writing about socialproblems and "sensitive" issues, and has facedprofessional consequences for his work in the past: inAugust 2010, Chang's columns, which ran in SouthernWeekend and Southern Metropolis Dailynewspapers, were removed by the Group, while two yearsearlier, in 2008, he was stripped of his position asdeputy editor-in-chief of Southern MetropolisWeekly after writing an opinion piece on unrestin Tibet which was published on the FinancialTimes‘ Chinese website. (CHRD)[i]GuangxiMan Sentenced to 1.5 Years in Prison for “IncitingSubversion”Accordingto a January 18 news report on Guangxi ZhuangAutonomous Region’s Liuzhou City TV Station, LiuzhouCity resident Zhou Suixiong (周岁雄) has beensentenced to 18 months in prison for "incitingsubversion of state power." The report stated thatZhou "incited" subversion by distributing writtenmaterials containing his thoughts on the ChineseCommunist Party and the socialist system. Local rightsactivists have so far been unable to locate Zhou'srelatives for further information or comments onZhou's detention. (CHRD)[ii]ArbitraryDetentionWuhanDemocracy Activist Qin Yongmin Detained 10 Days onEve of Spring FestivalOnFebruary 1, human rights and democracy activist QinYongmin (秦永敏) was given 10 days of administrative detentionby police in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. According topolice, Qin, who is currently deprived of hispolitical rights, was detained for “sending outstatements.” Qin believes the detention was ordered toprevent his friends from visiting him during the NewYear holiday. Arrested in the crackdown on the ChinaDemocracy Party in 1998, Qin was released from prisonon November 29, 2010, after serving 12 years in prisonfor “subversion of state power.” (CHRD)[iii]SecondHearing Held in Case against Artist and ActivistWu Yuren, No Verdict IssuedOn themorning of January 28, a second hearing in the caseagainst artist and activist Wu Yuren (吴玉仁) was heldin Beijing's Wenyuhe Courthouse. Wu has been chargedwith "attacking" police. The hearing, which lastedless than an hour, ended without a verdict beingissued. During the hearing, police claimed thatsurveillance video of the "attack" was unavailablebecause equipment in the police station was beingreplaced at the time of the incident, and a videorecording made by a police officer using a handheldcamera had since been taped over. An earlier courthearing, on November 17, 2010, was adjourned afterWu’s lawyer Li Fangping (李方平)requested that this video footage be shown at thetrial. The charge against Wu dates from June 1, 2010,when he was detained after accompanying fellow artistYang Licai (杨立才) to the police station to report the theft ofa generator. Wu Yuren was one of the organizers of abold February 2010 protest down Beijing’s Chang’anAvenue to draw attention to the forced demolition ofthe 008 Arts District, and his arrest is believed tobe in retaliation for his activism. (CHRD)[iv]HearingScheduled for February 28 in Case against BaihutouVillage Leader Xu Kun and OthersCHRDlearned on January 31 that the Yinhai District Courtin Beihai City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, willhear the “operating an illegal business” case againstBaihutou villagers Xu Kun (许 坤), GaoShifu (高世福), and Zhang Chunqiong (张 春琼) onFebruary 28. Xu, Gao, and Zhang have all been detainedfor standing up to local officials seeking torequisition land in Baihutou Village, Beihai City.Chongqing lawyer Zheng Jianwei (郑 建伟) traveled to Beihai City Number Two DetentionCenter in January 31 to meet with Xu; he reports thatXu is no longer being subjected to long hours of hardlabor, as he was during Zheng's last visit in December2010, but that Xu is still not permitted to correspondwith his family. Xu, Gao, and Zhang have been detained since May 2010.Zhang was released on bail to await trial on October12, but taken back into detention on November 12.Altogether, eight villagers have been detained fortheir opposition to the land grab in Baihutou,including three who have been sentenced to prison for“obstructing official business.” (CHRD)[v]BeijingActivist Li Jinping Remains Detained inPsychiatric Institution, Family Barred fromVisitingInDecember, CHRD reported on the case of Beijingdissident and activist Li Jinping (李 金平), who wasbelieved to have been detained in the ChaoyangDistrict Mental Health Center on the orders of theChaoyang District National Security police inmid-October. On January 27, CHRD learned from Li'sbrother Li Jinlong (李金龙) that family members have stillbeen unable to visit Li, more than three months sincehe was first detained. Li Jinping, a former policeofficer whose home was forcibly demolished in 2008,has been detained on numerous occasions over the yearsas a result of his advocacy on behalf of former CCPGeneral Secretary Zhao Ziyang (赵 紫阳) as well as petitioners. (CHRD)[vi]ForcedEviction and DemolitionLawyerin Guangxi Land Rights Case Removed fromCourtroom, Detained by PoliceOn themorning of January 28, Beijing lawyer Xie Yanyi (谢燕益) wasforcibly removed from a courthouse in Beihai City,Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and taken intopolice custody. He was briefly detained before beingreleased. Xie was representing Baihutou villager HeXianfu (何显福), who is on trial for "disrupting