China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  June 1-7, 2010 | Countdown for China | 10 Jun 2010 | Amnesty International UK

China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  June 1-7, 2010

Highlights

  • 21st Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre Marked by Harassment, Detentions, and Official Silence: This year, the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, the Chinese government once again refused to openly and truthfully address the events of June 4, 1989, and persisted in its efforts to silence Chinese citizens who seek to commemorate the Massacre. While police across China harassed and intimidated activists to prevent them from speaking out during this “sensitive” period, at least four Beijing-based individuals remained in prison for their participation in the 1989 protests. In addition, at least three activists sent to Re-education through Labor camps last year for their efforts to mark the 20th anniversary of the Massacre remained in detention during this year’s anniversary.
  • Husband and Wife Liu Zhengyou and Hu Yulan Ill in Detention: Liu Zhengyou (刘正有) and Hu Yulan (胡玉兰), activists from Sichuan awaiting trial on charges of “fraud,” are reportedly both ill in detention. Following a meeting with Liu this week, his lawyer Zheng Jianwei (郑建伟) reported that Liu, who began a hunger strike on May 31, was “extremely weak” and had to be physically supported by police officers during their meeting. Liu is protesting his detention, which is being illegally prolonged as the procuratorate decides how to handle the couple’s case.

 Contents

ArbitraryDetentionSichuanActivistLiu Zhengyou on Hunger Strike to Protest Illegally Prolonged DetentionOnthe afternoon of June 3, lawyer Zheng Jianwei (郑建伟)visiteddetained human rights activist Liu Zhengyou (刘正有)inSichuan Province's Zigong City Detention Center. Zheng reports thatLiu, 58,is currently on a hunger strike and has also stopped drinking water toprotesthis illegally prolonged detention. Zheng reports that Liu was“extremely weak”and had to be supported by two policemen.  Liuwas originally detained in November 2009,and later formally arrested on suspicion of "fraud" along with hiswife, Hu Yulan (胡玉兰).The procuratorate has twice sent the case againstthe couple back to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) for supplementaryinvestigation;as the procuratorate most recently received the case from the PSB onApril 15,May 30 was the final deadline—on that date, the procuratorate had todecidewhether or not to initiate a prosecution. The procuratorate reportedlyleakedthat it was planning to release Liu; however, when Liu's sister and afellowactivist from Sichuan went to the Zigong Detention Center on May 30,they weretold that Liu could not be released because he would ‘cause great harmtosociety” and that the procuratorate needed to perform "furtherresearch."  Liu began his hungerstrike the next day.Zhengfurther reported that Hu Yulan is also ill indetention. CHRD believes that the two are being held on groundlesscharges,which are being used as a pretext by police to retaliate against Liuand Hu fortheir rights-defense activities. In the past few years, the couple hashelpedvictims of forced evictions defend their rights. (CHRD)[i]LiuXiaVisits Liu Xiaobo for the First Time since Transfer to Liaoning PrisonOnJune 3, Liu Xia (刘霞),wifeof imprisoned writer and activist Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波),visitedLiu Xiaobo for the first time since he was transferred to JinzhouPrison (tel: 04165179191) in Liaoning Province on May 26. The visit,whichlasted an hour, was monitored by the policemen standing by. Liu Xiareportedthat the activist is allowed outside of his cell twice a day, isallowed towrite and is given access to books brought by his family as long asthey areapproved by the authorities. Liu Xiaobo is also not required to performlabor.However, he complains of stomach problems but it is unclear whether hehas beengiven any medical attention. (CHRD)AnhuiCoupleDetained Seven Days for PetitioningCHRDlearned on June 5 that Anhui Provincepetitioner Liang Maorong (梁茂荣)and his wife havebeen sent to seven days of administrative detention. The couple wereseized inBeijing on June 3 and forcibly returned to their hometown in Anhui'sLingbiCounty, where police detained them for "disrupting officialbusiness." According to the couple's daughter, local police would notspecify how her parents' petitioning had "disrupted" officialbusiness. Liang and his wife have been detained on at least 10occasions forpetitioning, and have previously been sent to Re-education throughLabor.(CHRD)[ii]HarassmentofActivistsUpdatedListof Cases of Police Harassment Related to 21st Anniversary ofTiananmen MassacreUpdatingthe cases of harassment chronicled in ourpress release on the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre(availableonline here),CHRDhas documented the following cases of individuals threatened, harassed,orplaced under police surveillance during the period surrounding JuneFourth:Beijing:

