China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  March 9-30, 2011

Highlights

  • Harsh 10-Year Sentence Handed Down to Sichuan Activist Liu Xianbin: On March 25, the Suining City Intermediate Court in Sichuan Province convicted activist Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌) of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced him to a decade in prison. The decision is believed to be both punishment for Liu’s activism and a signal to those currently detained in the “Jasmine Revolution” crackdown for similar crimes that they could be subjected to lengthy sentences.
  •  At Least a Dozen Missing, 26 Facing Criminal Detention as Government Cracks Down on Civil Society: It has been a little over one month since anonymous calls for “Jasmine Revolution” protests in China appeared online, and the government’s frenzied crackdown on activists and dissidents continues to escalate. As of March 31, three activists have been formally arrested for “inciting subversion of state power,” while 23 others have been criminally detained and a dozen individuals, including a number of prominent human rights lawyers, remain missing and at risk of torture or mistreatment.
  • Young Man Dead after Confrontation with Family Planning Officials in Shandong: Linyi, the Shandong Province city where Chen Guangcheng and his wife famously exposed the use of violence by family planning officials in 2005, once again finds itself at the center of a major case involving this same issue. On March 21, a young man named Xu Shuaishuai (徐帅帅) died after being stabbed by a member of a group led by family planning officials seeking to coerce Xu’s sister into undergoing a birth control procedure.

