China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  July 27- August 2, 2010

Highlights

  • Authorities Move Forward with “Inciting Subversion” Case against Democracy Activist Liu Xianbin: In the past week, CHRD learned that the case against Sichuan democracy activist Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌) had been transferred to the Suining City Procuratorate. Also this past week, lawyer Ma Xiaopeng (马小鹏) received a copy of the Suining City Public Security Bureau's written recommendation for prosecution against Liu, which focuses on articles he wrote and published on websites including Humanity and Human Rights (人与人权), Beijing Spring (北京之春), and Democratic China (民主中国), as well as manuscripts of articles Liu planned to publish. The recommendation calls for a "severe punishment."
  • Beijing’s Transition Institute Latest Target of Police Pressure: Earlier this week, National Security officials in Beijing contacted the Transition Institute, a public policy think tank, and demanded that they cancel all public seminars and forums. Officers, whose only explanation for their action was that orders came from “above,” warned the Transition Institute that it could be banned for failure to comply. The police warning comes days after some university students revealed that school authorities issued notices warning them against attending events organized by the Transition Institute.

 

ArbitraryDetention“IncitingSubversion”Case against Democracy Activist Liu Xianbin Transferred toProcuratorateCHRDlearned on July 27 that the case againstSichuan democracy activist Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌)was transferred to the Suining CityProcuratorate on July 21. Given the speed with which Liu's case wastransferredfrom the Public Security Bureau to the Suining Procuratorate, as wellas theincreasingly vocal support for Liu in the domestic activist community,manybelieve that the procuratorate will move quickly to try Liu. Liu wascriminallydetained on June 28 and formally arrested on suspicion of "incitingsubversion of state power" on July 5. He is currently being held in theSuining City Detention Center. (CHRD)[i]ShandongActivistGranted First Visit in More than One Year of RTLOnAugust 2, Shandong rights activist Zhang Jinfeng(张金凤)wasallowed to meet with her lawyer Liu Peifu (刘培福)for the first time since she was sentto the Shandong Province Number One Women's Re-education through Labor(RTL)Camp in March 2009. Zhang told Liu that she has not been granted visitsfrom familyor friends in the more than one year she has been detained in the RTLcamp.Zhang was sent to RTL for participating in an “illegal assembly” and“disturbing social order” after being detained while taking part in aprotestwith victims of the Shandong Jizheng Healthcare Products Companypyramid schemein Shandong’s Jinan City on March 5, 2009. Courts in Jinan have refusedtoaccept her administrative litigation lawsuit challenging the decisionto sendher to RTL. (CHRD)[ii]HunanPetitionersHeld in Beijing Black JailCHRDlearned on August 2 that a group of more than 10petitioners from Hunan Province were seized in Beijing on July 30 andhave beendetained in a black jail operated by the Beijing Liaison Office of theChenzhougovernment. One petitioner in contact with CHRD reported thatconditions in theblack jail, which is located in Beijing's Fengtai District, were"difficult to bear;" the petitioners were not being provided withadequate food, were forced to sit and sleep on the floor, and werebeing heldtogether in a hot and cramped room. The group of detainees includesthreehandicapped petitioners and one 75 year-old petitioner. (CHRD)[iii]FreedomofExpressionLawyerReceivesWritten Recommendation for Prosecuting Liu Xianbin on "IncitingSubversion" ChargeOnJuly 28, lawyer Ma Xiaopeng (马小鹏)metwith detained Sichuan democracy activist Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌)andreceived a copy of the Suining City Public Security Bureau's writtenrecommendation for prosecution against Liu for the crime of "incitingsubversion of state power." In the recommendation, Liu's human rightsactivities- including his participation in human rights seminars andhissupport for Chen Yunfei (陈云飞)andother activists- are not mentioned as a cause for police action.Rather,the authorities focused on articles written by Liu and published onwebsitesincluding Humanity and Human Rights (人与人权),BeijingSpring (北京之春),andDemocratic China (民主中国),aswell as manuscripts of articles Liu planned to publish. Therecommendationlabels Liu “a recidivist” (Liu was sentenced to 13 years in prison for“subversion of state power” in 1999, and served 10 of those 13 years),and callsfor a "severe punishment." According to the recommendation, policebegan investigating Liu's actions on December 26, 2008—before thosearticlesmentioned above were published and less than two months after he wasreleasedfrom prison. (CHRD)[iv]ZhejiangPoliceAdd Reporter to “Wanted” List Following Article on Local CompanyCHRDlearned on July 28 that Qiu Ziming (仇子明),reporterfor the Economic Observerweekly newspaper, has been added to a national online database ofwantedcriminals by police in Suichang County, Lishui City, Zhejiang Province.Policeare seeking Qiu's arrest on charges of "damaging a company's businessreputation." Reportedly, the police search for Qiu is being undertakeninresponse to articles Qiu wrote for the EconomicObserver revealing fraudulent dealings of the Suichang-based KanSpecialties Material Co. The paper has released a statement in defenseof Qiu;it is available (in English) here.