China Human Rights Briefing Weekly  October 26-November 2, 2010

Highlights

  • Elected Fujian Village Director Sentenced to 11 Years for Leading Fight Against Land Grabs: This week, the Jinjiang City Intermediate People’s Court in Fujian Province sentenced successful businessman-turned-village director Lü Jiangbo (吕江波) to 11 years in prison on six charges, including “obstructing official business,” “extortion” and “undermining elections.” Lü, who was elected director of Keren Village on three consecutive occasions since 2003, had organized residents of the village to defend their land rights in the face of illegal land requisition by local government officials.
  • First Citizen Criminally Detained as Post-Nobel Government Crackdown Intensifies: CHRD continued to receive reports this week indicating that police are increasing their pressure on Chinese activists, dissidents, and supporters of Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) more than three weeks after he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. On November 2, CHRD learned that Yunnan Province engineer Guo Xianliang (郭贤良) was criminally detained by police in Guangzhou on suspicion of "inciting subversion of state power" for distributing flyers about Liu and the Nobel Prize. CHRD believes this to be the first case of a Chinese citizen being criminally detained in relation to Liu's Nobel Prize.
  • Two Important Rights Cases Heard by Chinese Courts This Week: In Hefei City, Anhui Province, the Yaohai District People’s Court heard a lawsuit brought by a group of seven small business owners against the Hefei City Planning Department, alleging that their properties were demolished without the provision of proper arrangements or compensation. Meanwhile, in Jinan City, Shandong Province, the Tianqiao District People's Court held a third hearing of the lawsuit brought by Li Hongwei (李红卫) challenging her illegal detention in a black jail. Both cases, and Li’s in particular, are of a type rarely accepted by the courts, and have attracted attention domestically. To date, no verdict has been issued in either case.

Contents

Updates on Post-Nobel Harassment ofActivistsGuo Xianliang, YunnanEngineer, Becomes First Citizen Criminally Detained for Spreading Newsof NobelPrize

CHRD learned on November 2 that Yunnan Provinceengineer Guo Xianliang (郭贤良) was criminally detained by police in Guangzhouon suspicion of "inciting subversion of state power" for distributingflyers about Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) and theNobel Peace Prize on the street and inpublic parks in Guangzhou. CHRD believes this to be the first case of aChinesecitizen being criminally detained in relation to Liu's Nobel Prize.Accordingto friends, Guo, who was visiting Guangzhou, went missing on theevening ofOctober 28, and on November 2, his wife Yang Di (杨娣) received a phone call from aGuangzhou police officer informing her of her husband's detention. Guohaswritten extensively on democratic reforms, and is known online by thenameTianshan Jushi (天山居士). (CHRD)[i]

GuangzhouPolice Summon Writer Ye Du, Search His Home

On the afternoonof November 2, IndependentChinese PEN member Ye Du (野渡) was summoned for questioning by police inGuangzhou. Reportedly, police asked about flyers being distributed in Guangzhourelated to LiuXiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize and told Ye Du that they believed that hewas theorganizer. Ye Du was released after approximately four hours. A shorttimelater, however, police arrived to search his home, confiscating twocomputers,books, CD-ROMs, and other materials. (CHRD)[ii]

BeijingDissident Li Hai Missing, Feared Detained

Beijing dissident Li Hai (李海), whowas seized at the Beijing house church Shengshan Research Institute bypoliceon October 30, remains missing. Li last spoke with friends on theevening ofOctober 30, when he complained of the pressure police in Beijing wereputting on activists anddissidents in the wake of Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Prize win.

The house churchorganizes a meeting everySunday, and on October 30, its main organizer Fan Yafeng (范亚峰) wasforcibly taken away by Beijing police and held in a hotel between 9amand 6pm,while other participants were questioned and roughly handled by thepolice.(CHRD)[iii]

BeijingFilmmaker Hua Ze Kidnapped, Forced to Leave Beijing

On October 27, documentary filmmaker and humanrights activist Hua Ze (华泽, known online as Linghun Piaoxiang [灵魂飘香]) washooded and kidnapped in Beijing. She was taken to an unknown locationon theoutskirts of the city and held for three days. On October 30, she wasforcedonto a train departing Beijing.Hua has been sent back to her hometown in Jiangxi Provinceand is currently under “soft detention.” (CHRD)[iv]

HubeiElections Expert Yao Lifa Returns Home Following 12 Days of Detention

Qianjiang City, Hubei Province-based activistYao Lifa (姚立法)returned home on October 30 following 12 days of detention in varioushotels inHubei. Yaowasheld by staff members of the elementary school where he is employed,who arereportedly acting under the instructions of the Qianjiang EducationBureau, andno police were present during his detention. Yao's detention isbelieved tohave been related not only to heightened controls on prominentactivists aroundthe country, but also to an upcoming festival honoring the lateplaywright CaoYu (曹禺),who was born in Qianjiang. Qianjiang authorities are worried that theremightbe protests during the festival. (CHRD)[v]

