Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  November 3-9, 2010


  • One Month after Nobel Prize Announcement, Pressure on Activists Continues: The nationwide police mobilization which began on October 8 showed no sign of slowing as CHRD continued to receive reports this week of civil society actors faced with restrictions on their movement and harassment from the authorities. With the government increasingly concerned that Chinese activists may attempt to attend the December 10 Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo, Norway, it blocked a number of prominent lawyers and well-known activists from traveling internationally in recent days.
  • “River Crab Grand Banquet” Held at Ai Weiwei’s Studio in Shanghai, Without the Artist: After he announced his part-performance-art, part-protest “banquet” on Twitter, artist and activist Ai Weiwei was placed under “soft detention” by Beijing police and prevented from attending his own event. However, hundreds of his supporters made the trip to his soon-to-be-demolished studio on the afternoon of November 7 to take part in his absence.


Updateson Post-Nobel Harassment of ActivistsOfficialsBar Activists, Lawyers, Scholars FromTraveling AbroadIn the past fewdays, CHRD has learned of multiplecases in which Chinese activists, lawyers, andscholars have been stopped at airportsor border crossings while trying to travel to HongKong or internationaldestinations. In most cases, border controlofficials have told the individualsthat they are under orders from higher authoritiesto stop them from leaving,as they may “pose a threat to state security” ifallowed abroad. CHRD believesthat these individuals are being prevented fromleaving the country because theChinese government fears they will attempt toattend the Nobel Peace Prizeaward ceremony on December 10 in Oslo, Norway.

  • On the morning of November 9, prominent Beijing human rights lawyer Mo Shaoping (莫少平) and Beijing University Law School Professor He Weifang (贺卫方) were prevented from leaving the country by border control officials at Beijing's Capital Airport. Mo and He were en route to London, where they had been invited to take part in an international law conference.[i]
  • On November 7, Beijing Film Academy Professor Hao Jian (郝建) was stopped by border control officials at Beijing's Capital Airport before boarding his Hong Kong-bound flight. Hao was traveling to the Chinese University of Hong Kong at the university’s invitation to present a series of lectures on documentary films.[ii]
  • On November 5 and 6, customs officials barred human rights defenders Fang Cao (芳草), Wang Jinglong (王京龙), Duan Qixian (端启宪), and Yu Fangqiang (于方强) from traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend a training session on the United Nations human rights mechanisms.[iii] 