(Economic Observer)[v]NanjingNetizenDetained for Posting on Chemical Factory ExplosionOnJuly 29, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province netizenHuang Yiyu (黄轶愚)wasdetained for an online post regarding an explosion at a Nanjingchemicalfactory. The explosion, which took place on July 28, killed at least adozenworkers and injured hundreds, according to state media reports; Huang'spost,entitled "News from the Secret Information Office: Nanjing ChemicalFactoryExplosion Kills 259 People," claimed that the number of fatalities fromthe blast was far higher. Huang was believed to have been released onAugust 2.Reportedly, local officials have taken extreme measures to preventcitizensfrom reporting on the incident, including dispatching armed police tosearchthe homes of nearby residents with the aim of deleting any images orvideo ofthe scene. (CHRD)[vi]FreedomofAssemblyPoliceCallGuangzhou Protestors in for “Chats,” One Reportedly Detained afterPro-Cantonese ActionFollowinga July 25 protest in which an estimated10,000 Guangzhou residents gathered to demonstrate against a governmentproposal that Guangzhou Television switch from Cantonese to Mandarinbroadcasts, police in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province have beguncallingprotestors in for "chats." Individuals contacted by police have beenwarned not to take part in a second demonstration, planned for August 1atGuangzhou's People's Park. Reportedly, at least one organizer of theJuly 25demonstration has been administratively detained for five days for“spreadingrumors.” The massive public turnout on July 25 was part of a largermovement,which is being called “I Love Guangzhou, Support Cantonese.” Themovement,which began with peaceful flash protests by bands of young peoplesingingCantonese pop songs, is seen as an important landmark in the rise ofcivilconsciousness in the more progressive southern city of Guangzhou. (CHRD)[vii]Freedomof AssociationPolicePressure Transition Institute toStop its Seminars and ForumsCHRDlearned on July 29 that National Securityofficials in Beijing have told the Transition Institute to stop all itsseminars and forums, warning the public policy think tank that it couldbebanned for failure to do so. The officers declined to give a reason fortherequest, stating merely that they had received orders from “above.” TheTransition Institute frequently holds discussion forums on political,socialand economic issues on university campuses such as the PekingUniversity andQinghua University. In recent days, university students had postedonlinemessages stating that university authorities had issued orders warningthemagainst attending the Institute’s events. (CHRD)HarassmentofActivistsPoliceSummon,Search Home of Shanghai Activist Feng Zhenghu to Prevent CourthouseProtestOnthe morning of August 3, Shanghai rights activistFeng Zhenghu (冯正虎)wastaken from his home by police, some of whom remained to search hisapartment. Officers seized two computers, two cell phones, and twot-shirtsdesigned by Feng which bore the slogan “I Want My Cases Placed on File”(我要立案).Fengwas interrogated and held at the Wujiaochang police station for 14hoursbefore being allowed to return home. Feng had previously posted anarticleonline entitled "I Want My Cases Placed on File" in which he declaredhe would sit in the case filing office of a Shanghai courthouse,wearing hist-shirt, on the morning of August 3 to wait until the court places hiscases onfile to protest Chinese courts' frequent refusals to accept lawsuitsfiled bycitizens; police apparently sought to prevent him from doing so. It isnotknown what, if any, of Feng's belongings have been returned to him.(CHRD)[viii]BeijingScholarMo Zhixu Prevented from Leaving ChinaOnthe afternoon of August 3, Beijing scholar MoZhixu (莫之许,alsoknown as Zhao Hui [赵晖])wasprevented from boarding a plane bound for Hokkaido, Japan at Xiamenairportby border officials. Mo had planned to meet with classmates andsightsee whilein Japan. According to Mo, officials in Xiamen informed him that theBeijingPublic Security Bureau had ordered them to bar Mo from leaving based onarticleeight of China's Law of the PRC on the Control of the Exit and Entry ofCitizens, which states that individuals who may "endanger nationalsecurity or incur great losses to national interests" while abroadshallnot be allowed to exit the country. However, the Xiamen officialsrefused toprovide Mo with a formal written explanation to the same effect. (CHRD)[ix]LawandPolicy WatchMinistryofPublic Security Issues Notice Banning Public Parading of ProstitutesOnJuly 26, Chinese state media announced that theMinistry of Public Security had issued a notice banning the parading ofsuspected prostitutes and solicitors of prostitution in public. Anypoliceofficials conducting these "perp walks" in the future would besubject to criticism and would be held accountable for their actions,thenotice stated. (Dahe News)[x]The practice of publicly parading criminals andsuspects was the subject of a notice issued in June 1988 by theMinistry ofPublic Security and other Law Enforcement Organs, which similarlyprohibitedthe practice; according to a Dui Hua commentary published this pastweek,"perp walks" were first prohibited in 1984.[xi]Punishments for law enforcement officials are nearly identical betweenthe 2010notice and the 1988 notice, leading CHRD to question whether this newinitiative will have any effect on limiting this practice. The paradingofsuspects, regardless of their crime, is a violation of their privacy,and thepractice damages the development of rule of law, as it undermines theidea thatcriminal suspects are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.  Editors: David Smalls and Lin SangNews updatesfromCHRDAnnual Report on the Situation of Human RightsDefenders inChina (2009)

