China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  March 31-April 5, 2011 | Countdown for China | 7 Apr 2011 | Amnesty International UK

China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  March 31-April 5, 2011

Highlights 

  • With Disappearance of Ai Weiwei, Crackdown Continues to Escalate: On Sunday, artist and activist Ai Weiwei (艾未未) was seized by police at Beijing’s Capital Airport and prevented from boarding a flight to Hong Kong. Officials have yet to release any information about his whereabouts. Ai becomes the most prominent victim of the current crackdown; a total of 30 individuals have so far been criminally detained and approximately a dozen remain missing as of the time of writing.
  • Young AIDS Activist Beaten as Officials Disrupt Meeting in Anhui: Twenty-seven year-old HIV/AIDS activist Chang Kun (常坤) was knocked unconscious and had to be rushed to a hospital after local officials violently disrupted a meeting he organized in Linquan County, Anhui Province. Chang was marking the one-year anniversary of Chang Kun’s Home AIBO Youth Center, a gathering place for local students and center for education projects focusing on health, human rights, and internet freedom.

Contents

ArbitraryDetentionUpdates onDetentions and DisappearancesRelated to the “Jasmine Revolution” CrackdownAs of April 5, a totalof30 individuals have been criminally detained inrelation to the crackdown onthe “Jasmine Revolution.” Four— Li Shuangde (李 双德), Chen Wei (陈卫), Ran Yunfei (冉 云飞), and Ding Mao (丁矛)—have been formallyarrested; one—Hua Chunhui (华春辉)—hassince been sent to Re-education through Labor; andfive-- Cheng Wanyun (程婉芸), MoJiangang (莫建刚), Lan Jingyuan (兰靖远), Weng Jie (翁杰) and Zheng Chuangtian(郑创添)—have  been releasedon bail to await trial.In addition to performing artists Huang Xiang (黄 香), Zhui Hun (追魂), Cheng Li (成力), and Guo Gai (郭 盖), listed below,information on the otherindividuals who remain in detention is available here. Also included at that linkis a list of about a dozenindividuals who are currently missing; while Liu Anjun(刘安军) wasreleased over the weekend, artist and activist AiWeiwei (艾未未)disappeared after being seized by police at Beijing’sCapital Airport.Last week, CHRDlearned:

  • Legal aid worker Li Shuangde (李 双德), of Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, was formally arrested on April 2. Li, taken away by the police on March 21, was criminally detained on March 24 for "credit card fraud." His arrest comes despite the fact that his family repaid the 20,000 RMB owed by Li to his bank by April 2. It is believed that the charge is being used as a pretense to punish Li for his human rights activism. Li's family has hired a lawyer, who applied for his release on bail to await trial. Local officials have yet to respond to this request. Li is currently being detained in the Chengdu City Detention Center. He is the fourth individual to be formally arrested as part of the "Jasmine Revolution" crackdown; all four are based in Sichuan Province.[i]
  • On the morning of April 3, prominent Beijing-based artist and activist Ai Weiwei (艾未未) was seized by police at Beijing's Capital Airport and prevented from boarding a flight to Hong Kong. He has since disappeared, and no information about his whereabouts is currently available. For three consecutive days prior to his disappearance, police had appeared at his Caochangdi studio in Beijing to harass and question his assistants. On Sunday afternoon, police returned to Ai's studio with a search warrant, and proceeded to search the building for six hours, confiscating all computers and hard drives. Ai's assistants believe about 30 computers were taken away by officers, who did not leave a list of confiscated items. A total of eight assistants, along with Ai’s wife Liu Qing, were taken in for interrogations by police. They were all later released.[ii] 
  • On March 20, dozens of artists appeared at a performance art exhibition at the Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art. Some of the pieces touched on the current crackdown on freedom of expression and the "Jasmine Revolution," and as a result four artists were detained. On March 24, Beijing artists Huang Xiang (黄香), Zhui Hun (追魂), and Cheng Li (成力) were criminally detained for "causing a disturbance" by officers from the Songzhuang police station in  Beijing. The three are currently being held in the Tiahu Detention Center in Beijing's Tongzhou District. Also on March 24, Beijing artist Guo Gai (郭盖) was taken away by police, who confiscated his computer. It is believed that Guo was seized for taking photographs during the exhibition.  Guo is also being held in the Taihu Detenion Center, though further details are currently unavailable.[iii]
  • On April 4, Li Xinai (李昕艾), the wife of missing activist and intellectual Gu Chuan (古川), arrived at the Dongxiaokou police station in Beijing's Changping District along with her five-month-old baby to begin a hunger strike to protest her husband's disappearance. Li has been left alone with the couple's two young children for 45 days since police seized Gu on February 19.[iv]
  • On the afternoon of April 3, CHRD learned that Beijing-based activist Liu Anjun (刘安军), missing for 45 days, has returned home. According to a statement by Mr. Liu, he was seized outside of his home on February 18 by a group of officials including local police and National Security officers. The officers, after beating and kicking him, forcibly took him to a rural area outside of Beijing where he was guarded by local villagers who were being paid 50 RMB a day and given food and drink by local officials. Liu added that officers confiscated his two cell phones and stole 300 RMB from him. Liu went on a 10-day hunger strike to protest his illegal detention and, as a result, was taken to a hospital on March 18, where he remained under guard until he was freed. Local officials who visited him during his detention told him to “shup up and mind his own business.” Liu believes that his detention is related to an interview he gave on February 16 to Radio Free Asia about the jasmine revolution in Egypt.[v]