socialorder" (note that earlier reports on this storyidentified the charge as "obstructing officialbusiness") in Beihai's Yinhai District Court. Thecharge stems from He Xianfu's resistance to the forcedexpropriation of Baihutou village land by localofficials. Reportedly, Xie attempted to argue in courtthat many aspects of the expropriation of village landwere illegal. He was interrupted on numerous occasionsby the presiding judge before being removed from thecourthouse by police. In the days leading up to thetrial, Xie was approached by individuals from BeihaiCity warning him to "be careful in Beihai." (CHRD)[vii]Tortureand Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatmentor PunishmentFormerJilin Tax Bureau Official Dies in DetentionFollowing Allegations of TortureOn January24, CHRD learned of the case of Cai Fuchen (蔡 福臣), aformer Longjing City, Jilin Province tax bureauofficial who died in Jilin's Gongzhuling Prison onSeptember 15, 2010. Cai's younger sister reports thatCai, who was imprisoned for "using an evil cult toobstruct the implementation of the law," repeatedlycomplained of torture during previous family visits.Prison officials stated that Cai killed himself byjumping from a prison building. According to Cai'ssister, Cai alleged that he was held in solitaryconfinement, struck with an electrified cattle prod,and subjected to electric shocks. In May 2008, becausehe filed a complaint regarding the torture, he wasbound by prison guards and shocked with cattle prods;this torture lasted more than one month. In earlyDecember, Cai's sister submitted an application to theLongjing City procuratorate as well as to GongzhulingPrison officials demanding a full investigation intoher brother's death; however, 52 days later, she hasyet to receive any response. Prison officials, whostated while notifying the family that Cai had failedto respond to their efforts to "transform" histhinking, have only contacted Cai's sister to demandthat she sign a form authorizing the prison to cremateCai's body. Cai Fuchen was arrested in 2004, andsentenced to 10 years in prison the following year;the charge of “using an evil cult” is often used toprosecute Falun Gong practitioners. (CHRD)[viii]Freedomof AssemblyShanghaiPolice Break up Dinner Attended by LocalActivists, Lawyer Teng BiaoOn January24, a group of Shanghai-based activists including FengZhenghu (冯正虎), Lu Yinuo (陆 以诺), Shen Zhaohua (沈 兆华), LiHonghua (李洪华), and Li Tiantian (李 天天) gatheredat a restaurant near the Shanghai train station fordinner with Beijing human rights lawyer Teng Biao (滕彪). Thegroup had barely settled in, however, when NationalSecurity officers burst into the restaurant and tookaway Feng, Lu and Shen. Another officer later returnedto harass Li Tiantian. In a post regarding theexperience on Twitter, Teng called the Shanghaiofficers "some of the most impertinent anduncivilized" he had ever encountered. Lu Yinuo wasforcibly returned to Zhangjiagang City, JiangsuProvince after being taken away from the dinner, andwarned by police that they would take similar actionsif he returned to Shanghai. (CHRD)[ix]Policein Guangxi Seize Relatives Demonstrating overDeath in Traffic Accident with PoliceOn themorning of January 20, more than 10 relatives of HuangJinxi (黄锦喜), who was killed in a traffic accidentinvolving a local police chief, gathered outside ofthe meeting hall of the Guangxi Zhuang AutonomousRegion People's Congress in Nanning City. The groupunfurled a banner protesting what they believe to belocal officials' mishandling of the case, and demandedjustice for their deceased relative. They were seizedby police, turned over to interceptors from HezhouCity and returned to their hometown of ZhaopingCounty. On September 7, 2010, Zhaoping County PSBvice-director Huang Chengliang (黄 成亮) wasdriving a police vehicle when he crashed with amotorcycle driven by villager Huang Jinxi, who died inthe accident. However, local officials ruled theaccident to be Huang Jinxi's fault. On January 14,relatives of Huang Jinxi posted a message onlinequestioning the decision by local officials andraising a number of concerns regarding theinvestigation of the accident. On January 21, a HezhouCity police spokesperson released a statement sayingthat the accident was investigated in accordance withthe relevant regulations. (CHRD)[x] Law and Policy WatchNewRegulations Governing Evictions and DemolitionsPromulgatedOn January21, the State Council promulgated the Regulations forExpropriation and Compensation of Housing onState-owned Land, which went into effect immediately.The regulations replace the Urban Housing Demolitionand Relocation Management Regulations, whichpreviously governed the expropriation of individuals'land and housing. Explicitly prohibited in the newregulations is the use of violence or coercion toforce homeowners to leave their homes. (Xinhua)[xi]Of course,it remains to be seen how effective these newregulations will be in protecting citizens' housingrights and combating the pervasive practice of violentforced evictions. Of particular concern are the homesof rural residents built on land collectively-ownedland, which are not covered by the new regulations.Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang Follow us on Twitter:  @CHRDnetNewsupdates from CHRD

