China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  July 6-12, 2010

Highlights

  • Netizens Gather in Support as Sichuan Democracy Activist Liu Xianbin is Formally Arrested for “Inciting Subversion of State Power:” On July 5, Sichuan democracy activist and human rights activist Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌) was formally arrested for "inciting subversion of state power." As news of Liu’s detention and arrest spread, digital activists across the country began organizing themselves into an online support group called "I am Liu Xianbin," with branches appearing in different provinces. Local officials have taken notice of their actions, summoning and harassing some supporters.
  • Sichuan Activists Liu Zhengyou and Hu Yulan Tried for “Social Security Fraud:” In a court hearing lasting nearly ten hours, Zigong City, Sichuan Province activists Liu Zhengyou (刘正有) and Hu Yulan (胡 玉兰) were tried for "social security fraud" by the Ziliujing District Court in Zigong City on July 6. According to Liu’s lawyer Zheng Jianwei (郑建伟), there were a number of irregularities during the court proceedings, which concluded without a verdict.

Contents

Freedomof AssemblyBeijing Court Rejects Appeal of Human RightsActivist Imprisoned for Protests

Beijing Number Two Intermediate People's Courtupheld human rights activist Zhou Li's (周莉) judgment in a decision issuedon July 6. Zhou was originally convicted for "creating a disturbance"on May 4, 2010 and sentenced to one year in prison; she was taken intodetention on August 12, 2009, and charged in relation to herparticipation inprotests against Sun Dongdong (孙东东), the Beijing University professor who createdan uproar in the activist community when he claimed that “99% ofpetitionerssuffer from mental illness,” in March and April 2009. (CHRD)[i]

SentencesUpheld for Protesting Petitioner-Activists in Beijing

On July 6, the Beijing Number Two IntermediatePeople's Court rejected the appeals of veteranpetitioners-turned-activistsChen Fengqiang (陈风强) and Sun Lijing (孙礼静), upholding theoriginal sentences against the two for "creating a disturbance." OnMay 4, 2010, the Chongwen District People's Court in Beijing hadsentencedChen, a 50 year-old man from Guangdong Province, to three years inprison, andSun, a 64 year-old woman from Shaanxi Province, to a year and a half.Chen andSun, along with a third co-defendant who did not appeal his conviction,weredetained for gathering with other petitioners in Beijing to protest onfouroccasions in  February and May 2009,distributing leaflets, leading songs and chants, and carrying signscalling onthe government to end corruption and to solve the problems ofpetitioners. Chenand Sun are currently being held at the Chongwen DistrictDetention Center.(CHRD)[ii]

Beijing Police Pressure AizhixingEmployee into Cancelling Film Screening

On the evening of July 7, Lan Yujiao (兰玉娇), amember of the legal staff of Beijing's Aizhixing Institute, wassummoned byBeijing police for planning to host a screening of a documentary byBeijingactivist Zhang Shihe (张世和). National Security officers questioned Lan atthe Tianqiao police station for approximately one hour regarding theorganization’s plan to publicly screen the film, "Civil Society throughthe Lens of a Citizen Recorder" (公民纪录者镜头中的公民社会) byBeijing blogger and journalist “Tiger Temple” (老虎庙),which Aizhixing announced on its website on July 6. Following hersummons, Lanposted a notice online stating that she will not participate in thescreening.On July 8, Aizhixing announced online that the screening, originallyplannedfor July 8, had been “postponed.” (CHRD)[iii]

Harassmentof ActivistsHubei Activist Liu Feiyue Attacked afterObserving Strike in Suizhou

Human rights activist Liu Feiyue (刘飞跃)was attacked by an unidentified individual after observing a strike bycottonmill workers in Suizhou City, Hubei Province on July 7. According toLiu, shortlyafter he left the scene of the strike, a man on a motorcycle overtookhim onthe road and beat him, breaking his glasses and leaving him withinjuries tohis head and shoulders. Liu is the founder of Civil Rights andLivelihood Watch(CRLW), a website dedicated to documenting rights abuses and providinginformation on human rights. (CRLW)[iv]

ArbitraryDetentionMedicalProfessor and Wife of Imprisoned Human Rights Lawyer Kidnapped, Held inBlackJail

On the morning of July 5, medical professor YuXiaoyan (于晓艳)was kidnapped and taken to a "law education class," a type of blackjail, CHRD learned on July 12. According to Yu's mother, the familylost touchwith Yu after police arrived at Zhongshan College of Dalian MedicalUniversity inDalian City, Liaoning Province, to question her. After inquiring with anumberof local officials, Yu's mother was able to learn that Yu had beentaken to alocation outside of FushunCity, LiaoningProvince, whichspecializes in "reforming" Falun Gong practitioners. Yu's mother wasable to locate her daughter, who told her she had been forciblykidnapped bypolice and members of the sub-district office. Yu continues to be heldand her familyhas not received any formal notification regarding her detention. Yu isthewife of Wang Yonghang (王永航), a former lawyer and outspoken advocate forthe rights of Falun Gong practitioners who is serving a seven-yearsentence for“using a cult to damage the implementation of the law” in November 2009afterbeing tortured in detention. (CHRD)[v]

