China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  October 19-25, 2010 | Countdown for China | 27 Oct 2010 | Amnesty International UK

China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  October 19-25, 2010

Highlights

  • Harassment of Activists Continues: CHRD continued to collect reports this week of activists, dissidents, and supporters of Liu Xiaobo who have been harassed, placed under police surveillance, or had their movements restricted following the announcement that Liu had been awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. CHRD believes that Chinese authorities plan to maintain this high level of pressure on the Chinese activist community through December 10, when the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony will be held in Oslo, Norway.
  • Jiangxi Activist Zhu Juru Arrested on “Inciting Subversion” Charges: CHRD learned this week that veteran petitioner-turned-activist Zhu Juru (朱菊如) has been arrested in Jiangxi Province on charges of “inciting subversion of state power." Reportedly, he was arrested in retaliation for distributing leaflets and posting articles online.
  • Appeal Hearing Held for Dangerously Ill Sichuan Activist Liu Zhengyou: On the morning of October 21, Sichuan human rights defender Liu Zhengyou's (刘正有) appeal of his August 2010 conviction for “fraud” was heard by the Zigong City Intermediate Court.  CHRD was concerned to learn that authorities at the Zigong City Detention Center, where Liu is being held, had stated they were “unable to provide effective treatment” for Liu's high blood pressure in a letter dated August 5. 

Contents

Updates on Post-Nobel Harassment of ActivistsPoliceand Security Guards in BeijingBriefly Detain Two Scholars

On October 21,security guards at the Beijing Film Academy prevented Professor CuiWeiping (崔卫平) from attending a cultural event hosted by theCzech Embassy in Beijing. Cui was briefly taken to a local policestationbefore the security guards transported her first back to campus andthen laterto her home. Retired Academy of Social Sciences researcher Xu Youyu (徐友渔) was similarly detained by security guards andpolice; he reported being held from 5 pm until shortly before 9 pm.Both hadbeen invited by the Czech embassy to attend an art exhibition followedby amusical performance. According to Xu, police prevented him fromattending theevent because they believed it was "related to Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波)." Ms. Cui and Mr. Xu initiated a publicpetition drive demanding Chinese authorities release Liu which has beensignedby more than 800 Chinese citizens to date. In 2009, Cui and Xu traveledto Pragueto accept a humanrights award on behalf of Liu Xiaobo and Charter 08. (CHRD)[1]

BeijingSecurity Police Kidnap and Briefly Detain Bookstore Owner Liu Suli

Also on October 21,bookstore owner and scholar Liu Suli (刘苏里) was kidnapped outside of his home by unidentifiedindividuals. According to his wife, who was returning home with Liuwhen he wasseized, a group of men forced Liu into a van but would not say why hewas beingkidnapped or where they were taking him. Liu's wife reportedrecognizing one ofthe men as a National Security officer. Liu was released the nextmorning andreturned home; however, further details regarding his kidnapping remainunknown. Liu, a 1989 student protest participant, has been a supporterof LiuXiaobo. (CHRD)[2]

Policein Guiyang Disrupt Meeting of Guizhou HumanRights Forum

A meeting of theGuizhou Human Rights Forum in Guiyang City's Riverside Park on theafternoon ofOctober 22 was broken up by Guiyang City National Security officers,who brieflydetained activist Chen Xi (陈西) at the scene. Many members were not able to even makeit that far:activists Mo Jiangang (莫建刚) and Chen Defu (陈德富) were called for "tea" by police shortly before themeetingwas scheduled to take place. Police stood guard outside of the homes ofShen Youlian(申有连), XuGuoqing (徐国庆),and Wang Zang (王藏) to prevent them from leaving to attend the meeting.Other activists,including Wu Yuqin (吴玉琴) and Liao Shuangyuan (廖双元), could not be reached by phone and were believed to besubject to"soft detention." Members of the Guizhou Forum have been outspoken incelebrating Liu Xiaobo’s winning of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize anddemandinghis release. (CHRD)[3]

