China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  November 16-23, 2010 | Countdown for China | 25 Nov 2010 | Amnesty International UK

China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  November 16-23, 2010

Highlights

  • Little-Known Wuhan Activist Charged with “Subversion of State Power:” CHRD learned this week that Li Tie (李铁), a Wuhan City, Hubei Province-based democracy activist and online freelance writer, has been arrested on charges of “subversion of state power.” The Chinese government has in recent years primarily pursued the charge of “subversion” against organizers of opposition parties, and a conviction carries a likely sentence of at least ten years in jail. CHRD urges the Chinese government to immediately release Li Tie and respect freedom of expression on the internet.
  • Zhao Lianhai Case Takes Strange Turn as He Drops Appeal, Fires Lawyers: Zhao Lianhai (赵连海), detained children’s rights activist and founder of the website Kidney Stone Babies, did not file an appeal before the deadline passed this week to challenge his conviction for “creating a disturbance.” Furthermore, a note signed by Zhao stated he no longer wished to be represented by lawyers Li Fangping (李方平) and Peng Jian (彭剑). Considering Zhao’s condemnation of his conviction only days ago, CHRD believes he was likely pressured into dropping his appeal by officials, perhaps in exchange for consideration of his request to be released on medical parole.  
  • In Memoriam: Professor Cai Dingjian (蔡定剑) CHRD was saddened to learn that Cai Dingjian (蔡定剑), prominent political scholar and director of the Institute for Study on Constitutionalism at China University of Political Science and Law, passed away from liver cancer on November 22. He was 55 years old. Funeral services will be held at 8 am on November 26 in the East Hall at Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing. Cai was a leading advocate for political and legal reform, and was highly-regarded and well-liked in both domestic and international legal and academic circles.

To downloadthis week's edition of CHRB as a .pdf file, please clickhere.