PetitionerDetained Ten Days in Guangxi Following Forced Return from Beijing

On July 1, a group of seven petitioners wasseized in Beijing and forcibly returned to Guangxi Province, arrivingon July4. Of those seven, one petitioner, Peng Haiqing (彭海清), waslater sent to Nanning City's Number Two Detention House for 10 days ofadministrative detention. According to one of the forcibly returnedpetitioners, the group had traveled to Beijingtowards the end of June to petition regarding what they believed to bean illegalland seizure by the Nanninggovernment. They were seized on Tiananmen Square following an ID checkbypolice, and held in Majialou, a central black jail for petitioners,beforebeing returned to Nanning.The precise reason for Peng's detention is not known. (CHRD)[vi]

Sichuan Democracy Activist Liu XianbinFormally Arrested for “Inciting Subversion of State Power”

On July 6, Chen Mingxian (陈明先),wife of detained Sichuan democracy activist Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌),received a notice from the Suining City Public Security Bureau statingthat Liuhad been formally arrested for "inciting subversion of state power."The notice was dated July 5. Liu, who was released little more than ayear agofollowing a decade in prison for “subversion of state power,” wasdetained onJune 28 following a raid of his home by police in Suining City.(CHRD)[vii]

A number of digital activists have organizedthemselves into an online support group called "I am Liu Xianbin,"with branches appearing in different provinces. On the morning of July6, ZhangMing (张明),the spokesperson for the Sichuan Province branch of the group, wassummoned forsix hours by police in Pi County, Chengdu City. According to Zhang,policeinterrogated him about his and the group’s activities to support Liuand warnedhim against being “too deeply involved” in these activities. (CHRD)[viii]

Sichuan Activists Liu Zhengyou and HuYulan Tried for “Social Security Fraud;” Hearing Ends Without Verdict

On July 6, Zigong City, Sichuan Provinceactivists Liu Zhengyou (刘正有) and Hu Yulan (胡玉兰)were tried for "social security fraud" by the Ziliujing DistrictCourt in Zigong City. The trial, which lasted from 9 am until 7 pm,concludedwithout a verdict. According to Liu’s lawyer Zheng Jianwei (郑建伟),there were a number of irregularities during the court proceeding:lawyer ZhangKai (张凯)was ignored by the judge after requesting on multiple occasions thatcourtofficials and public prosecutors speak Putonghua, and the court refusedtoprovide Zhang with an interpreter to help him understand the localdialect. Thedefense was not allowed to cross-examine a number of witnesses duringthehearing, and public prosecutors presented evidence during the hearingwhich hadnot been submitted to the court.

Liu's sister wasbarred from attending thetrial, while his daughter was taken away from the courthouse by policeaftershouting slogans and distributing flyers in support of her parents.Reportedly,crowds of between four and five hundred supporters, mostly from Zigong City,gathered in support of the couple outside of the courthouse. (CHRD)[ix]

Tortureand Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or PunishmentDemocracyActivist Xu Wanping Subjected to Solitary Confinement, in Poor HealthandDenied Adequate Treatment

CHRD learned on July 7 that democracy activistXu Wanping (许万平)has been repeatedly subjected to solitary confinement while held inYuzhouPrison in Jiangbei District, Chongqing for the past five years. Thelongestperiod of such confinement, reportedly in a cell so small that onecannot walkor stand up straight, lasted for 11 months. Xu's mental health is pooras aresult of repeated solitary confinement, and his physical health isalso poor;he suffers from a gastrointestinal condition and other illnesses. Xuhas beendenied release on medical parole despite repeated requests, and hasreportedlybeen unable to receive adequate medical attention while incarcerated.Xu, whofounded “China Action Party” after the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, iscurrentlyserving a 12-year sentence for "inciting subversion of state power,"and previously spent terms of eight years in prison and three years inaRe-education through Labor (RTL) camp for his activism. (CHRD)[x]