CHRD also learned of the following cases ofharassment which took place over the past week:

  • On the morning of October 25, Shanghai activist Feng Zhenghu (冯正虎) was accompanying a friend to a local hospital when he was seized by police and taken away. Friends and fellow activists have so far been unable to reach Feng or learn more about his whereabouts. Feng's detention is believed to be related not only to heightened tensions following the awarding of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, but also to local officials' desire to prevent any "sensitive" individuals from causing trouble during the closing days of the Shanghai Expo.[4]
  • On October 25, Democracy activist Zhao Changqing (赵常青) was once again seized by National Security officers in Beijing and forced to return to his hometown in Shaanxi Province. Zhao was forcibly returned to Shaanxi on October 17, but had managed to return to Beijing on October 24.[5]
  • Under pressure from Chinese authorities, the website 1984 BBS (http://1984bbs.com), an online discussion forum dedicated to discussion of current events and the publication of news censored elsewhere by the government, was shut down on October 12. The website's founder, Secretary Zhang (张书记) has been under "soft detention" since October 8, and reported on his Twitter account October 19 that he "may be sent back to his hometown." To protect his family's safety, Secretary Zhang has declined interview requests and refused to speak more on restrictions he is currently facing. (CHRD)[6]
  • Plainclothes police officers arrived at the Shandong Province, Jinan City home of activist Hou Zonglan (侯宗兰) on the morning of October 19 and, displaying a summons notice, took her in for questioning related to her celebrations in honor of Liu Xiaobo. (CHRD)[7]
  • CHRD learned on October 19 that Liu Xia’s (刘 霞) internet access may have been severed. It is unclear when authorities will allow her access to the internet. Liu, who is Liu Xiaobo’s wife, has been under tight surveillance by police since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and has had her cell phone service blocked as well. Prior to October 19, however, she had been able to access the internet and use Twitter to communicate with the outside world.  On October 18, she sent a single tweet, her last to date, which read: “It’s me…Don’t worry.”
  • Ding Zilin (丁子霖) and her husband have been out of contact since October 7. Repeated efforts to reach her have failed. Ding, a former professor at People’s University, is the leader of the Tiananmen Mothers, a group of relatives of those killed during the 1989 Beijing Massacre. CHRD has also been unable to reach dissident writer Jiang Qisheng (江 棋生), who, like Ding, is visiting Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province.
  • Friends have been unable to reach Bao Tong (鲍 彤), former aide to Zhao Ziyang, (赵 紫阳), and believe that his telephone may have been cut off. Mr. Bao had given many press interviews after the Nobel announcement, but has recently fallen silent.
  • Several other activists in Beijing have reported an increased police presence outside of their homes in recent days, including writer Yu Jie (余 杰), activist Zhang Hui (张 辉), and others who do not wish their names to be made public.

Freedomof ExpressionAuthoritiesStep up Control over QQ Groups Following Recent Wave of Anti-JapanProtests

Following the latest round of anti-Japanprotests, which began in cities across China on October 16,internetcensors have stepped up their monitoring of the online messagingservice QQ,which many believe was used to organize the demonstrations. Picturescontainingtimes and locations for protests were circulated among netizens in QQgroups;in response, authorities have disabled the image-transmissioncapabilities ofall domestic QQ groups. Some QQ groups, primarily focused onsocial-politicalissues and whose membership is made up of young Chinese, have beenblockedentirely. (CHRD)[8]

ArbitraryDetentionJiangxiActivist Zhu Juru Arrested on “Inciting Subversion” Charges

According to CRLW,Jiangxi activist Zhu Juru (朱菊如) has been arrested on suspicion of "inciting subversionof statepower." Zhu's sister was told by public security officials in Xinyu City, Jiangxi,that Zhu's arrest had been approved on October 14 and that he had beenarrestedfor distributing leaflets and posting articles online. Over the pastfew years,Zhu, a former teacher, has taken part in numerous activities to promotehumanrights and democracy. He was briefly detained in 2006 for hosting aforum onelections and social change, and was sent to one year of Re-educationthroughLabor (RTL) in October 2008 for "inciting subversion of state power."(CRLW)[9]