 

[i]"Case Against Famous Sichuan Democracy Activist Liu Xianbin Sent toProcuratorate" (四川著名民运人士刘贤斌案已移送检察院), July 27,2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/07/201007271734.shtml

[ii]"Sealed Re-education through Labor: Zhang Jinfeng Finally Meets withLawyer After One Year" (封闭式劳教:张金凤一年后才见到律师),August 3, 2010,http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/08/201008031551.shtml

[iii]"Many Petitioners from Hunan Illegally Detained in Beijing BlackJail" (湖南数名访民被非法关押在北京黑监狱),August 2,2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/08/201008021233.shtml

[iv]"Liu Xianbin Prosecution Proposal Shows Evidence of Long-PlannedPoliticalPersecution" (刘贤斌起诉意见书显示早已预谋的政治迫害证据), July 28,2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/07/201007281921.shtml

[v]Economic Observer Issues Statement after Its Journalist is Puton a WantedList for Reporting (经济观察报就记者因采写报道被通缉发表声明),” July 28, 2010,http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/07/201007281542.shtml

[vi]"Huang Yiyu Detained for Posting on Deadly Nanjing Explosion" (黄轶愚因发布南京爆炸死亡人数被拘留),July 31, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/07/201007311916.shtml

[vii]"Many Guangzhou Citizens Called for Talks by Police for Participatingin'I Love Guangzhou' Demonstrations" (广州多位市民因参与“我爱广州”公民行动被警方约谈),July 29, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/07/201007292325.shtml

[viii]"Shanghai Rights Activist Feng Zhenghu Summoned for 14 Hours" (上海维权人士冯正虎被传唤14小时后回家(图)), August 3, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/08/201008032238.shtml

[ix]"Noted Scholar Mo Zhixu Prevented from Leaving the Country by BeijingPublic Security Bureau" (著名学者莫之许被北京公安局阻止出境),August 3, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/08/201008031533.shtml

[x]"Ministry of Public Security Strictly Prohibitys Public Parading ofPrositutes,Solicitors of Prostitution" (公安部严禁对卖淫嫖娼人员游街示众),July 26, 2010, http://news.163.com/10/0726/04/6CG9F02Q0001124J.html

[xi]Dui Hua Foundation, “Translation: ‘Perp Walks’ for Petty Thieves ShouldCease,”July 29, 2010,http://www.duihuahrjournal.org/2010/07/translation-perp-walks-for-petty.html

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