Contents

 ArbitraryDetentionCrackdown on the“Jasmine Revolution”Continues to EscalateThe Chinese governmenthascriminally detained a total of 26 individuals,disappeared more than 30, andput more than 200 under soft detention sincemid-February after anonymous callsfor “Jasmine Revolution” protests first appearedonline.  As of March 31,three of the criminally detained have been formallyarrested while five havebeen released on bail to await trial, a dozen of thedisappeared remain missingincluding a number of prominent human rights lawyers;while almost all of thesoft detentions have been lifted. For a full list ofthose currently missing, under arrest, or in criminaldetention, please see ourwebsite at http://chrdnet.org/2011/03/31/escalating-crackdown-following-call-for-%E2%80%9Cjasmine-revolution%E2%80%9D-in-china/Sichuan ActivistLiu Xianbin Sentencedto 10 Years in Prison for “Inciting Subversion”On the morning ofMarch 25, democracy activist LiuXianbin (刘贤斌) was sentenced to 10years in prison for “incitingsubversion of state power” with an additional twoyears and four months'deprivation of political rights by the Suining CityIntermediate Court inSichuan Province. The trial lasted approximately twohours. Liu's lawyers werefrequently interrupted by the presiding judge, and Liuhimself was only allowedto speak a few words. Activists in Sichuan Provincehad their movementsrestricted by the police and only Liu’s wife andbrother were able to attendthe trial. Liu Xianbin wasdetained for “inciting subversion ofstate power” on June 28, 2010, only a year after hewas released following adecade in prison for “subversion of state power” in1999. A longtime activist,Liu was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in1992 for hisparticipation in the 1989 pro-democracy movement.Following his release, hededicated himself to democracy and human rightsactivism, and in 1998 was afounding member of the Sichuan branch of the ChinaDemocracy Party (CDP). InAugust 1999, Liu was convicted and sentenced to 13years’ imprisonment for hisinvolvement with the CDP. This most recent sentence isbelieved to bepunishment for his dedication to democracy activismand human rights defense,and his refusal to abandon his principles followinghis release from prison. Inthe year he was free, among other activities, he was asupporter of Charter08 and a vocal advocate for fellow persecutedactivists including Liu Xiaobo(刘晓波).[i]Three Detained inSichuan for Attemptingto Attend Trial of Liu XianbinOn March 25, fourpetitioners and rights activistsfrom Chengdu City, Sichuan Province—Deng Pinfang (邓品芳),Li Renyu (李仁玉), Kan Siyun (阚思云),and Peng Tianhui (彭天惠)—traveled to SuiningCity to observe the trial ofactivist Liu Xianbin (刘 贤斌).Shortly after arriving in Suining, however, the fourwere seized by police andforcibly returned to Chengdu. Deng was released, butLi, Kan, and Peng weregiven seven days of administrative detention; precisedetails about theirsituation are not currently available. Deng, Li, Kan,and Peng beganpetitioning after being forcibly and violently evictedfrom their homes. (CHRD)[ii]Elderly AnhuiPetitioner Released after32 Days of Illegal DetentionOn March 23, 63year-old petitioner Sun Bangying (孙帮英)was released following 32 days of illegal detention inChangfeng County, AnhuiProvince. Sun, who lives in Changfeng's WagangVillage, was seized from herhome by local officials on February 19 to prevent herfrom petitioning duringthe "Two Meetings" of the National People's Congressand the NationalCommittee of the Chinese People's PoliticalConsultative Conference. Accordingto Sun, she was repeatedly beaten and kicked whileheld in the black jail inChangfeng County. Sun is seeking redress for a landdispute, and has previouslybeen detained on two other occasions. (CHRD)[iii]Sichuan ActivistPlaced Under UnlawfulResidential Surveillance after Release from PrisonOn March 18, ZengRongkang (曾荣康),one of the ten activists convicted of “assembling acrowd to disrupt socialorder” for staging a protest outside of a Chengducourt, was released fromprison after serving a two year sentence. Zeng was thefifth activist released.However, similar to the other four activists who werereleased before him, Zengwas immediately notified that he had been put underresidential surveillance.Zeng argues that the authorities have no legal basisto place him underresidential surveillance – a form of pre-trialnon-custodial detention-- afterhe has completed his prison term. (CHRD)[iv]Victimof Forced Eviction Held in Fujian Black JailOn March 11, Fujianpetitioner Lin Fazhen (林发珍)was intercepted while petitioning about the forceddemolition of her home atthe National Letters and Visits Office in Beijing.Fuzhou interceptors andhired guards forcibly sent Lin, from Jin’an Districtin Fuzhou City, toYeleyuan Hotel in Xizhimen District in Beijing, whereshe is currently heldwith a group of more than twenty other petitionersfrom Fuzhou City. Lin calledthe Beijing police repeatedly but the latter has notacted to release them fromillegal detention.[v]GuangxiVillagers Interrogated and Threatened for beingInterviewed by AmericanJournalistsOn March 17, twovillagers from Beihai City BaihutouVillage were taken away while being interviewed byAmerican journalists aboutthe forced demolition of their village. Gao Shiying (高世英)and Feng Guangmei (冯广梅) were beinginterviewed when several militarypolicemen and government officials barged into thehotel room of the Americanjournalists. Gao and Feng were taken to the policestation, interrogated andwarned against being interviewed by foreignjournalists while the journalistswere tightly monitored before they left Beihai Citythe same evening. (CHRD)[vi]“Subversion” Caseagainst Wuhan ActivistLi Tie Transferred to CourtCHRD learned on March17 that the case of WuhanCity, Hubei Province-based activist Li Tie (李铁),detained on September 15, 2010, for "subversion ofstate power," hasbeen transferred from the Wuhan Procuratorate to thecourts for prosecution.On March 10, Beijing lawyer Jin Guanghong (金光鸿)and Li's younger brother once again travelled to theoffices of the WuhanProcuratorate to request a visit with Li; officialsrejected their request onthe grounds that Li's case involves state secrets. Todate, Jin has yet to meetwith Li. Police also told Jin that Li had "requestedthe police providehim with an attorney;" the family retained Jin torepresent Li months ago,and as early as December officials were alreadypressuring the family to dropJin for a lawyer chosen by the police.   Li, whosearrest wasapproved on November 17, has written extensively aboutdemocracy andconstitutional government in online articles, and hasorganized activities tohonor the memory of Lin Zhao (林昭) annually since 2008.(CHRD)[vii]Sichuan ActivistLu Dachun in UrgentNeed of Medical Care Following Release from PrisonCHRD has learned thatSichuan activist Lu Dachun (陆大椿),who was released from prison on March 3 after servingtwo years for"assembling a crowd to disrupt social order," isextremely ill andliving at home under residential surveillance (jianshijuzhu). Lusuffers from diabetes, sinusitis, high blood pressure,cholecystitis, and has atumor which doctors advised him to have removedimmediately. Lu's health worsenedconsiderably during the two years he was imprisonedbecause of poor livingconditions and inadequate care, and he is currentlyunable to afford thenecessary treatments. Lu was arrested and imprisonedin connection with aFebruary 2009 demonstration outside of the ChengduCity Intermediate Court inSichuan Province. (CHRD)[viii]HousingRights Activist Liu Guohui MissingActivist Liu Guohui (刘国慧),of Linyi City, Shandong Province, has been missingsince being called for atalk by local police on March 10. Liu, a housingrights activist, was held in ablack jail from February 19 to 22 by local officialswho sought to prevent herfrom making public information she had gatheredregarding forced evictions.(CHRD)[ix]Harassmentof ActivistsPolicePressure Landlord to Force Activist “Tiger Temple”to MoveOn the afternoon ofMarch 15, activist andindependent film producer Zhang Shihe (张世和,also known as "Tiger Temple" [老虎庙]),was called in for a "chat" with police officers inHebei Province'sXianghe City, where he currently lives. Afterreturning home, Zhang wasinformed by his landlord that he would have to moveout of his apartment thatevening. According to Zhang, his landlord told himthat he would face a fine of10,000 RMB or more if he did not compel Zhang to move.(CHRD)[x]Torture andOther Cruel, Inhuman, orDegrading Treatment and PunishmentShandong YouthDead after Stabbing atHands of Group Led by Family Planning OfficialsCHRD has learned thata young man in Linyi City,Shandong Province, has died after being stabbed by anunidentified individualworking with local family planning officials. On theevening of March 21, agroup of more than 10 individuals, led by cadres fromthe Jiuqu Town FamilyPlanning Bureau, entered the Taiping Town home of XuShuaishuai (徐帅帅).The group sought to force Xu's elder sister to undergosome birth controlsurgery; however, when they could not find her, theybegan to argue with Xu'sfather, later striking him. Xu came to his father'sdefense and was stabbedtwice in the chest by one of the individuals. He wasrushed to the hospital,but died as a result of these wounds. Xu's murdererhas yet to be arrested, andlocal officials have failed to take responsibility forthe incident, accordingto the family. (CHRD)[xi]