Appeal Hearing Held for SichuanActivist Liu Zhengyou, DetentionCenter Staff VoiceConcerns over Health

On the morning ofOctober 21, Sichuan human rights defender Liu Zhengyou's (刘正有) appeal of his August 2010 conviction for “fraud”was heard in an open court session by the Zigong City IntermediateCourt. The hearing ended without a verdict. Liu, who is serving a 2-yearsentence, isthe only one of four original co-defendants to remain in detention, andCHRDbelieves that local officials have singled him out for harsherpunishment as away of intimidating other local activists.

CHRD also learned thatthe authorities at the ZigongCity DetentionCenter, where Liuisbeing held, sent a letter to Ziliujing District government officials onAugust5 to voice concerns about Liu's high blood pressure. According to theletter,the detention center staff is "unable to provide effective treatment"for Liu, and are concerned that he may suffer a stroke or othercomplicationsas a result. (CHRD)[10]

LiaoningPetitioner Describes Illegal Detention, Beatings

On October 15,Liaoning petitioner Zhu Guiqin (朱桂琴) was seized in Beijing and forcibly returned to herhometown of Fushun City, where she was detained in a black jail. Beforedawn onOctober 21, Zhu was awakened by a group of more than 10 guards, whobeat herunconscious with electric batons and water bottles and forced her intoa car.She was driven to an unknown location and left without her cell phone,money,or ID card, all of which had been stolen by the individuals responsiblefordetaining her. Zhu, who stated that she was beaten on other occasionsduringher detention, was able to return safely to her home later thatmorning. (CHRD)[11]

JiangxiPetitioner Held in BeijingBlack Jail for Three Days

Jiangxi petitioner LiShanwen (李善文) wasseized by police in Beijing while passing through Tiananmen Square onOctober17 and turned over to the Beijing Liaison Office of the JiangxiProvincialGovernment. Li says she was then handed off to men she identified as"hired criminals" who mistreated and abused her while placing her inillegal detention. Li was held in a black jail for three days, guardedby fourcriminals, until officials from her hometown arrived to pick up Li andotherpetitioners, claiming they had to spend 8000 RMB to have them held inthe blackjail. Li has been petitioning since 2007, when she was attacked andbeatenfollowing a labor dispute with her employer. (CHRD)[12]

Missing HubeiActivist Yao Lifa Believed to be Heldin EnshiCity

On October 19, CHRDreported on the disappearance of human rights defender and electionsexpert YaoLifa (姚立法)from Qianjiang City, Hubei Province. According to Yao'swife, Yao is being held under "softdetention" in nearby EnshiCity, Hubei.Officials at the schoolwhere Yao is employed indicated he would be allowed to return onOctober 28. Itis believed that his disappearance is related not only to heightenedcontrolson prominent activists around the country, but also to an upcomingfestivalhonoring the late playwright Cao Yu (曹禺), who was born in Qianjiang. The Qianjiangauthorities reportedly received information that Yao had planned to organizeactivities tocelebrate Liu Xiaobo’s Peace Prize during the festival. (CHRD)[13]

Freedom of AssemblyXi'an Universities Lock DownCampuses to Prevent Students from Participating in Anti-Japan Protests

CHRD learned on October 17 that JiaotongUniversityand Xidian Universityin Xi’anhavebegun requiring that students formally request and obtain writtenpermissionbefore entering or exiting the school gats. The campus lockdowns werereportedly prompted by concern over a recent wave of anti-Japanprotests. It isnot clear how long the restrictions will be in place. (CHRD)[14]