[i]"Famous Media Personality Chang Ping Asked toCompletely Leave the Southern Media Group" (著名媒体人士长平被要求完全离开南方集团), January 27, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/world/asia/28china.html

[ii]"Zhou Suixiong, of Liuzhou, Sentenced for IncitingSubversion" (柳州周岁雄因煽动颠覆罪被判刑), January 27,2011, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101271417.shtml

[iii]"As Spring Festival Arrives, Prominent DemocracyActivist Qin Yongmin Detained 10 Days" (春节即将到来,著 名民主人士秦永敏 被拘留十天),February 1, 2011, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/02/201102012048.shtml

[iv]"Wu Yuren: Life in China is Extremely Dangerous" (吴玉仁:在中国生 活是非常危险的), January 28,2011, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101281700.shtml

[v]"Beihai 'Frame Xu Kun Case' Hearing to Be HeldFebruary 28" (北海 “许坤构陷案”将于2月28日开庭), January 31,2011, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101312146.shtml

[vi]"Li Jinping Detained in Psychiatric Institution,Still Unable to Meet with Family" (李金平被关精神病院仍无法见到亲属), January 27, 2011, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101271546.shtml

[vii]"News Flash: Lawyer Xie Yanyi Taken From Court, Outof Contact after Pointing out Illegality of LandExpropriation" (快讯:谢燕益律师 因指出征地违法被带出法庭失去联系), January 28, 2011, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101281323.shtml

[viii]"State Tax Cadre 'Commits Suicide' in Prison; PrisonRefuses to Accept Responsibility" (国税干部监狱中“被自杀,”监 狱拒不承担责任),January 25,2011, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101250026.shtml

[ix]"Shanghai Activist Lu Yinuo Returned to Zhangjiagangfor Eating with Teng Biao" (上海维权人士陆以诺因与滕彪饭醉被遣送回张家港),January 25, 2011, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101251637.shtml

[x]"Police Chief Kills Person in Traffic Accident,Avoids Responsibility; Family Blocked fromPetitioning" (公安局长 撞死人免责 家属上访 被截), January 25,2011, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2011/01/201101252007.shtml

"Authorized Announcement: Regulationsfor Expropriation and Compensation of Housing onState-owned Land" (授权发布:国有土地上房屋征收与补偿条例), January 21, 2011, http://news.xinhuanet.com/legal/2011-01/21/c_121010535.htm

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