Editors: DavidSmalls and Lin Sang Follow us on Twitter:  @CHRDnetNewsupdates from CHRD

[i]"Stop the Practice of Criminalizing Speech, Upholdthe Promise of theConstitution-- CHRD" Statement on the Heavy SentenceGiven to LiuXianbin" (结束以言治罪,落实《宪法》承诺——“维权网”就刘贤斌被重判的声明), March 25, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_5530.html

[ii]"For Travelling to Suining to Observe Trial of LiuXianbin, Three CitizensAre Detained" (因前往遂宁欲旁听刘贤斌案开庭三公民 被拘留), March 28, 2011,http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_7007.html

[iii]"Hefei Petitioner Sun Bangying Released after Morethan One Month inDetention" (合肥访民孙帮英被关押一个多月后获释), March 26,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_8060.html

[iv]CHRD, “Zeng Rongkang in Chengdu ‘Chained Door’ CaseSubjected to ResidentialSurveillance after completion of sentence (成都“链子门”事件中的曾荣康刑满,但仍被监视居住),” March 20,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_3122.html

[v]CHRD, “Fuzhou Petitioner Lin Fazhen, Held in BlackJail, Sought Emergency Helpfrom outside (福建访民林发珍在“黑监狱”中向外紧急求 救),” March 20, 2011,http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_5289.html

[vi]CHRD, “American Journalists Barred from ConductingInterviews in BeihaiBaihutou Village (美国记者采访北海白虎头村遭阻),” March 18,2011,http://blog.boxun.com/hero/201103/chrd/105_1.shtml

[vii]"Wuhan Li Tie Case Quickly Transferred to Courts" (武汉李铁案被快速 转到法院), March 17,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_6030.html?spref=tw

[viii]"Lu Dachun Living under Residential SurveillanceFollowing Release fromPrison; In Need of Urgent Medical Treatment for ManyIllnesses" (陆大椿出狱后被监视居住,身患多病急需治疗), March14, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_14.html

[ix]"Urgent Alert: Linyi, Shandong Activist Liu GuohuiMissing after Talkswith Police, Leaves Last Testament" (紧急关注:山东临 沂维权人士刘国慧被警方约谈时留下《遗书》失踪),March15, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_9066.html?spref=tw

[x]"Laohumiao Faces Pressure to Move" (老虎庙面临被 迫搬家困境), March 16,2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_7235.html

[xi]"Family Planning Murder Case in Chen Guangcheng'sHometown of Linyi City,22 Year-old Youth Cruelly Killed" (陈光诚老家临沂再爆计生血案,22岁青年惨遭杀害(图)), March 27, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/03/22.html

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