China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  June 8-14, 2010 | Countdown for China | 16 Jun 2010 | Amnesty International UK

China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  June 8-14, 2010

Highlights

  • CHRD Website Suffers Another DDOS Attack: CHRD's Chinese-language website, http://crd-net.org, was once again been targeted by a Directed Denial-of-Service (DDOS) attack. The site was inaccessible between midnight on June 12 and morning of June 16. CHRD's site was last attacked in March, and was offline for more than two weeks following that attack. As with previous attacks against the site, the origins of the current DDOS attack are not known.
  • Sichuan Provincial High Court Upholds Verdict against Tan Zuoren: The Sichuan Provincial High People’s Court announced on June 9 that it had upheld the judgment of activist and environmentalist Tan Zuoren (谭作人). Tan was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” in February 2010 and sentenced to five years in prison, with an additional three years’ deprivation of political rights. About 50 supporters gathered outside of the Sichuan Intermediate People’s Court, where the verdict was announced. At least four supporters, including Tan’s daughter Li Chang (李畅), Chengdu activist Chen Yunfei (陈云飞) and petitioner Li Tinghui (李廷惠), were taken away by the police, while others were placed under soft detention or intercepted en route to the courthouse.
  • “Fujian Three” Appeal Hearing Held; Lin Xiuying Taken Away by Police: The appeal brought by Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), Wu Huaying (吴华英), and You Jingyou (游精佑) was heard on June 13 by the Fuzhou City Intermediate Court. Absent from the courtroom, however, was Lin Xiuying (林秀英), mother of deceased woman Yan Xiaoling (严晓玲), who was taken away from her home in Minqing County, Fujian Province on the morning of June 12. Her whereabouts are currently unknown. Fan, Wu, and You were convicted of “slander” in April for helping Lin post information online regarding her daughter’s death. Their hearing ended without a ruling.

Contents

Harassmentof ActivistsTanZuoren’s Harsh Sentence Upheld by Sichuan High Court, SupportersHarassed and TakenAway

The Sichuan Provincial High People’s Courtannounced on June 9, 2010 that it had upheld the judgment of activistandenvironmentalist Tan Zuoren (谭作人). Tan was convicted of “incitingsubversion of state power” in February 2010 and sentenced to five yearsin prison,with an additional three years’ deprivation of political rights,following atrial in August 2009. About 50 supporters gathered outside of theSichuanIntermediate People’s Court, where the verdict was announced. At leastfoursupporters, including Tan’s daughter Li Chang (李畅),Chengdu activist Chen Yunfei (陈云飞) and petitioner Li Tinghui (李廷惠),were taken away by the police. Others, such as writer Zhang Xianchi (张先痴), humanrights activist Xie Yihui (谢贻惠) and intellectual Tang Shilin (唐诗琳),were either seized by police while en route to the courthouse or placedundersoft detention. Plainclothes police also roughly handled supporters whotriedto take pictures outside of the courthouse, and some had their camerasconfiscated. (CHRD)[1]

LawyersLi Heping, Li Xiongbing Warned by BeijingOfficials Not to Join Human Rights Lawyers’ Association

On June 12, officials from the Beijing Bureau ofJustice Lawyers' Management Office called human rights lawyers LiHeping (李和平) andLi Xiongbing (黎雄兵)in for talks regarding the “Rights Defense Lawyers' Association,” anorganization first proposed by lawyer Li Subin (李苏滨) and others in May. Thetwo were warned not to take part in any preparatory activities for thehumanrights lawyers' association, and told that such an organization couldnever beregistered. Reportedly, National Security officials in Beijing havealready called Li Subin in forsimilar talks on a number of occasions. Li Heping and Li Xiongbingstated thatthey had no plans to join the proposed organization, and took theoccasioninstead to voice their outrage at the treatment of lawyers Tang Jitian (唐吉田) andLiu Wei (刘巍),who recently had their licenses to practice law revoked. (CHRD)[2]

Computerof Yirenping General Manager Lu Jun Hacked

On June 13, Lu Jun (陆军), thegeneral manager of Beijing NGO Yirenping, posted an open letterregarding ahacker attack on his computer that he had recently suffered. He wrotethat, onthat same day, he and his colleagues at Yirenping were notified by ahotelwhich they had booked for a legal training session on fightingdiscriminationagainst the handicapped that their reservation had been cancelled underpressure from the authorities. Nearly simultaneously, his computer'santivirussoftware alerted him that a remote computer was attempting to makechanges tohis personal computer and copy documents off of his hard drive. Luwrites thathe is unsure whether the attack is directed at prevented theorganization fromholding its planned legal training session, or whether it is an attempttogather personal information about him. (Rights Mailing Group)[3]