Hebei Province Reporter and Activist XuYishun Reportedly Beaten in RTL Camp

CHRD learned on July 7 that Hebei Province humanrights defender and former reporter Xu Yishen (徐义顺) has allegedly sufferedhearing damage and injuries to his ears following repeated beatings bya fellowdetainee at the Baoding City Gaoyang RTL Camp. According to Xu'srelatives, theinformation regarding Xu comes from another fellow detainee who hassince beenreleased from the camp; the family has been unable to determine whetherofficials at the camp were complicit in the violence, and efforts bythe familyto report the violence to camp officials have been met with silence. Xuwassent to one and a half years of RTL on May 25, 2010 for "fraud;"however, his family believes that Xu is being punished for hisactivism, whichincludes taking a trip in late April 2010 to visit Yuan Weijing (袁伟静), thewife of imprisoned Shandong human rights defender Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚).(CHRD)[xi]

Law andPolicy WatchSinopecFound Not Liable for Death of Employee Detained 13 Years in PsychiatricHospital

On June 5, the Chaoyang District Court inBeijing ruled that the China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation(Sinopec) didnot violate the rights of its former employee Chen Miaocheng (陈淼盛),who died after having been detained 13 years in a psychiatricinstitution.Lawyer Li Renbing (李仁兵), who represented Chen's widowin the suit, argued that by involuntarily committing Chen to thepsychiatricinstitution and then abandoning him there until his death, SinopecviolatedChen’s rights to life, liberty and health. However, the court ruledthatSinopec did not violate the law when they committed him to thehospital; andbecause Chen died from pneumonia, his death was not related to hisdetentionand therefore the company was not liable. Chen, who was involuntarilyhospitalized in 1995 for “paranoid schizophrenia,” was cleared forrelease asearly as December 1996 by doctors at Beijing'sHuilongguanHospital. However,the hospital refusedto release him unless his work unit, who had originally placed him intheinstitution, gave permission for his release. Sinopec refused anddespiteeffort of Chen’s family to release him, the man languished and died inthehospital. (Caixin)[xii]

Chen’s case is yet another example of China’sbrokenmental health system that urgently needs reform. Chinese laws providealmost nolegal safeguards for individuals subjected to involuntaryhospitalizations and donot spell out the mechanisms for them to challenge the decision, makingit verydifficult for their families and lawyers to intervene effectively inaidingthem.

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang News updatesfromCHRDAnnual Report on the Situation of Human RightsDefenders inChina (2009)

[i] "Final Ruling Issued in Rights Activist Zhou Li's'Creating aDisturbance' Case" (维权人士周莉“寻衅滋事”案终审裁定), July 11, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/Class18/zhouli/201007/20100711171153_22158.html

[ii] "Second Instance Trial Upholds Sentences Against ChenFengqiang, Sun Lijing for 'Creating a Disturbance' for Petitioning" (陈风强、孙礼静因上访被以“寻衅滋事罪”二审维持原判), July 11, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/fmzj/201007/20100711164658_22157.html

[iii] "Lan Yujiao Summoned for Organizing Film Screening" (兰玉娇因组织“激情夏日纳凉赏片会”而被传唤),July 8, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201007/20100708144423_22115.html

[iv] "Suizhou, Hubei Workers Once Again Block Road; LiuFeiyueChased and Beaten by 'Criminals' (湖北随州棉纺工人再次堵路刘飞跃遭“黑社会”追打),July 7, 2010, http://www.msguancha.com/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=4869

[v] "Dalian, Liaoning Medical Professor Kidnapped from WorkandDetained in Black Jail" (辽宁大连医学教授上班时被绑架送入法教班), July 12, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201007/20100712182857_22167.html

[vi] "Guangxi Petitioner Detained for Petitioning in Beijing"(广西访民进京上访被拘留), July 9, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201007/20100709205255_22134.html

[vii] "Breaking News: Liu Xianbin Already Formally Arrested" (快讯:刘贤斌已被正式逮捕), July6, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201007/20100706121003_22074.html

[viii] "Liu Xianbin Sichuan Concern Group Spokesperson ZhangMingMissing after Summons from National Security Police" (刘贤斌四川关注团发言人张明被国保传唤后失踪),July 6, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201007/20100706130811_22076.html

[ix] "Liu Zhengyou Tried; Court to Select Date to PronounceVerdict" (刘正有案开庭,法院择日宣判), July 6,2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/liuzhengyou/201007/20100706221006_22081.html

[x] “Xu Wanping PlacedinSolitary Confinement in Chongqing's Yuzhou Prison" (许万平在重庆渝州监狱被关禁闭),July 7, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/Class24/201007/20100707114017_22089.html

[xi] "Hebei Human Rights Defender Xu Yishun Beaten andInjured inRTL Camp" (河北人权捍卫者徐义顺在劳教所被殴打致伤),July 7, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201007/20100707163543_22095.html

[xii] Caixin, "Staff Member Sent to 'Insane Asylum' for 13YearsDies; Company Found Not Liable in First Instance Trial" (员工被送治“疯人院”13年猝死 一审判决单位无责), June 19, 2010, http://policy.caing.com/2010-06-19/100153630.html

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