Chinese Court Sends to Jail Activist and “Jasmine Crackdown” Detainee Wang Lihong

(Chinese Human RightsDefenders, September 9, 2011) Beijing-based humanrights defender and democracyactivist, Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), was convicted of“creating a disturbance” andsentenced to nine months in prison this morning by Wenyuhe Court inChaoyang District, Beijing.

 

Qi Jianxiang (齐健翔),Wang’s son, told supporters that hismother is innocent and that thecourt “should not have sentenced herto even one day in prison.”  Wang told her lawyersthat she would appeal.

 

Over 200 supporters,journalists and diplomats gatheredoutside the courthouse to wait forthe verdict, and a large number ofuniformed and plainclothes policewere also present. Only Wang'sfamily and her lawyers, Liu Xiaoyuan(刘晓 原) and Han Yicun (韩一 村), wereallowed to attend the verdicthearing. Many Beijing activists suchas filmmaker He Yang (何杨),tainted milk activist Zhao Lianhai (赵连 海) anddissident Zha Jiaguo (查建 国) werenot allowed to leave their homes orwere warned beforehand. Someactivists who tried to go to Beijingto show their support were stoppedby local police from leaving theirhometowns.

 

Wang, 55, wascriminally detained for “creating adisturbance” on March 21 during thegovernment’s crackdown followingonline calls for “JasmineRevolution.” Wang was formallyarrested on April 21. The chargeagainst her was later changed to“gathering a crowd to disrupttraffic order,” and in mid-July theprocuratorate approved her case forprosecution, but under the originalcharge of “creating a disturbance.”On August 12, trial proceedingsopened and then concluded aftertwo-and-a-half hours. According toher attorneys, the proceedings weremarred by many procedural flaws andthe case itself has all along beenrife with errors in theinvestigation and indictment stages.The charge against Wang is tied toher support for the “Fujian Three”netizens who were convicted ofslander last year, and in particularto Wang’sparticipation in a large peaceful protestoutside thenetizens’sentencing hearing on April 16,2010.

 

“Sending Wang Lihong to prison suggests that theChinese government feels quiteconfident to go after the less-knownactivists, to whom theinternational community has paidlittle attention. Several activistsin similar situation, such as Chen Wei (陈卫), Ding Mao (丁矛), Liang Haiyi (梁海怡) andZhu Yufu (朱虞夫), remain in detentionawaiting trial after they werearrested during the ‘JasmineCrackdown’,” said Renee Xia, CHRD’sInternational Director.

CHRD condemns the imprisonment ofWang Lihong and demands herimmediate release. We believethat Wang is being imprisoned solelyfor exercising her rights to freedomof expression, assembly and todefend the human rights of others.

 

BackgroundIn 1989, Wang joined thepro-democracy demonstrations inBeijing, an experience which led herto resign from her government job in1991. Wang, a former doctor, thenbecame a dedicated democracyactivist and human rights defender.She has worked on projects such asrelief efforts for the “Tiananmenhomeless” and advocated on behalf ofthree imprisoned Fujian netizens andcitizens fighting land seizures inBeihai City, Guangxi Province.

For More Information:Individuals Affected by theCrackdown Following Call for“Jasmine Revolution,” UpdatedSeptember 7, 2011, http://chrdnet.org/2011/08/17/jasmine_crackdown/

“Let the Sun Shines onthe Ground,” a documentary aboutWang Lihong by Ai Xiaoming, http://chrdnet.org/2011/09/08/3237/

Media Contacts:Renee Xia, International Director(English and Mandarin), +852 8191 6937or +1 301 547 9286,reneexia@chrdnet.orgWang Songlian, Research Coordinator(English and Mandarin), +852 8191 1660,songlianwang@chrdnet.org

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