Henan Activist Wang Yi Placed underSoft Detention in Local Hotel, Barred from Travelling

CHRD learned on June 9 that Henan human rightsactivist Wang Yi (王译) has once againbeen placed under softdetention by local officials. Wang reports that she is being held at ahotel inChangyuan County, Henan Province. Wang was recentlyreleasedfrom soft detention after she attempted to travel to Chongqing alongwith otheractivists and netizens to greet digital activist Chen Yang (陈杨) uponhis release from a Re-education through Labor (RTL) camp on June 1.Accordingto Wang, she is again being detained because police are concerned shewilltravel to Fuzhou City, Fujian Province to attend the June 13 hearing oftheappeal brought by activists Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), Wu Huaying (吴华英), andYou Jingyou (游精佑).(CHRD)[4]

ArbitraryDetentionLinXiuying Taken Away by Police ahead of Appeal Hearing for Fujian Netizens

Lin Xiuying (林秀英), mother of deceasedwoman Yan Xiaoling (严晓玲) and a central figure in the case where threenetizens were sentenced to prison for helping her post informationonlineregarding her daughter's death, was taken away from her home in MinqingCounty,Fujian Province on the morning of June 12. The policemen who took Linfrom herhome did not produce any documentation which might justify theiractions. Herwhereabouts are currently unknown.

Lin's abduction may be related to the appealhearing in the case against Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), Wu Huaying (吴华英), andYou Jingyou (游精佑),which was held on June 13 in Fuzhou Intermediate Court. The three wereoriginally convicted of "slander" by the Mawei District Court in Fuzhou City, FujianProvince on April 16. The hearing, which lasted from 8 am until 2 pm,concludedwithout a ruling. No witnesses were permitted to testify for theappellants,while three family members per appellant were allowed to observe theproceedings. Fan Yanqiong, who has been in very poor health, was seatedin awheelchair for the duration of the court session. During the hearing,prosecutors alleged the three negatively impacted government employeeswiththeir posts, and also accused Lin Xiuying of breaking the law, callingfor herarrest (CHRD)[5]

XieFulin Loses Appeal; Court Issues Ruling without Notifying Family orLawyers

CHRD learned on June 9 that Changsha humanrights defender and member of the Pan-Blue Alliance of ChineseNationalists XieFulin (谢福林)has lost his appeal of his conviction for "stealing electricity."According to Xie's family, however, the Changsha Intermediate Courtupheld theverdict without convening a court hearing or notifying Xie's lawyers orrelatives. The ruling, which was issued on May 26, was only discoveredby Xie'swife Jin Yan (金焰)when she visited the courthouse on June 9. Xie's lawyer Ma Gangquan (马纲权)stated that court violated relevant regulations by failing to publiclyannounceits ruling, and that by doing so, it "obviously had something tohide." Jin, who was able to visit her husband on June 10 in ChangshaCityPrison, reports that he is in poor health and suffering from faintingspells. Xiesuffers from high blood pressure. Xie was originally convicted alongwith hisbrother Xie Shulin (谢樹林) on March 26 and sentenced to six years inprison, one of the longest sentences handed down to a grassrootsactivist inrecent years. CHRD believes that "stealing electricity" is atrumped-up charge used to punish Xie for his work on behalf of humanrights anddemocracy. (CHRD)[6]

Beijing Activist Ni Yulan BrieflyDetained by Police

Shortly after 1am on June 15, police in Beijingdetained human rights activist Ni Yulan (倪玉兰) and her husband,taking them to the Donghuamen police station in Beijing's DongchengDistrict.The police released the couple around 4 am as more and more netizenscame tothe police station demanding their release after hearing about theirdetention onthe internet. The police said they held the couple in the policestation fortheir own “safety,” but showed no legal documents to justify theaction. Ni, ahousing rights activist and former lawyer, was sentenced to two years’imprisonment for “obstructing official business” by the XichengDistrict Courtin BeijingonDecember 18, 2008, for resisting the forced demolition of her home. Niwasreleased on April 15, 2010, and her home was forcibly demolished whileshe wasimprisoned. Ni and her husband have been forced to live on the streetssinceher release, as police have harassed the owners of hotels where thecouple hasattempted to stay. Ni and her husband have been harassed by police onmultipleoccasions and briefly detained in a black jail during the past month.(CHRD)[7]