 ArbitraryDetentionArrestApproved for Wuhan Activist Accused of ‘Subversionof State Power’CHRD learned onNovember 17 that officials in WuhanCity, Hubei Province, have approved the arrest ofscholar and activist Li Tie (李铁)on suspicion of "subversion of state power." Li, whohad been out ofcontact with friends and fellow activists for morethan two months, is believedto have been criminally detained on September 15. Inrecent years, Li haswritten extensively about democracy and constitutionalgovernment in onlinearticles, and has organized activities to honor thememory of Lin Zhao (林昭)annually since 2008. (CHRD)[i]SichuanActivist Liu Xianbin Formally IndictedCHRD learned onNovember 17 that Sichuan democracyactivist Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌) has been formallyindicted for "inciting subversion of state power" bythe Suining CityIntermediate People's Court. Chengdu attorney MaXiaopeng (马小鹏),one of Liu's lawyers, received the indictment, datedNovember 11, from thecourt on the afternoon of the 17th. The formalindictment does not differsubstantially from the recommendation for prosecutionprepared by the SuiningCity Public Security Bureau. While the issuing of thisdocument clears the wayfor Liu to be tried by the court, lawyer Ma said itwas difficult to predictwhen the trial might take place. Liu, who has beencharged with “incitingsubversion of state power” based on articles he wroteand posted online, wascriminally detained on June 28 and formally arrestedon July 5 of this year. Heis currently being held in the Suining City DetentionCenter. (CHRD)[ii]Hearing Held inCase against Artist andActivist Wu Yuren, Trial SuspendedOn the morning ofNovember 17, Beijing artist andactivist Wu Yuren (吴玉仁) was tried for"obstructing public affairswith violence" in Chaoyang District's WenyuheCourthouse. The hearinglasted for approximately four hours and was adjournedafter Wu's lawyer LiFangping (李 方平)protested the showing of surveillance video,purporting to show Wu's"attack" on police, which had clearly been edited. Thecourt did notannounce when the hearing would be resumed. Wu wasdetained on June 1 afteraccompanying fellow artist Yang Licai (杨立才)to the police station to report the theft of agenerator, and was allegedlybeaten by police while in detention. He was one of theorganizers of a boldFebruary protest down Beijing’s Chang’an Avenue todraw attention to the forceddemolition of the 008 Arts District in February 2010,and his arrest isbelieved to be in retaliation for his activism. (CHRD)[iii]BeijingActivist Zhao Lianhai Pressured into DroppingAppeal, Firing LawyersCHRD learned onNovember 23 that detained children'srights activist Zhao Lianhai (赵连海) has fired hislawyersLi Fangping (李方平) and Peng Jian (彭剑).Li and Peng were notified of the decision via a notesigned by Zhao and onesigned by his wife Li Xuemei (李雪梅); however, it isunclear whether Zhao's signature was forged, orwhether he was coerced intosigning by officials. November 22 was the final day onwhich Zhao could haveappealed his conviction for "creating a disturbance,”for which he wassentenced to two and a half years in prison, and somehave speculated that Zhaowas pressured into dropping his appeal and firing hislawyers in exchange forrelease on medical parole. However, at the time ofwriting, Zhao remainsdetained at Daxing Detention Center in Beijing. Zhao'shome in Beijing's DaxingDistrict has been surrounded by police in recent days,and all contact with hiswife has been cut off. Lawyers Li and Peng have beenunder tight surveillanceand restriction of movement in recent days, and legalscholar Xu Zhiyong (许志永)has been threatened with similar measures forpublicizing information aboutZhao's appeal. (CHRD)[iv]HubeiHuman Rights Defender Yao Lifa Taken Away, Heldunder Soft DetentionOn the evening ofNovember 19, Qianjiang City, HubeiProvince rights activist Yao Lifa (姚立法) was prevented fromreturning to his home after work and instead was takenaway to Jingzhou City bya group of seven teachers acting under the orders ofthe Qianjiang CityDepartment of Education.  Yaoiscurrently under "soft detention" at a hotel inJingzhou. According toYao, he was removed from Qianjiang because localpolice were afraid that hewould investigate the case of a petitioner who hadrecently been beaten todeath by local officials in Qianjiang. The case hasalready attracted attentionlocally and officials are attempting to prevent thenews from spreading. (CHRD)[v]LiaoningPetitioner Sentenced to Four Years for Protestatop Smokestack in Beijing On the night of May 7,2010, Liaoning Provincepetitioner Han Xixuan (韩锡轩) and six othersclimbedto the top of a smokestack near Beijing's South TrainStation and scattereddocuments listing their grievances. They remained atthe top of the smokestackfor 40 hours, until officials promised to grant themcompensation for pastinjustices. However, on May 10, after the petitionersdescended, police fromHan's hometown of Jianchang County, Huludao Citycriminally detained him for"extortion." On June 2 he was formally arrested for"assemblinga crowd to disrupt the order of a public place," andon September 26, Hanwas convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.On November 8, the HuludaoCity Intermediate People's Court upheld his sentencefollowing an appeal.(CHRD)[vi]Officialsin Sichuan Continue to Bar Lawyers from Meetingwith Detained Dissident LiuXianbinOn November 23, humanrights lawyers Mo Shaoping (莫少平)and Ma Xiaopeng (马小鹏) attempted to visitwith detained democracyactivist Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌) at the Suining CityDetention Center in Sichuan Province. However, the twowere refused access totheir client on two occasions by officials at theDetention Center, who toldthem that they could not visit with Liu because hiscase was"special." Liu, who is being charged with “incitingsubversion ofstate power” based on articles he wrote and postedonline, was criminallydetained on June 28 and formally arrested on July 5 ofthis year. Since hiscase was transferred from the procuratorate to thecourt in August, his lawyershave been barred from meeting with him and have beenunable to review evidencesubmitted by the prosecution. (CHRD)[vii]VerdictExpected for Appeal by Sichuan Human RightsDefender Liu Zhengyou on November24CHRD has learned thata verdict in the secondinstance trial of Sichuan human rights defender LiuZhengyou (刘正有)for "fraud" will be announced at 4 pm on November 24.Liu's appealhearing was held on October 21. Liu, who is serving a2-year sentence followinga conviction in August, is the only one of fouroriginal co-defendants toremain in detention, and CHRD believes that localofficials have singled himout for harsher punishment as a way of intimidatingother local activists.  