  • Yang Miao (阳淼), an editor at the Beijing News, was summoned for a couple of hours by Beijing National Security police in the early morning hours of June 4. Yang had posted a message on Twitter the previous evening stating that he planned to wear a commemorative t-shirt to mark the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre.[iii]
  • Since May 23, activist Qi Zhiyong (齐志勇) was placed under soft detention at his home;
  • Since May 30, police have been stationed outside the homes of writers Yu Jie (余杰) and Liu Di (刘荻), as well as dissidents Cha Jianguo (查建国), Gao Hongming (高洪明), and Xu Yonghai (徐永海), and have followed them whenever they leave their homes;
  •  On June 1, activists Gu Chuan (古川) and Li Xin'ai (李昕艾) were called in for "chats" with National Security officers in Changping District and warned against participating in commemorative activities on June 4; and
  •  Extra police have been stationed outside of the home of constitutional scholar Zhang Zuhua (张祖桦).

Anhui Province:

  • Internet and phone services were cut to the homes of dissidents Zhang Lin (张林) and Shen Liangqing (沈良庆).

Sichuan Province:

  • Since June 2, police have placed 1989 student leader Chen Wei (陈卫) under soft detention.

Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province:

  •  On June 3, activist Ma Xiaoming (马晓明) and human rights lawyer Zhang Jiankang (张鉴康) were taken on a “trip” outside of the city

Guizhou Province

  • Since June 1, dissidents Chen Xi (陈西), Huang Yanming (黄燕明), and Li Renke (李任科) have been forced to travel outside of the city;
  • Wu Yuqin (吴玉琴), Shen Youlian (申有连), and others have been placed under soft detention. (CHRD)[iv]

Shanghai

  • Shanghai activist Ma Yalian (马亚莲) was put under soft detention at a hotel in Shanghai on June 4. Family members contacted by CHRD did not know the exact location where she was being held.[v]

SupportersHarassed,Missing as Activist Chen Yang is Released Following Year of RTLOnJune 1, internet writer Chen Yang (陈杨)wasreleased following 12 months of Re-education through Labor. Chen wassentto RTL in June 2009 after writing an online post asking if netizenswould joinhim in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre.Chen wastaken directly to his hometown in Jiangsu Province following hisrelease. A groupof netizens calling themselves the "Chen Yang Citizens' ConcernGroup" (陈杨公民关注团)were prevented from greeting Chen uponhis release. Some were taken in by local police for questioning, whileotherswere stopped en route and prevented from traveling to Chongqing, whereChen wasbeing detained. Three members of the group – Li Jincheng (李金成),ZhangYongpan (张永攀)and Gao Jian (高健)–have gone missing, and their current whereabouts are unknown. (CHRD)[vi]LaborRightsSeekingHigherWages, Thousands Strike in Shenzhen FactoryOnthe afternoon of June 5, thousands of workers ata factory belonging to Meilu Electronics went on strike, blocking aroad inShenzhen's Baoan District to protest low wages. According to a workerat thefactory, the strike began on the weekend because many workers were notpermitted to take any time off. The worker added that management hadpromisedto raise base salaries for the employees in April, but had yet to makegood ontheir word. Workers were encouraged by the news that employees atfactoriesoperated by Honda and Foxconn had won wage increases in recent weeks.Inaddition to complaints over wages, workers at the factory were strikingoverthe fact that they were required to work on Sundays without overtimepay. Whilepolice and security guards hired by the town government who arrived onthescene reportedly injured some of the workers while dispersing thecrowd,management from the factory and some workers' representatives didengage intalks coordinated by local government officials.  Accordingto reports, the management wouldnot concede to all of the workers’ demands, but did promise to raisesalariesto 1050 RMB per month and ensure that workers were given one day off aweekstarting in July. Workers are currently earning around 900 RMB permonth, andare seeking at least a 30% salary increase. (CHRD)[vii]LawandPolicy WatchCentralGovernmentto Move Forward with Establishment of National Residence PermitSystemOnMay 27, the State Council approved of a documentissued by the National Development and Reform Commission that revealed,for thefirst time, the government’s plan to pursue reform to China's householdregistration (hukou) system and to graduallyestablish a country-wide residence permit system. The document alsoindicatedthat the government would move forward with plans to relax thehouseholdregistration policies in small and mid-sized cities across China. (BeijingNews)[viii]As it is currently stands, China's householdregistration system is an extremely discriminatory and restrictivebarrier toupward mobility and better social services for millions of Chinesecitizens. Itis not clear whether a national residence permit system, as opposed toahousehold registration system, would address these serious problems orsimplygive a new name to a similar policy. The Chinese government must allowallChinese citizens to freely choose their place of residence.GovernmenttoImplement Real-Name Registration for Online Merchants Starting in JulyAccordingto a June 2 Beijing News article, the StateAdministration for Industry andCommerce has published the Interim Measures for Management of NetworkCommodityTrade and Related Services, set to take effect on July 1. As part ofthese newregulations, individuals who wish to sell goods online must submitapplicationsto e-commerce sites including their full name and address. They willnot,however, need to acquire a business license. (Beijing News)[ix]While this measure will undoubtedly provide betterprotection to China's increasing number of online consumers, there issomeconcern that requiring all online merchants to register with their realnamesmay be a harbinger of similar regulations directed at all internetusers.Despite strong resistance from netizens, local governments in regionsacrossthe country continue to try to implement such schemes to increase theircontrolover the internet. To ensure that netizens' rights are properlyprotected, thisnew registration system must be carefully managed to ensure that users'information is only required where it relates to internet commerce.Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang*** CHRD’s Human Rights Yearbook 2009 is now available. For a freecopy, pleasecontact us with your mailing address at crdnetwork@gmail.com.***News updates from CHRDAnnual Report on the Situation of Human RightsDefenders inChina (2009)

