China Human Rights Briefing Weekly November 10-15, 2010
- Children’s Rights Advocate Zhao Lianhai Sentenced to Two and a Half Years in Prison: Zhao Lianhai (赵连海), founder of the website Kidney Stone Babies and a leading figure among parents seeking justice after their children were sickened by tainted milk powder, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison this week for “creating a disturbance.” Zhao’s trial, which took place in a closed court, concluded more than seven months ago.
- Tweet Leads to One Year of Re-education through Labor for Henan Activist: Wang Yi (王译), an activist from Henan Province, was sent to one year of Re-education through Labor (RTL) on the morning of November 15. According to the RTL notice issued by local officials, Wang’s detention is punishment for a tweet she posted on October 17 regarding violent anti-Japanese demonstrations.
- Second Citizen Criminally Detained as Clampdown Following Liu Xioabo’s Nobel Prize Continues: CHRD learned this week that Shen Minqiang (沈民强), a supporter of Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), has been criminally detained by police in Beijing. Shen was seized outside of Liu’s residence on October 8 and originally taken into administrative detention; it is not clear when he was criminally detained, or what charges have been filed against him.
- Freedom of Expression
- Update on Post-Nobel Harassment of Activists
- Arbitrary Detention
- Officials in Western Hunan Province Detain Veteran Petitioner in Psychiatric Institution
- Baihutou Villager Once Again Taken into Custody for Resisting Land Requisition
- Health of Detained Activist Liu Zhengyou Worsens; Prison Officials Restrict Recreation, Correspondence
- Authorities in Liaoning Detain Teacher in Psychiatric Institution for Online Articles
- Three Petitioners Criminally Detained in Beijing for Smokestack Protest
- Harassment of Activists
- In Message, Wife of Activist Chen Guangcheng Voices Concerns for His Health, Ongoing Harassment
- Officials at Beijing Detention Center Bar Lawyer from Visiting Activist Zhao Lianhai
- Officials in Shanghai Briefly Kidnap Activist Shen Peilan
- Guangdong Rights Activist Zhang Shiwen Faces Surveillance, Restriction of Movement as Asian Games Begin
- Citizens’ Actions
Freedomof ExpressionZhaoLianhai, Advocate for Milk Powder Victims,Sentenced to Two and a Half Years inPrison after Long DelayOn the morning ofNovember 10, children’s rightsactivist Zhao Lianhai (赵连海) was sentenced to twoand a half years in prison for "creating adisturbance" by the DaxingDistrict Court in Beijing. Zhao is the founder of thewebsite Kidney StoneBabies, which is dedicated to advocating for familieswhose children became illafter drinking tainted milk powder. His convictioncomes nearly one year afterhe was taken into detention and more than seven monthsafter he was tried in aclosed court, a delay which lawyer Li Fangping said"far exceeded"the legally stipulated time limits for announcing averdict.Approximately 40supporters gathered outside thecourthouse during the hearing, though only Zhao'slawyers Li Fangping and PengJian (彭剑), along with his wifeand mother, were allowed intothe courtroom. According to lawyer Li, Zhao plans toappeal his conviction, andwill go on a hunger strike in protest. (CHRD)[i]HenanRights Activist Sent to Re-education through Laborfor Twitter PostingOn the morning ofNovember 15, Henan Province humanrights activist Wang Yi (王译) was taken from theChangyuan County hotel where she was being held under"softdetention" and driven by police to the Shibali RiverWomen's Re-educationthrough Labor (RTL) Camp in Zhengzhou City, Henan.Wang was told that she wasbeing sent to one year of RTL for "disrupting socialorder" based ona Twitter posting she wrote on October 17 duringviolent anti-Japandemonstrations. However, when she arrived at the RTLcamp, officials refused toaccept her because she had not completed a mandatorypre-detention physicalexamination. At the time of writing, she is being heldin a guesthouse inZhengzhou City; police have stated they will take herto be examined on the16th so that they may then return her to the RTL camp.