ThreeGuangxi Villagers Sent to Prison for Resisting Forced Eviction; MoreRemain inDetention

On June 11, the Yinhai District Court in Beihai City,Guangxi Province sentenced threeBaihutouvillagers to prison for their roles in resisting forced evictions.VillagersGao Zhenzhang (高镇章) and Gao Shihui (高世辉) were both sentenced totwo years in prison for obstructing official business, while CaiJianyue (蔡建月) wasgiven 1.5 year for the same charge. At least three more villagers,includingvillage chief Xu Kun (许坤), were taken into custody in May. Official newsreported that these villagers have been formally arrested for“operatingillegal business,” but CHRD is yet to obtain more details regarding thearrests.[8] Localofficials have been trying to requisition beachfront property uponwhich thesevillagers had operated small businesses; the villagers have accusedofficialsof acting illegally in the pursuit of profits and failing to providethem withproper compensation. (CHRD)[9]

ShanghaiActivist Cao Yibao, Sent to RTL during World Expo, Reportedly Ill in Detention

CHRD learned on June 8 thatpetitioner-turned-activist Cao Yibao (曹义宝), who was sent to oneyear of RTL on May 29 for "disrupting public order" after beingdetained by police conducting ID checks outside of the Shanghai Expogrounds amonth earlier, is ill in detention. Family members have been unable tovisit withCao since May 29. According to those who were detained together withher inShanghai Public Security Bureau (PSB) Pudong District Detention Center,Cao,who looked thin, pale and had difficulties walking, was taken to ahospital onMay 30 to receive treatment. According to Cao’s husband, she suffersfromdiabetes and high blood pressure. Cao, who is 60 years old, has beenpetitioning for years since her home was demolished as part ofpreparations forthe Shanghai World Expo. She has previously been harassed, beaten, anddetainedon a number of occasions. (CHRD)[10]

Freedomof AssociationHunan Activist and Democracy PartySpokesman Liu Jian’an Missing, Believed Detained

Members of the China Democracy Party (CDP) HunanBranch reported on June 10 that their spokesman Liu Jian'an (刘建安) hasbeen missing since June 2. Liu has been unreachable by telephone,Skype, orother means of communication since that date. According to CDP membersin Hunan, Liu had recently publisheda number of"sensitive" articles on his personal blog, and they believe thatthese articles, combined with his public position as the spokespersonfor theCDP in Hunan,may have led police to take him into detention or otherwise take actionagainsthim. (CHRD)[11]

Freedomof ExpressionCHRDWebsite Once Again Attacked

CHRD's Chinese-language website,http://crd-net.org, wastargeted by a Directed Denial-of-Service (DDOS)attack.Beginning at midnight on June 12, and continuing through the morning ofJune 16,the attack rendered the website inaccessible. CHRD's site was lastattacked inMarch, and was offline for more than two weeks. As with previousattacksagainst the site, the origins of the DDOS attack are not known. (CHRD)

Tortureand Other Cruel, Unusual, or Inhumane TreatmentGao Zhisheng Revealed Details of Torture andMistreatment in Newspaper Interview before Disappearance

Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), who has been missingsince briefly reappearing in the first two weeks of April, revealedthat he wastreated "like an animal" for the past year and expressed concernsthat he would "disappear" again, maybe even to a third country,accordinga new article in the South China MorningPost published on June 13.According to the article, Gao "seemed in good health and mentallyfit" at the time. Gao said he was tortured for 48 hours in the pastyearand was constantly subjected to degrading treatment, such as beingforced tosit in a fixed position for 16 hours a day, denied toilet paper,toothbrushesand showers. Gao also expressed deep concerns for his family both in China and in the United States.It is believed thatthe government produced Gao in a response to international pressure onhisbehalf, and once again "disappeared" him once that pressure eased.(CHRD)[12]

Law and Policy WatchShaanxi Provincial Government IssuesEmergency Notice Regarding Forced Evictions

According to a June 9 Legal Dailyreport, the Shaanxi Provincial Government has issued anemergency notice regarding forced evictions of residents whose homesarelocated on collectively-owned land in rural areas. The notice calls onlocalgovernments to ensure that evictees are provided with resettlementhousingbefore their homes are demolished, that compensation is negotiated“withrespect to the evictees' wishes,” and that the arbitrary use ofpeople'spolicemen in forced evictions be investigated. (Legal Daily)[13]

While this notice touches on many of the issuesat the heart of citizens' complaints regarding forced evictions, thereislittle hope that such a notice will have any real effect on the actionsoflocal officials and developers. Until the laws regarding forcedevictions arecomprehensively overhauled to protect citizens' rights, and that theselaws areimplemented, citizens are at the mercy of the developers and the localgovernments and forced evictions will continue to thrive in China.