Beijing-BasedActivist Chen Tianshi Ordered by Police toReturn to Hometown in GuangxiOn November 4,police from Rong County, GuangxiProvince again contacted activist Chen Tianshi (陈天石)at his home in Beijing and informed him thatbefore December 10, the day of theNobel Prize award ceremony, he would be requiredto return to his hometown inGuangxi. When the Nobel Peace Prize was announcedon October 8, Chen was barredfrom leaving his home by police; however, he hassince been able to return towork. It is not clear how long police plan to keepMr. Chen in Guangxi. (CHRD)[iv]Freedomof AssemblyHundredsGather at Ai Weiwei’s Studio in Shanghai asPolice Block Ai and Others fromAttendingOn the afternoonof November 7, artist and activistAi Weiwei's (艾未未) "River CrabGrand Banquet" was held atAi's soon-to-be-demolished studio in Shanghai.According to one participant,approximately 1,000 people made their way to thestudio over the course of theafternoon. The name and theme of the event, whichis part performance art andpart collective protest, was chosen to mock theauthorities' suppression ofcriticism and dissent in the name of maintaining“social harmony” (the Chineseword for river crab, he xie, issimilar to that for harmony). However, along withthe organizer himself, localactivists including Feng Zhenghu (冯正虎), Jin Yuehua (金月花),Ding Juying (丁菊英), and WeiYuhua (卫玉华)were prevented from attending by police, whoplaced them under "softdetention." Shanghai writer and activist JiangDanwen (蒋亶文),who said in a statement he had no intention ofattending the gathering, was alsodetained for 10 hours by local police. (CHRD)[v]On the morning ofNovember 5, National Securityofficers arrived at the Beijing home of artist andactivist Ai Weiwei (艾未未)and announced they were placing him under softdetention and forbidding him toleave his home until midnight on Sunday, November7. The move, which theofficers said was requested by "higherauthorities," comes inresponse to Ai's announcement earlier in the weekthat he would host a"River Crab Grand Banquet" on Sunday at hissoon-to-be-demolishedstudio in Shanghai. Many netizens reported onTwitter that they have beencontacted by police or, in the case of students,school officials, and urgednot to attend. (CHRD)[vi]Tortureand Other Cruel, Inhuman, or DegradingTreatment or PunishmentImprisonedActivist Xie Fulin Beaten, Requires Treatmentfor High Blood PressureOn November 5,imprisoned human rights activist XieFulin (谢福林) toldvisiting family members that he had beenviolently attacked and beaten by a "jail bully"the previous week.Xie suffered an episode of high blood pressure andchest pains after theattack, and spent four days receiving treatment inthe prison hospital as aresult. His health has since improved. Xie reportsthat prison authorities havetaken no action against the "jail bully" whoattacked him. "Jailbullies," detainees who attack other inmates withthe explicit permissionor tacit consent of prison officials, are apervasive problem in Chinesedetention centers and prisons and have been blamedfor the majority of violencewhich takes place in these facilities. The Chinesegovernment, despite issuingnotices on the problem as far back as 1988, has sofar taken no effectivemeasures to root out and eliminate jail bullies.(CHRD)[vii]Victim ofForced Sterilization SubmitsAdministrative Litigation Lawsuit to CountyCourt in AnhuiCHRD learned onNovember 2 that the Changfeng CountyPeople's Court in Anhui Province may accept alawsuit filed by 23 year-oldGangji Town, Changfeng County mother Li Hongmei (李红梅),who was kidnapped by government officials andsubjected to forced asterilization procedure in July 2010. AnhuiProvince activist Ma Lianggang (马粮钢),acting as a citizen representative, filed anadministrative litigation lawsuiton behalf of Li on October 18; at that time, itwas rejected by the ChangfengCounty People's Court on the grounds that it was"unclear." However,after a conversation with the presiding judge ofthe court on October 29, Mawas invited to resubmit the lawsuit on November 2.The court has seven days todecide whether or not to accept the case. Thedefendant in the lawsuit islisted as the Gangji Town government; for the fulltext of the lawsuit (inChinese), please see:[viii]Freedom ofReligionShanxiProvince Conducts Survey of UniversityStudents’ Religious Beliefs; Crackdownon Christians FearedCHRD learned onNovember 3 that university studentsin Shanxi Province have been receiving surveyswith questions about religiousbeliefs in recent weeks, leading some to fear thatofficials may be moving tocrack down on Christian students in the province.The surveys, which have beendistributed by provincial education officials tothe administrations atuniversities in the province, are reportedly beinghanded out only to studentsknown to be practicing Christians. The last 12questions out of a total of 44questions are only for Christians. Though they donot require students to givetheir names or other identifying information,there is concern that individualswill be identified by their class teachers, whohand out and collect thequestionnaires, and reports have surfaced thatclasses will be rewarded orpunished based on the beliefs of students. (CHRD)[ix]ForcedEviction and DemolitionTwoMore Villagers Seized amid Ongoing ForcedEvictions in Baihutou Village,Guangxi ProvinceOn the morning ofNovember 8, Baihutou Villageresident He Xianfu (何显福) was takenaway from his home by local police. CHRDhas since learned that He, a villagerepresentative, has been criminallydetained. While the precise charges are not known,fellow villagers suspect heis being held on suspicion of "obstructingofficial business." He is currentlybeing held in Beihai City's Number Two DetentionCenter. His daughter-in-law,Yi Shiying (易氏英), was seizedby police at the same time; hercurrent whereabouts are unknown. He and Yi are thelatest Baihutou villagers tobe detained by police for standing up todevelopers and local officialscarrying out forced evictions and demolitions inthe town, which sits on theSouth China Sea in Guangxi Province. (CHRD)[x]CHRD learned onNovember 9 that Baihutou villagedirector Xu Kuyn (许坤) was deniedrelease on bail to await trial.  Xuand fellow villager Gao Shifu (高世福),who was also denied release on bail to awaittrial, have been detained withouttrial since May 2010 for “operating an illegalbusiness.”  In June, twoother villagers were sentencedto two years in prison for “obstructing officialbusiness,” while one was givenone and a half years for the same charge. (CHRD)[xi]Editors:David Smalls and Lin Sang Follow us onTwitter:  @CHRDnetNewsupdates from CHRDIssues and Cases CHRDRecommends the Committee against TortureInclude in its List of Issues for the ChineseGovernment to Address in itsFifth Periodic Report[i]"Mo Shaoping and He Weifang Blocked from Leavingthe Country to Attend IBAConference" (莫少平和贺卫方被阻止出境参加IBA研讨会),November 9, 2010,[ii]"Beijing Film Academy Professor Hao JianPrevented from Traveling to HongKong" (北京电影学院教授郝建欲前往香港被阻止出境(图)),November 7, 2010,[iii]"Many Chinese Activists Prevented from Leavingthe Country" (中国多名维权人士在海关被阻止出境),November 8, 2010,[iv]"Planned Forced Return Set for DemocracyActivist Chen Tianshi"  (民主维权人士陈天石初定遣返时间),November 4, 2010,[v]"Jiang Danwen and Many Others Detained byShanghai Police, 'River CrabGrand Banquet' Held as Scheduled" (蒋亶文等多人被上海警方扣押,“河蟹盛宴”如期举行(图)),November 7, 2010,[vi]"Ai Weiwei Placed under Soft Detention byBeijing National SecurityPolice; Many 'Caonima's" Called for Tea" (艾未未被北京国保软禁 众多草泥马被喝茶), November 5, 2010,[vii]"Hunan Activist Xie Fulin Beaten in Prison" (湖南维权人士谢福林狱中遭殴打), November 5, 2010,[viii]"New Developments in Case of Kidnapped AnhuiMother Li Hongmei andBaby" (安徽李红梅母婴被绑架案有新进展), November3,2010,[ix]"Threats Accompany Shanxi Province Survey andInvestigation of ChristianUniversity Students' Beliefs" (山西省对基督徒大学生进行信仰调查并伴有威胁),November 3, 2010,[x]"Yet Another Baihutou, Beihai Villager TakenAway by Police; Xu Kun, GaoShifu May be Released on Bail Pending Trial" (北海白虎头又一村民被警方带走,许坤、高世福可能会被取保候审), November 8,2010, "Baihutou, Beihai Rights-DefendingRepresentative He Xianfu CriminallyDetained" (北海白虎头村维权代表何显福被刑事拘留),November 8,2010,[xi]"Beihai Rights-Defending Village Director Xu KunDenied Release on BailAwaiting Trial" (北海维权村主任许坤取保候审被拒绝),November 9,2010,

About Amnesty UK Blogs
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.
View latest posts