(CHRD)[ii]Updateon Post-Nobel Harassment of ActivistsShenMinqiang, Beijing Citizen, Criminally Detained forAccepting Interviews Outsideof Liu Xiaobo’s HomeAccording toinformation posted to Twitter byBeijing human rights lawyer Teng Biao (滕彪),police in Beijing have criminally detained Beijingcitizen Shen Minqiang (沈民强),who was detained outside of Liu Xiaobo's residence onOctober 8. Shen wasanswering questions from journalists when he wasseized by police and takeninto administrative detention. It is not currentlyclear when he was criminallydetained, or what charges have been filed against him.(CRLW)[iii]CitizenJournalist Hua Ze Held under “Soft Detention” inJiangxi Province; Activist LiHai Still MissingCHRD learned on themorning of November 15 thatcitizen journalist Hua Ze (华泽, known online asLinghunpiaoxiang [灵魂飘香]) is being held under"soft detention" inXinyu City, Jiangxi Province. Her whereabouts wereunknown for more than twoweeks; she had been kidnapped and held for three daysbetween October 27 and 30before being forced to leave Beijing by train. Beijing activist LiHai (李海),who was seized by police on the afternoon of October31, remains missing tothis date. While it was originally speculated thatofficers had forced him toreturn to his hometown, family members report theyhave not seen him or receivedany formal notice regarding his whereabouts frompolice. (CHRD)[iv] ArbitraryDetentionOfficialsin Western Hunan Province Detain VeteranPetitioner in Psychiatric InstitutionCHRD learned onNovember 14 that Jishou City, HunanProvince petitioner Zhang Zhi (张治) has been detained ina psychiatric institution by local officials sinceSeptember 18. Reportedly,local officials have refused to release her unless shesigns a statement promisingto stop petitioning. Zhang has been petitioning since2001, when her farmlandwas requisitioned for development by local governmentofficials without herconsent. In 2005 and 2006, Zhang was detained in apsychiatric institution for18 months after being seized in Beijing. Zhang'schildren, two 12-year old twingirls and a 10 year-old son, have been forced toabandon their education astheir mother remains in detention. (CHRD)[v]BaihutouVillager Once Again Taken into Custody forResisting Land RequisitionOn the morning ofNovember 12, Zhang Chunqiong (张春琼),a resident of Baihutou Village in Guangxi Province'sBeihai City, was onceagain taken into custody by police. Zhang had beendetained along with BaihutouVillage director Xu Kun (许坤) in May 2010 andcharged with “operating an illegal business,” but wasreleased on bail to awaittrial on October 12. Zhang, Xu, and others had beenactive in resisting theforced requisition of village land by local officials.Altogether, eightvillagers have been detained for their opposition tothe land grab, includingthree who have been sentenced to prison for"obstructing officialbusiness." (CHRD)[vi]Healthof Detained Activist Liu Zhengyou Worsens; PrisonOfficials RestrictRecreation, CorrespondenceCHRD learned onNovember 12 that detained Sichuanhuman rights defender Liu Zhengyou (刘正有) is suffering fromrubella and has experienced another episode ofdangerously high blood pressurein recent days. Officials at the Zigong City DetentionCenter, where he iscurrently held, have so far been unable to provideeffective treatment for theseconditions. Furthermore, according to a fellowdetainee, after Liu's convictionon trumped-up "fraud" charges this past August,detention centerofficials have barred him from leaving his cell forexercise, forbidden himfrom reading books or periodicals, and cut offcorrespondence between him andhis friends and family. Liu, a longtime activist andfounder of a localrights-defense group responsible for providingassistance to petitioners anddocumenting local rights abuses, has been in detentionsince November 2009.