ShaanxiVillage Director and Fellow Villager Sentenced forOrganizing Resistance toLand GrabOn April 1, theChang'anDistrict Court in Shaanxi Province's Xi'an Citysentenced activist Gao Qiang (高强) andvillager Wang Wuqin (王武琴) to two years and 15months, respectively, inprison for "creating a disturbance." The two were alsoordered to paya total of 60,000 RMB in compensation to plaintiffs inan associated civilsuit. Mr. Gao was the elected village director ofBanganzhai Village, outsideof Xi'an. He and Ms. Wang were detained in March 2010after organizingvillagers to seek compensation for village landoccupied by a brick kilnconstructed by the village Party Secretary. (CHRD)[vi]Veteran LiaoningPetitioner Sent to RTLfor Fourth TimeCHRD learned on April3that petitioner Jiang Jiawen (姜家文), of Dandong City,Liaoning Province, has onceagain been sent to one year of Re-education throughLabor (RTL) by localofficials. This is the fourth occasion on which Jianghas been sent to RTL. Accordingto fellow petitioners, Jiang was seized in Beijingshortly before this year'sSpring Festival and forcibly returned to Dandong,where he was detained bypolice for 15 days. Jiang was released, only to beillegally detained in ablack jail and then sent back to detention when he gotinto a scuffle with theindividuals guarding him. Finally, local officialsdecided to send him to RTL.Jiang has been petitioning for redress of grievancesrelated to a 2001 incidentin which he was attacked and injured by a localfactory owner, as well as forabuses suffered during his years of petitioning.(CHRD)[vii]Six Days afterRelease, Elderly AnhuiPetitioner Once Again Illegally DetainedOn March 29, 63year-old petitioner Sun Bangying (孙帮英)was seized while petitioning at the Anhui ProvincialPublic Security Bureau inHefei City. She remains missing to date, and effortsto contact her have beenunsuccessful. It is believed that she is being heldunder soft detention bylocal officials. Sun, of Wagang Village, ChangfengCounty, was only six daysremoved from her last episode of soft detention, whichlasted for 32 days. Sunhad previously stated that, during that detention, shewas held in a black jailin Changfeng County where she was repeatedly beatenand kicked. Sun is seekingredress for a land dispute. (CHRD)[viii]HeilongjiangActivists Enter Fourth Week of Detention in BlackJailCHRD learned on March31 that Heilongjiang-basedhuman rights defender Liu Jie (刘杰) and her husband FuJingjiang (付井江) remain detained at aguesthouse in Xunke Farm(part of a military agricultural brigade inHeilongjiang Province), where theyhave been held for 22 days. The couple were seized inBeijing on March 5 andforcibly returned to Heilongjiang before being takento the guesthouse;officials have interrogated them about the "JasmineRevolution" andconfiscated their cell phones. (CHRD)[ix]Freedom ofAssemblyOfficialsDisrupt Annual Meeting of Anhui Province YouthCenter Run by AIDS ActivistOn April 4, the annualmeeting of 27 year-oldHIV/AIDS activist Chang Kun's (常坤) AIBO Youth Center inLinquan County, Anhui Province, was disrupted by localofficials. The meeting,which took place in the conference room of a localhotel, was interrupted firstby hotel management and later by officials from theGuangming SubdistrictOffice of Linquan County. Chang was pushed out of hischair by these officials,and struck his head violently on the floor. He wasunconscious forapproximately three hours before regainingconsciousness in a nearby hospital.In the days leading up to the meeting, the sameofficials also destroyed signsoutside of the youth center and smashed a camcorderbelonging to Chang. AIBOYouth Center was founded as part of "Chang Kun's Home"in May 2010.