WriterMo Zhixu Forcibly Returned to SichuanProvince, Held Under Guard in Leshan City

CHRD learned on October 31 that Beijing writerMo Zhixu (莫之许)was forcibly returned to his native province of Sichuan from HangzhouCity,where he was visiting friends, on October 30. Reportedly, Mo is beingheldunder guard by two police officers in a hotel in a rural area outsideof LeshanCity, Sichuan. (CHRD)[vi]

IllWife of Writer Yu Jie Prevented from Seeking Medical Treatment

Beijing author and activist Yu Jie (余杰), whois under “soft detention” at his home, reported on October 27 that hiswife,who is ill and running a fever, was prevented from seeking treatment ata localhospital by National Security officers guarding them. According to Yu,officerstold him and his wife that, based on "orders from above," they wouldnot be allowed to leave their home under any condition. After Yu wroteabouthis situation on Twitter, his Twitter followers called emergencymedicalservices to come to Yu's wife's assistance. National Security officersultimately relented and allowed her and a doctor to travel to thehospitalaccompanied by police. Yu was not permitted to leave. (CHRD)[vii]

CHRDIssues Statement Condemning Growing Crackdown, Documents AdditionalCases ofHarassment

CHRD has issued astatement (in Chinese)condemning the Chinese government's growing crackdown on civil society;thefull text is available at http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010271839.shtml.Additionally, in recent days CHRD has documented the following cases ofharassment:

  • On the morning of October 29, Anhui dissident Hou Wenbao (侯文豹) was seized by police while visiting friends in Hefei City. At the time of writing, Hou was being forcibly returned to his hometown of Suzhou by National Security officers; it is not currently known what conditions he will face upon his arrival. (CHRD)[viii]
  • On the afternoon of October 29, National Security officers from Beijing and Shanxi Province arrived at the Beijing home of activist Zhang Hui (张辉), founder of the NGO Mr. Democracy Research Institute. The officers demanded that Zhang leave Beijing, which Zhang steadfastly refused to do. As of the time of writing, Zhang remains in Beijing, but reports that officers plan to return October 30 to continue "negotiations."[ix]
  • Also on the afternoon of October 29, Beijing human rights defender Wang Lihong (王荔蕻) was questioned by police about an article she had written and posted online recounting her experience being detained and interrogated for celebrating the news that Liu Xiaobo had been awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Wang remains under tight police surveillance.[x]
  • On October 28, Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province-based husband-and-wife activists Hua Chunhui (华春辉) and Wang Yi (王译) were seized by local police; as of October 29, they remain in detention. Friends and fellow activists had gathered on the 28th with Wang to celebrate Hua's birthday and the couple’s recent marriage; when they arrived at Hua's home, the group discovered the door to his apartment was open and Hua was missing. Police at the scene took Wang into detention, and the two have yet to regain contact with the outside world.[xi]
  • CHRD learned on October 27 that activists and dissidents Qi Zhiyong (齐志勇), Cha Jianguo (查建 国), Gao Hongming (高 洪明), Xu Yonghai (徐永海), and Zhang Jiankang (张鉴康) have been subjected to police surveillance or placed under "soft detention." [xii]
  • In the early morning hours of October 26, Chongqing netizen Mou Yanxi (牟彦希) was taken from her home by police and interrogated after she posted a message to her Twitter account saying she would carry a banner congratulating Liu during the anti-Japan protest in the municipality. A group of netizens gathered outside the police station in Chongqing to closely follow and report on Mou’s detention; Mou was released that evening after more than 16 hours of questioning.[xiii]
  • Beijing policemen have stationed outside of the homes of lawyer Li Fangping (李方平) and activist Li Zhiying (李智英) to monitor them and to restrict their movements since October 8.[xiv]
  • On October 22, CHRD reported on the kidnapping of bookstore owner and scholar Liu Suli (刘苏里) outside of his home in Beijing. We have since learned that Liu sustained a fractured vertebra in his lower back after being roughly handled by police and has been hospitalized for treatment. His wife reports she is unsure when he will be able to leave the hospital. (CHRD)[xv]

For an updated list of all instances of policeharassment, surveillance, or detention related to Liu Xiaobo’s NobelPeacePrize, please see our website at http://chrdnet.org/2010/10/14/chinese-reactions-to-liu-xiaobo%E2%80%99s-nobel-peace-prize-from-both-sides/