(CHRD)[vii]Authoritiesin Liaoning Detain Teacher in PsychiatricInstitution for Online ArticlesCHRD learned onNovember 11 that Li Qidong (李启东),a teacher from Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, iscurrently being detained ina psychiatric institution on the orders of officialsfrom the ShenyangRe-education through Labor (RTL) Committee.Reportedly, no family membersauthorized Li's hospitalization. Li was given one yearof RTL for "disruptingwork unit order" in November 2009, but was releasedearly in July of thisyear to look after his parents, who are elderly and inpoor health. However, Liwas once again taken into detention in August afterposting articles online,where he writes under the name Xin Qingnian (新青年).Further details, including the location of theinstitution where Li is beingheld, are not currently available. (CHRD)[viii]ThreePetitioners Criminally Detained in Beijing forSmokestack ProtestCHRD learned on theevening of November 10 thatpolice in Beijing have criminally detained threepetitioners who climbed up asmokestack in Beijing's Fengtai District to protest onNovember 8. Ma Hailing (马海玲)and Lou Hongyu (楼红宇) are currently beingheld at the Fengtai DistrictDetention Center, while Ding Meifang (丁美芳), of Anhui Province,is being held in the Beijing Liaison Office of theAnhui Provincial Governmentbecause she is in poor health. The plight of the threedemonstrates the lengthsto which petitioners in the capital are frequentlypushed to draw attention totheir cases. Ding is seeking compensation for medicalexpenses and a criminalinvestigation after she was beaten and injured bypolice in Hefei City in 2008,while Ma wants upper-level officials to investigatelocal officials who dug upher mother's grave and reburied her withoutpermission. (CHRD)[ix]Harassmentof ActivistsInMessage, Wife of Activist Chen Guangcheng VoicesConcerns for His Health,Ongoing HarassmentCHRD has recentlylearned of a message written byYuan Weijing (袁伟静), wife of prominenthuman rights defender ChenGuangcheng (陈光诚), indicating that, asthe couple remains under defacto house arrest, Chen's health continues to worsen.He is in urgent need ofmedical treatment for a gastrointestinal condition.Chen was released fromprison on September 9 after four years and threemonths of incarceration, and sincethen he and his wife have been confined to their homein Yinan County, ShandongProvince. Yuan's message, dated October 27, onlyrecently reached its intendedrecipient; police and local officials have cut off allforms of communicationbetween Chen's home and the outside world, and hiredthugs have prevented anyvisitors from entering Chen's village. (CHRD)[x]Officialsat Beijing Detention Center Bar Lawyer fromVisiting Activist Zhao LianhaiOn the morning ofNovember 15, human rights lawyerLi Fangping (李方平) attempted to visitwith detained human rightsactivist Zhao Lianhai (赵连海) at the DaxingDetention Center in Beijing. However, a police officerin the reception areatold Li that he could not visit with Zhao, and wouldhave to contact him bytelephone instead. The officer did not offer anexplanation why this was thecase. Zhao is in the sixth day of a hunger strikewhich he began in protest ofhis conviction for "creating a disturbance" onNovember 10. (CHRD)[xi]Officialsin Shanghai Briefly Kidnap Activist Shen PeilanOn the morning ofNovember 11, Shanghai activistShen Peilan (沈佩兰) was seized outsideof her home by an official fromthe Minhang District Letters and Visits Bureau as wellas city administrationand law enforcement bureau staff (chengguan).Shenwas roughly handled and forced into a waiting vehicle.The car drovearound for more than an hour before she was returnedto her home. Though shesuffered injuries to her head, arms, and legs, Shenreports that local policehave so far refused to record her account of theincident or provide her with amedical examination. It is believed that Shen’sabduction is related to a massprotest which took place outside the Maqiao Towngovernment offices on November10 concerning the death of villager Zhang Meihua (张妹花),who was beaten to death by city administration and lawenforcement officials. (CHRD)[xii]GuangdongRights Activist Zhang Shiwen Faces Surveillance,Restriction of Movement asAsian Games BeginOn the afternoon ofNovember 11, scholar and humanrights activist Zhang Shiwen (张世文) was confronted inRaopingCounty, Guangdong Province, by individuals believed tobe National Securityofficers. The officers informed him they were placinghim under surveillanceand