Freedom of ReligionPolicein BeijingIncreasePressure on Local Christian Activists

Beijing activist Fan Yafeng (范亚峰) wasseized at his home on the morning of October 20 and taken away bypolice.Reportedly, Fan had been preparing to hold a symposium that morning todiscussthe efforts of Chinese authorities to prevent Chinese evangelicals fromtraveling to the Lausanne Congress in South Africa. It isbelieved Fan'sdetention is related to this planned event. CHRD has also learned thatotherprominent Christian activists in Beijing, including Chen Tianshi (陈天石) andYu Jie (余杰)have been placed under tight surveillance by police and have had theirmovements restricted. (CHRD)[15]

Editors: David Smalls and Lin SangNewsupdates from CHRDIssues and Cases CHRD Recommends the Committee againstTortureInclude in its List of Issues for the Chinese Government to Address initsFifth Periodic Report 

[1] "A Number of Scholars in Beijing Obstructed, Kidnapped,andHarassed on the Same Day" (北京几名学者同日受到阻止、绑架与骚扰), October 22, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010221129.shtml

[2] "A Number of Scholars in Beijing Obstructed, Kidnapped,andHarassed on the Same Day" (北京几名学者同日受到阻止、绑架与骚扰), October 22, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010221129.shtml

[3] "Guizhou Human Rights Forum Statement: Trampling on theConstitution Has no Happy Ending" (贵州人权研讨会声明:践踏宪法,没有好下场), October 22, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010222047.shtml

[4] "Shanghai Activist Feng Zhenghu Taken Away by Police,LosesContact with Outside World" (上海维权人士冯正虎被警察带走与外界失去联系),October 25, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010252218.shtml

[5] "Democracy Activist Zhao Changqing Once Again ForciblyReturned to Shaanxi" (民主维权人士赵常青再次被遣送回陕西),October 25, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010250800.shtml

[6] "For Discussing Liu Xiaobo's Prize, 1984BBS WebsiteSecretaryZhang Under Soft Detention for 12 Days"  (因讨论刘晓波获奖,“1984BBS”站长张书记被软禁12天(图)), October 20,2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010201816.shtml

[7] "Jinan Activist Hou Zonglan Summoned for Celebrating LiuXiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize" (因庆祝刘晓波获诺奖济南维权人士侯宗兰被传唤),October 20, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010202131.shtml

[8] "Internet Controls Heightened Following Anti-JapaneseProtestsTake Place in Many Parts of China" (中国多地发生反日游行后网络被进一步封锁),October 19, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010191051.shtml

[9] "Jiangxi Teacher Zhu Juru Arrested for IncitingSubversion ofState Power" (江西教师朱菊如被以煽动颠覆国家政权罪逮捕), October 22, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010221737.shtml

[10] "Second Instance Trial of Liu Zhengyou Case Opens;DetentionCenter Claims He Has Reached Deadly Blood Pressure" (刘正有案二审开庭看守所称其达到死亡血压(图)), October 21,2010,

http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010212259.shtml

[11] "Liaoning Petitioner Zhu Guiqin Intercepted and TorturedDuring Fifth Plenum of the 17th CPC Central Committee" (辽宁访民朱桂琴五中全会期间被截访后遭酷刑),October 21, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010211021.shtml

[12] "Jiangxi Petitioner Li Shanwen Imprisoned by CriminalsEmployed by the Beijing Liaision Office of the Provincial Government" (江西访民李善文被省驻京办雇黑社会囚禁(图)), October 20,2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010202318.shtml

[13] "Hubei Elections Expert Yao Lifa Believed to Be UnderSoftDetention in Enshi" (湖北选举专家姚立法疑被软禁在恩施), October20, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010202356.shtml

[14] "To Prevent Anti-Japanese Demonstrations, Xi'anUniversitiesBegins Requiring Permits to Enter or Exit Campus" (为阻止反日游行,西安的大学出入校门需请假(图)), October 17,2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010171648.shtml

[15] "Christian Fan Yafeng Taken Away" (基督徒范亚峰被警察带走),October 20, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010200815.shtml

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