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)

[1] Tan Zuoren’s Harsh Sentence Upheld by Sichuan HighCourt, June 9,2010,http://chrdnet.org/2010/06/08/tan-zuoren%E2%80%99s-harsh-sentence-upheld-by-sichuan-high-court/; "Scene at Announcement of Tan Zuoren's Verdict; Supporters andPlainclothes Officers Clash" (谭作人宣判现场 支持者与便衣发生冲突), June 9, 2010, http://crd-net.org/Article/Class18/tanzuoren/201006/20100609115909_21649.html

[2] "Beijing Bureau of Justice Calls Li Heping, Li Xiongbinginfor Talks Regarding Preparations for Founding of Human Rights Lawyers'Association" (北京市司法局为筹备成立维权律师协会事与李和平、黎雄兵律师谈话), June 13, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/06/201006132219.shtml

[3] "Statement of Anti-Discrimination Activist and NGOWorker LuJun Regarding Attacks on His Computer by Hackers, Suspicion of OngoingControl" (反歧视公益人士、NGO工作者陆军关于电脑遭黑客攻击、疑被远程控制的声明), June 13, 2010

[4] "Henan Activist Wang Yi Once Again Placed Under SoftDetention" (河南维权人士王译再次被软禁), June 9,2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201006/20100609222843_21653.html

[5] "Fujian 'Three Netizens' Case' Second Instance TrialOpens" (福建“三网民案”二审开庭), June 13,2010 http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/06/201006132001.shtml;"Fujian Victim of Injustice Lin Xiuying Kidnapped" (福建冤民林秀英被绑架), June12, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/06/201006122133.shtml.

[6] "Original Judgment Upheld in Second Instance Trial forXieFulin without Knowledge of Family, Lawyers" (谢福林二审在家属与律师不知情下作出维持原判决定), June 10, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/xiefulin/201006/20100610131204_21670.html;"Ms. Jin Yan Succeeds in Meeting with Xie Fulin" (金焰女士成功会见谢福林), Juen10, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class18/xiefulin/201006/20100610213359_21677.html.

[7] “Ni Yulan Seized in the Middle of the Night, NetizensWent toRescue” (倪玉兰半夜遭抓走,网友前往营救), June15, 2010,http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/06/201006151110.shtml

[8] Beihai News Net, Six in Yintan Town Baihutou Village,IncludingVillage Chief Xu Kun, Have Been Approved for Arrests for OperatingIllegalBusiness (银滩镇白虎头村委主任许坤等6人涉嫌非法经营罪被批准逮捕),June 13, 2010, http://www.bhxww.com/read-htm-tid-48699.html

[9] "CHRD Strongly Protest the Illegal Land Requisition andCrackdown on Rights-Defending Citizens by Beihai, Guangxi Officials" (“维权网”强烈抗议广西北海当局违法强征强拆、打压维权村民), June 12, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/06/201006122241.shtml.

[10] "Shanghai Activist Cao Yibao, Sent to RTL During WorldExpo,Suffering From Myriad Diseases" (世博期间被劳教的上海维权人士曹义宝患多种疾病), June 8, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201006/20100608144649_21630.html

[11] "Hunan Democracy Party Spokesman Liu Jian'an Missing forManyDays" (湖南民主党发言人刘建安失踪多日), June10, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201006/20100610093400_21657.html.

[12] Paul Mooney, Beijing’sMafia Justice for Lawyer They Won’t Lock Up but Can’t Set Free, June13, 2010,http://www.pjmooney.com/pjmooney/Most_Recent_Articles/Entries/2010/6/13_Beijings_Mafia_Justice_for_Lawyer_They_Wont_Lock_Up_but_Cant_Set_Free.html

[13] "Arbitrary Use of People's Policemen in Forced Evictionsto BeInvestigated" (随意动用民警参与强拆将追责),June 9, 2010, http://www.legaldaily.com.cn/bm/content/2010-06/09/content_2165823.htm?node=20734

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