ArbitraryDetentionHeavy Sentence for Elected FujianVillageDirector, Leader in Fight against Illegal LandExpropriation

On October 28,Jinjiang City Intermediate People’s Court in Fujian Province sentencedsuccessful businessman-turned-village director Lü Jiangbo (吕江波) to 11 years inprison. Originally detained on suspicion of “obstructing officialbusiness,” Lüwas later convicted on five additional charges, ranging from"extortion" to “undermining elections.” Eight other villagers havealso been convicted and given various sentences in the same trial. CHRDbelieves the decision comes as retaliation for Lü’s efforts to organizeresidents of Keren Village, Jinjiang City,to defend theirland rights. (CHRD)[xvi]

BeijingArtist Wu Yuren to Be Tried on November 17 for “Obstructing OfficialBusiness”

CHRD learned on November 2 that Beijing artistWu Yuren (吴玉仁),organizer of a bold February protest down Beijing's Chang'an Avenue todrawattention to the forced demolition of the 008 Arts District, will betried onNovember 17 for "obstructing official business." The court informedWu’s lawyer, Li Fangping (李方平), that because the courtroom is “too small,”they will only allow one person in addition to Li into the courtroom.Wu wasdetained on June 1 after accompanying fellow artist Yang Licai (杨立才) tothe police station to report the theft of a generator, and wasallegedly beatenby police while in detention. Wu's trial will take place at the WenyuheCourthouse in Beijing'sChaoyang District. (CHRD)[xvii]

ThirdHearing in Landmark Lawsuit Challenging Detention in Black Jail

On October 30, the Tianqiao District People'sCourt in Jinan City, Shandong Province held a third hearing of thelawsuitbrought by Li Hongwei (李红卫) challenging her illegal detention in a blackjail. Li had originally filed the suit against Jinan's Lixia District Government butwaspressured by the court to change the defendant to the Lixia DistrictLettersand Visits Bureau. The hearing centered around three main issues:first, wasLi's detention illegal, or was she being provided "legal education"as the government claims? Second, is there a legal basis for this"legaleducation?" And third, can this sort of a case, challenging illegaldetention, be heard by the courts? Arguments were presented by bothsides; thehearing concluded without a ruling.

Li, who is beingrepresented in court by citizenrepresentative Ni Wenhua (倪文华), was detained for 17 days in a black jaillocated in Jinan’s Dongyi Guesthouse by Lixia officials in lateFebruary andearly March 2010. This is one of the first lawsuits brought by apetitioneragainst the government for illegal detention in a black jail to beaccepted andheard in a Chinese court. In 2009, a guard at a Beijing black jail wassentenced to eight years for raping a young woman held in the jail, LiRuirui (李蕊蕊).However, the court did not address the legality of the detention or theresponsibilityof the Henangovernment, which ran the jail. (CHRD)[xviii]

SichuanRights Defender Li Xianfen Given Suspended Sentence in “Fraud” Case

On October 29, Zigong City, Sichuan Provincerights defender Li Xianfen (李显芬) returned home after being given a sentence oftwo and half years, suspended for four years, for "fraud." She hadbeen in detention since July of this year. Li, a 61-year old farmer, isknownlocally as "female Liu Zhengyou (刘正有)" not only becauseshe was given the same trumped-up charge, but also for her efforts toassistlocal farmers seek the return of compensatory funds for expropriatedland whichwere embezzled by corrupt officials. Activist Liu Zhengyou, also from Zigong City,was convicted of “fraud” on August 20 in a separate case and sentencedto twoyears in prison. (CHRD)[xix]

Policein ShanghaiMark Close of Expo by Seizing, Detaining Petitioners

As the Shanghai Expo drew to a close over theweekend, police in Shanghaidetained a number of petitioners who were seized near the site. Forexample, onOctober 30, petitioners Zhou Shiquan (周世泉), Lü Jianxing (陆建兴) andFan Yanying (范艳英)were stopped while en route to the Expo and taken into custody bypolice. Theywere each subsequently given 30 days of criminal detention. PetitionerMaoJuhua (毛菊华)was seized the same day and taken to a local black jail; it is notclearwhether or not Mao remains in detention at the time of writing. MaYalian (马亚莲) wasseized on the 29th; her whereabouts remain unknown. Others, such asShen Peilan(沈佩兰)and Jin Yuehua (金月花), were prevented from leaving their homes bypolice. (CHRD)[xx]

Groupof ShanghaiPetitioners Seized outside of Expo, Nine Given 30 Days of Detention