“Chang Kun’s Home” is designed to provide a place forstudents to gather andalso act as a venue for carrying out health, humanrights, policy, and internetfreedom education projects. (Yirenping)[x]Harassment ofActivistsDaughterof Fujian Rights Defender Wu Huaying Preventedfrom Traveling to Japan On the afternoon ofApril 1, the daughter ofFujian-based human rights activist Wu Huaying (吴华英)was prevented from boarding a Japan-bound flight byofficials at Xiamen's GaoqiInternational Airport. Officers told her that shemight "endanger statesecurity" after leaving the country. According to hermother, she hadplanned to study abroad in Japan. (CHRD)[xi]Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang Follow us on Twitter:  @CHRDnetNewsupdates from CHRD [i]"Chengdu Legal Worker Li Shuangde Formally Arrested"(成都法律工作者李双德被正式 逮捕(图)),April 5, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_05.html[ii]"Ai Weiwei Blocked from Leaving Country, Yao LifaPrevented from PayingRespects to Mother" (艾未未出境受阻,姚立法祭母被截),April 3, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_4069.html;"Ai Weiwei Detained More than 12 Hours, StudioSearched" (艾未未被羁押超过12小时,工作室被查抄(图)), April 3, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/12.html [iii]"Many Beijing Artists Criminally Detained forHolding Exhibition" (北京多位艺术家因举办艺术展被刑事拘 留(图) ), April 2,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_2341.html[iv]"Gu Chuan Missing 45 Days, Wife Begins Hunger Strikeat PoliceStation" (古川失踪45天,妻子到派出所绝食抗议), April 4, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/45_04.html[v]"Human Rights Activist Liu Anjun Returns Home after45 Days of SoftDetention During Which He Was Beaten and Robbed" (维权人士刘安军被软禁45天后回到家中,期间遭到殴打抢劫),April 3, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/45.html[vi]"Shaanxi Activist Gao Qiang Sentenced to Two Yearsin Prison" (陕西维权人士高强被判刑两年 (附判决书)), April 4,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_5007.html[vii]"Liaoning Petitioner Jiang Jiawen Sent to RTL forFourth Time" (辽宁访民姜家文第4次被劳教),April 3, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/4.html[viii]"Hefei Petitioner Sun Bangying Again Loses Freedom"(合肥女访民孙帮英 又失去人身自由),April 1, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_7484.html[ix]"Rights Activist Liu Jie Still Under Soft Detentionin Xunke Farm" (维 权人士刘杰仍然被软禁在逊克农场),March 31, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_7148.html[x]"Report Regarding the Beating of AIDS Welfare WorkerChang Kun bySubdistrict Cadres, Damaging of Youth ActivityCenter" (关于艾滋公益人士常坤遭社区 干部殴打、青年活动中心遭破坏的举报信),April 5, 2011, http://chinaaidsgroup.blogspot.com/2011/04/china-aids6402.html [xi]"Citizen's Legitimate Attempt to Study AbroadBlocked, Police ClaimPossible Threat to State Security" (合法公民出境求学受阻,警方称可能危害国家安全),April 1, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post.html

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