restricting his movements, and warned him againsthandling any cases onbehalf of citizens in Guangdong during the AsianGames. Zhang has for yearshelped petitioners in Guangdong file lawsuits againstthe government. Accordingto the officers, Zhang was being put undersurveillance because of articles hehad posted online regarding Mao Zedong, though fellowactivists believe thepolice action is also part of efforts to quell dissentduring the Asian Games,which began on November 12 and will run until November27. At the time ofwriting, Zhang was being held in his residence bypolice. (CHRD)[xiii]Citizens’ActionsCHRDIssues Statement Welcoming Release of Aung San SuuKyiOn November 14, CHRDissued a statement welcomingthe release of Burmese democracy leader Aung San SuuKyi from house arrest. Forthe original text (in Chinese), please click here;an English translation is available here.Editors: DavidSmalls and Lin Sang Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnetNewsupdates from CHRDIssues and Cases CHRD Recommendsthe Committee against TortureInclude in its List of Issues for the ChineseGovernment to Address in itsFifth Periodic Report[i]"Zhao Lianhai Sentenced to Two and a Half Years inPrison for 'Creating aDisturbance'" (赵连海被以“寻衅滋事罪”判刑两年半(图)),November 10, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011100915.shtmland "Beijing Court Fabricates Witnesses for ZhaoLianhai Case, Activistsand Netizens Launch Hunger Strike in Protest" (北京法院捏造赵连海案中的“证人”，维权人士与网友发起绝食抗议), November 10, 2010,http://www.boxun.tv/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011102309.shtml.[ii]"News Flash: Human Rights Activist Wang Yi About toBe Sent toRe-education through Labor" (快讯：维权人士王译正要被送去劳教),November 15, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011151121.shtmland "RTL Camp Temporarily Refuses to Accept ActivistWang Yi" (维权人士王译暂被劳教所拒收), November 15,2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011160005.shtml[iii]"News Flash: Beijing Citizen Shen MinqiangCriminally Detained forPublicizing Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Prize" (快讯：北京公民沈民强宣传刘晓波获诺奖被刑拘),November 9, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011092041.shtml[iv]"Citizen Journalist Hua Ze Still Under SoftDetention; Li Hai Missing ForMany Days without Information" (公民记者华泽仍被软禁 李海失踪多日无消息(图)), November 15, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011152005.shtml[v]"Jishou, Hunan Petitioner Zhang Zhi Again Detainedin PsychiatricInstitution, Three Daughters Deprived of Education"(湖南吉首访民张治再次被关精神病院，三子女失学), November 14, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011141048.shtml[vi]"Government Goes Back on its Word, Baihutou VillagerZhang Chunqiong AgainDetained" (政府出尔反尔，白虎头村民张春琼再度被拘捕),November14, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011142106.shtml[vii]"Zigong Activist Liu Zhengyou Barred fromExercising, Health Worsens"(自贡维权人士刘正有被禁止放风，健康状况恶化), November 12,2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011122113.shtml[viii]"Young Shenyang Teacher Li Qidong (Online Name XinQingnian) Sent toPsychiatric Institution" (沈阳青年教师李启东（网民新青年）被送精神病院),November11, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011112004.shtml[ix]"Petitioners Who Climbed Chimney in Beijing toProtest Detained" (北京登烟囱抗议的访民被拘留),November 11, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011102118.shtml[x]"Chen Guangcheng Still Tightly Confined, In UrgentNeed of MedicalTreatment" (陈光诚仍被严密限制自由，亟需就医), November15,2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011150912.shtml[xi]"Zhao Lianhai's Hunger Strike of Indefinite DurationEnters Sixth Day; LiFangping Applies to Visit, is Rejected" (赵连海无限期绝食进入第六天 李方平律师申请会见被拒(图)),November 15, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011151232.shtml[xii]"Shanghai Activist Shen Peilan Savagely Kidnapped,Beaten" (上海维权人士沈佩兰遭到野蛮绑架、殴打), November11, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011111337.shtml[xiii]"Prominent Guangzhou Activist Zhang ShiwenThreatened by 'Suspected'Police" (广州著名维权人士留美双博士张世文被“疑似”警察控制),November 12, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011121331.shtml
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.