Liucontinues to suffer from rubella andexperienced another episode of dangerously high bloodpressure in earlyNovember. Officials at the Zigong City DetentionCenter, where he is currentlyheld, have so far been unable to provide effectivetreatment for theseconditions. (CHRD)[viii]SentenceUpheld for Beijing Lawyer Wang Yu, ActivistsSeized outside CourthouseOn November 18, theTianjin Railway Court held asecond instance hearing in the case of Beijing lawyerWang Yu (王宇),who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for “causingbodily harm due tonegligence” on September 21, 2010. According towitnesses at the scene, anumber of activists and supporters who had hoped atobserve the hearing wereroughly handled by plainclothes police officers andtaken away from thecourthouse: activists Ye Jinghuan (野靖环), Liu Xiuzhen (刘秀珍),and Wang Ling (王 玲),along with lawyer Dong Qianyong (董 前勇),were briefly detained and interrogated. Only three ofWang’s family memberswere allowed to be present in the courtroom. Accordingto a message posted toTwitter by lawyer Tang Jitian (唐吉田), the court upheldWang's conviction and sentence. On May 4, 2008, Wang got into a dispute with fourrailway workers at theTianjin West Railway Station. Wang, who said she washit by the workers, waslater seized and charged with “intentional injury.”She was tried on July 15,2009 and later sentenced to 3 years in prison by theTianjin Railway Court.However, the judgment was overturned by the BeijingRailway Intermediate Courton August 10, 2010, which ordered a re-trial of thecase due to “insufficientevidence.” Wang’s supporters and fellow lawyers haveargued that it isunconstitutional for the railway system to run aparallel system of police,procuratorate and courts, and that Wang’s case is aperfect example of howeasily the system is abused to persecute individualswho irk railway officials.(CHRD)[ix]Update:Activist Wang Yi Enters Re-education through LaborCampOn the evening ofNovember 16, human rights activistWang Yi (王 译)entered the Shibali River Women's Re-education throughLabor Camp in ZhengzhouCity, Henan Province. Police had originally attemptedto send Wang to the campon November 15, but officials refused to accept herwithout a pre-detentionphysical examination. Wang was given one year ofRe-education through Labor for"disrupting social order" based on a Twitter postingshe wrote onOctober 17 during violent anti-Japan demonstrations.(CHRD)[x]Hebei PetitionerSeized on TiananmenSquare, Whereabouts UnknownCHRD learned onNovember 16 that petitioner LiGuisuo (李 贵锁),of Hebei Province, has been missing since being seizedon Tiananmen Square onNovember 10. Repeated efforts by CHRD to contact himhave so far beenunsuccessful. Li has been petitioning for close to 10years on behalf of fellowvillagers after local officials embezzled disasterrelief funds from the centralgovernment and beat and detained individuals,including Li, who attempted tohold them accountable to higher authorities. (CHRD)[xi]Updateson Post-Nobel Harassment of ActivistsBeijingUniversity Professor Prevented from LeavingCountry to Attend SingaporeConferenceOn the evening ofNovember 19, religious scholar andPeople's University professor He Guanghu (何光沪)was prevented from leaving the country by borderofficials at Beijing's CapitalAirport. Professor He was en route to Singapore totake part in an academicconference. Officials gave He the same explanationthey had provided to otherindividuals prevented from leaving the country inrecent weeks, that he might"endanger state security" while abroad. (CHRD)[xii]LawyerPrevented from Meeting with Guo Xianliang,Criminally Detained for SpreadingWord about Nobel Peace PrizeCHRD learned onNovember 23 that police in GuangzhouCity, Guangdong Province refused lawyer LiuZhengqing's (刘正清)request to meet with detained engineer Guo Xianliang (郭贤良).Guo was criminally detained on suspicion of “incitingsubversion of statepower” on October 29 for passing out flyers containinginformation about LiuXiaobo and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. According tolawyer Liu, he submittedhis request to the Yuexiu District Public SecurityBureau in Guangzhou onNovember 9, but on November 11 received a responsestating that he could notmeet with is client because his case was "special."Liu has submitteda formal complaint to the Public Security Bureau.(CHRD)[xiii]Policein Ningxia Summon Activist Chen Xiaochang,Confiscate ComputersPolice arrived at theYinchuan City, Ningxia HuiAutonomous Region store operated by democracy activistChen Xiaochang (陈晓昶)on the morning of November 16 and announced they wouldbe confiscating twocomputers belonging to him and summoning him forquestioning. According to theofficers, monitoring by the Ministry of InformationIndustries discovered thatChen had downloaded a large quantity of informationwhich "incitedsubversion of the state and threatened the unity ofthe country." Duringseven hours of questioning, police primarily askedChen about Charter 08,which he had posted on his Facebook account. They thenthreatened to send Chento Re-education through Labor if he continued todownload materials related to Charter08, and fined him 2000 RMB. (CHRD)[xiv]BeijingPolice Order Power Cut to Home of Activists ZhangHui and Xiao Lu On the afternoon ofNovember 17, Beijing humanrights activist Xiao Lu (小路) suddenly lost powerat her home; when she went to investigate the problem,she discovered a workercutting her power lines. She was told that herelectricity was beingdisconnected at the request of local officials.  It isbelieved that thislatest episode of harassment is part of efforts bypolice and officials toforce Xiao Lu and her husband, fellow activist ZhangHui (张辉),to move out of their neighborhood. Zhang is currentlybeing forced to traveloutside of Beijing. (CHRD)[xv]Harassmentof ActivistsAnhuiActivist Zhou Weilin Summoned Twice in One WeekOn the morning ofNovember 23, Anhui human rightsdefender and CHRD field investigator Zhou Weilin (周维林)was seized outside of the Hefei City governmentoffices by police and illegallysummoned for questioning. Zhou, who is disabled frominjuries suffered in afactory and uses a wheelchair, was released aftereight hours of interrogationand detention; police confiscated his digital cameraand an audio recordingdevice. Zhou had been at the offices to report on thefailure of local policeto investigate an illegal fireworks display five daysearlier, during whichepisode he was also illegally summoned. He was seizedby police afterwitnessing a scuffle between officers and petitionersoutside of the offices.(CHRD)[xvi]