A group of thirteen Shanghai petitioners – WangZhihua (王志华),Wang Chengqi (王承起),Xu Jinfang (徐金芳),Yang Jinlin (杨金林),Lu Fuzhong (陆福忠),Wu Ruyun (吴如云),Wu Yuqing (吴育青),Zhang Xiuqin (张秀琴),Shen Dinggao (沈定高),and four others – were seized near the site of the Shanghai Expo onOctober 27.Nine of the petitioners were given thirty days of criminal detentionfor"disrupting social order" and are currently being held at theZhangjiang Detention Center in Shanghai's Pudong District. The otherfour werereleased on bail to await trial. (CHRD)[xxi]

TaintedMilk Victims Advocate Zhao Lianhai Still Awaiting Verdict Nearly SixMonthsafter Trial

On October 22, lawyer Li Fangping (李方平)visited detained Beijing activist Zhao Lianhai (赵连海), founder of the groupKidney Stone Babies (结石宝宝). Zhao, tried in a closed court on the chargeof “creating a disturbance” on March 30, 2010, is still awaiting averdict. Hehas not seen his family since he was taken into detention in November2009.Kidney Stone Babies is a group dedicated to advocating for familiessuch asZhao’s whose children became ill after drinking tainted milk, and it isbelieved that Zhao’s detention is related to his outspoken activism onbehalfof these victims. (CHRD)[xxii]

ShanghaiPetitioners Held in Black Jail on Outskirts of City

CHRD learned on October 26 that Zhan Rongmei (詹荣妹) andnine other petitioners are being held in a black jail in SongjiangDistrict, onthe outskirts of Shanghai. Zhan reports that she and the otherdetainees arenot being permitted to purchase warmer clothes, despite rapidly fallingtemperatures. Zhan was seized on October 16, but reports some of theotherpetitioners have been detained since September 30. Zhan and her fellowdetainees are all residents of Shanghai'sZhabei District who have been seeking justice after their homes wereforciblydemolished. (CHRD)[xxiii]

Freedomof ExpressionHunanNewspaper Editors Lose Jobs after Publishing Article Criticizing Qing Court

Liu Jian (刘剑), editor-in-chief of the HunanProvince-based newspaper Xiaoxiang Morning Post, was removedfrom hisposition after the paper ran an article criticizing the Qing ImperialCourt,CHRD has learned. The article, appeared on October 30 in a specialcommemorativeedition dedicated to the 1911 Revolution, was considered by theauthorities tocontain veiled criticisms against the current government. Executiveeditor-in-chief Gong Xiaoyue (龚晓跃) will remain with the paper but will be sent toa department that does not handle content, after "higher authorities"expressed displeasure over the article. The text of the article (inChinese) isavailable online at: http://www.minzhuzhongguo.org/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=17082.(CHRD)[xxiv]

Policein FujianSeize Reporter during Sentencing of Village Chief

On the morning of October 28, police in JinjiangCity, Fujian Province, seized journalist He Huagao (何华高)outside of the Jinjiang Intermediate People's Court. He, a reporter forthe Information Times newspaper, had beentaking pictures and reporting on the verdict announcement in the caseagainstLü Jiangbo (吕江波),a village chief convicted of nine crimes, including "obstructingofficialbusiness" and "organizing and leading a triad-like organization,” forhis work to oppose illegal requisition of 1,200 mu (approximately 200acres) ofvillage land. At the time of writing, He was detained in a local policestation,and reported that officers had confiscated his interviewing equipment,his IDcard, and his press card. More information about his situation is notcurrentlyavailable.

Lü was reportedly convicted on six charges andsentenced to 11 and a half years in prison but CHRD has yet toindependentlyconfirm the claim. (CHRD)[xxv]

Citizens’ActionsArtistAi Weiwei Plans “River Crab Grand Banquet” to Mark Demolition of Studio

With his Shanghai studio facing demolition,Beijing-based artist and activist Ai Weiwei (艾未未) has announced he willhold a "River Crab Grand Banquet" at the studio on November 7. Ai hasoffered to pay half of the railway tickets for netizens traveling toShanghaifor the event, and plans to serve 10,000 crabs to attendees. An earlierfeastorganized by Ai and his team in Hangzhouin April 2010 drew more than 200 guests. “River crab” (河蟹) hasbecome a popular term on the Chinese internet because of its similarityto“harmonious” (和谐),a government buzzword in recent years, and things which the governmentseeks tocensor or restrain (such as Ai’s work) are said to have been“harmonized.” In2007, Ai spent 7.5 million RMB to set up a studio in Shanghai’sJiading District, in response tothe local government’s drive to attract artists to the “painters’village.”Since then, at least six artists have moved in, but only Ai and afellow artistrecommended by him are facing demolition by the local government. (CHRD)[xxvi]

ForcedDemolition and EvictionHefei City Court Hears Lawsuit Brought byVictims of Forced Eviction against Government Department<

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
0 comments