[i]"Sichuan Activist Liu Zhengyou on Hunger Strike, in Critical ConditioninDetention Center" (四川维权人士刘正有在看守所绝食生命垂危), June 3,2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/liuzhengyou/201006/20100603171701_21543.html;seealso "Zheng Jianwei: Zigong Trip to Defend Zigong People's Leader LiuZhengyou" (郑建伟:自贡行——为自贡人民领袖刘正有辩护), June 3,2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/liuzhengyou/201006/20100603213533_21551.html

[ii]"Anhui Petitioner Liang Maorong and Wife Detained for Petitioning inBeijing (安徽访民梁茂荣夫妇进京上访被拘留), June 5, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/fmzj/201006/20100605174728_21586.html

[iii]"Beijing Times Editor Yang Miao Detained for Planning to Wear MourningClothing to Commemorate June 4" (新京报编辑阳淼因准备穿白衣纪念“六四”被抓),June 4, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201006/20100604234303_21572.html

[iv]"During June 4, Dissidents from All Over Have Liberty Restricted" (六四之际,各地异议人士被限制人身自由),June 4, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201006/20100604005211_21554.html

[v]"Shanghai Activist Ma Yalian (马亚莲) AgainPlaced under Soft Detention" (上海维权人士马亚莲再次被软禁),June 5, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201006/20100605094550_21577.html

[vi]"Chen Yang Released Early, Citizens' Concern Group ForciblyDispersed" (陈杨提前获释,公民关注团被强行驱散), June 1, 2010,http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/chengy/201006/20100601210145_21513.html

[vii]"Shenzhen Electronics Factory Workers Strike over Low Wages" (深圳龙华万人电子厂员工不满薪资过低罢工堵路),June 7, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201006/20100607092353_21608.html

[viii]"State Council Approves Forward Movement on Housing Tax Reform" (国务院批准推进房产税改革), June1, 2010, http://epaper.bjnews.com.cn/html/2010-06/01/content_106939.htm?div=-1

[ix]"Real-Name Registration for Online Merchants to Take Effect in July"(个人网店实名制7月实行), June 2, 2010, http://epaper.bjnews.com.cn/html/2010-06/02/content_107383.htm?div=-1

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