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]"Wuhan Activist Li Tie Arrested on Suspicion of'Subversion of StatePower'" (武汉维权人士李铁被以涉嫌“颠覆国家政权罪”逮捕),November 17, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011171555.shtml;also http://chrdnet.org/2010/11/22/subversion-charge-against-little-known-activist-indicates-heightened-crackdown-on-dissent-in-china/[ii]"Liu Xianbin Formally Indicted (IndictmentAttached)" (刘贤斌已被正式起诉(附起诉书)(图)),November17, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011171922.shtml[iii]"Chang'an Avenue Demonstration Organizer Wu Yuren"AttackingPolice" Case Hearing Extended" (长安街游行组织者 吴玉仁被“袭警”案延期审理(图)),November 18, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011180030.shtml[iv]"Tight Security in Force around Home of ZhaoLianhai, Release on MedicalParole Possible if He Gets Rid of Lawyer" (赵连海住宅外戒备森严,解除律师后或可保外就医(图)),November 23, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011231153.shtml[v]"Special Alert: Elections Experty Yao Lifa OnceAgain Kidnapped, TakenAway" (特别关注:选举专家姚立法再次被绑架到外地),November19, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011192126.shtml[vi]"For Climbing Tower to Voice Grievances, HuluIsland, Liaoning PetitionerHan Xixuan Sentenced to Four Years in Prison" (因爬高塔喊冤,辽宁葫芦岛访民韩锡轩被判刑4年),November 20, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011201216.shtml[vii]"Lawyer Mo Shaoping Barred from Meeting with LiuXianbin" (莫少平律师被阻止会见刘贤斌), November 23,2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011231727.shtml[viii]"Verdict Announcement Tomorrow for Liu ZhengyouDefrauding Social SecurityCase" (刘正有涉嫌诈骗社保案将于明天下午宣判), November23,2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011231722.shtml[ix]"Would-be Attendees to Second Trial of Wang YuViolently Taken Seized byPolice outside of Courthouse" (王宇二审开庭要求 旁听者被警方暴力抓走), November18, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011181018.shtml;"'Wang Yu Case' Second Instance Hearing AttendeesInterrogated after BeingBeaten" (“王宇案”二审要求旁听者被殴打后带走审讯),November18, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011181345.shtml[x]"Wang Yi Enters Re-education through Labor Camp" (王译被送入劳教所),November 17, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011172223.shtml[xi]"Hebei Petitioner Li Guisuo Missing Days After BeingSeized on TiananmenSquare" (河北访民李贵锁天安门被抓多日下落不明), November16,2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011161852.shtml[xii]"People's University Professor He Guanghu Preventedfrom Leaving theCountry" (中国人民大学教授何光沪被阻止出境), November20,2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011202306.shtml[xiii]"Guangzhou Police Bar Lawyer from Meeting with GuoXianliang, LawyerSubmits Written Opinion to Relevant Departments inAccordance with Law" (广州警方拒绝律师会见郭贤良,律师依法向有关部门提交意见书),November 23, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011232348.shtml[xiv]"Chen Xiaochang, of Ningxia, Summoned and Has HouseSearched for CollectingCharter 08" (因收藏《08宪章 》,宁夏陈晓昶被抄家传唤),November 17, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011171748.shtml[xv]"Electricity Cut to Home of Human Rights ActivistsZhang Hui, Xiao Lu byBeijing National Security Officers to Force Move" (维权人士张辉、小 路家被北京国保逼迁断电),November 17, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011171635.shtml[xvi]"A Record of Anhui Human Rights Activist ZhouWeilin's Summons by Policein Hefei" (安徽维权人士周维林被合肥警方传唤经过(图)),November 23, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/11/201011232326.shtml

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