[CHRB] (2/28-3/6/2014) Activist Detained After Attending Human Rights Training; Cao Shunli Still in Critical Condition

China Human Rights Briefing

 February 27-March 6, 2014

Contents

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment

  • Cao Shunli in Critical Condition After Emergency Medical Treatment

Arbitrary Detention

  • Activist Detained After Attending Human Rights Training
  • Activist Couple Under Detention, Husband’s Case Sent for Prosecution

Reprisals Against Activists

  • Suppression Again Marks Run-up to “Two Meetings” in Beijing

Special Notice

  • CHRD Releases 2013 Report on Human Rights Defenders: Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” Is Nightmare for Civil Society
  •  CHRD Submits Information on Cases of Two Activists to UN Experts

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment

Cao Shunli in Critical Condition After Emergency Medical Treatment

Activist Cao Shunli (曹顺利), who was released from detention on medical grounds on February 27 after her health status grew life-threatening, remains in critical condition in a Beijing hospital though her health has improved slightly following urgent medical intervention. Being treated at 309 Military Hospital, Cao has been able to move her eyes and her fever has dissipated, according to her family and close friend. However, they noted that Cao remains in an unstable situation, since she still depends on the ventilator. A local procuratorate bypassed normal procedures, including getting authorization from family, in ordering Cao’s release. Her release is most likely an attempt by authorities to absolve themselves of responsibility for Cao’s serious health crisis, and comes after Cao’s attorney and family had unsuccessfully attempted to get her freed so she could receive medical care. Cao had fallen into a deep coma due to organ failure after being denied treatment for tuberculosis and liver problems for five months while in Chaoyang District Detention Center (see report).

In a related case, activist Li Yingzhi (李英之) has been put under criminal detention on a charge of “inciting to create a disturbance” after being seized on March 3 for allegedly heading to Cao’s hospital. Li is being held in Tongzhou District Detention Center, and his detention comes after several other activists were detained while trying to visit Cao last week (see report). Cao Shunli was taken into custody in September 2013 while on her way to a UN human rights training in Geneva, and arrested the next month on trumped-up charges of “creating a disturbance.”[1]

Arbitrary Detention

Activist Detained After Attending Human Rights Training

Beijing police criminally detained activist Ge Zhihui (葛志慧) on March 1 in seeming reprisal for her attending a training on UN human rights mechanisms abroad earlier this year and also her participation in a Christian house church. Police also searched her residence, seizing two computers, books and articles about human rights, and petitioning materials. Ge’s detention came just two days before the UN Human Rights Council opened its first session since China was elected this past November to its third term on the Council. Held at Fengtai District Detention Center, Ge Zhihui was previously a victim of a violent forced demolition that left her crippled, and has been detained and harassed many times for petitioning for compensation.[2]

Activist Couple Under Detention, Husband’s Case Sent for Prosecution

Husband and wife Yang Kuang (杨匡) and Liu Shasha (刘莎莎) are now both believed to be under detention, after Yang was taken into custody in December and Liu went on a hunger strike and then disappeared shortly thereafter. Liu was last heard from on January 19, when she sent out a message saying that police were surrounding the street outside her flat in Beijing’s Haidian District. She was reportedly brought to Beijing No. 1 Detention Center on February 18, though her lawyer, Sui Muqing (隨牧青), and family have received no information about her whereabouts. Yang Kuang, a Hong Kong-based activist detained in Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, recently had his case transferred to a procuratorate. Currently held in Shenzhen No. 1 Detention Center, Yang was charged with “illegally crossing state borders” after he attempted to return to Hong Kong from a trip to mainland China (seereport). His home-return permit was previously revoked after he tried to visit Liu Xia (刘霞), the wife of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) who has been under stifling house arrest in Beijing for three-and-a-half years.[3]

 

Activist Liu Shasha (刘莎莎) is reportedly being held in Beijing No. 1 Detention Center

Activist Liu Shasha (刘莎莎) is reportedly being held in Beijing No. 1 Detention Center

Reprisals Against Activists

Suppression Again Marks Run-up to “Two Meetings” in Beijing

Authorities in China have tightened “stability maintenance” work as the government prepares for the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, which began on March 5. Police in the capital and across China have been heavily deployed around this sensitive period, and many activists and dozens of petitioners have been detained or had their movements otherwise restricted. Activist Qi Zhiyong (齐志勇) is being held under house arrest in Beijing after being released from a hospital on March 2, and Liu Feiyue (刘飞跃), the founder of the group Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch, was issued a 10-day administrative detention in Hubei. Petitioners from Jiangsu were detained in Beijing, and many from Heilongjiang were intercepted at a train station in the capital and sent back to their home province. In addition, police in Shandong and Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province also blocked local petitioners from heading to Beijing. Despite the typically heavy restrictions, demonstrations were held in Beijing with dozens of people calling for political reforms.[4]

Special Notice

CHRD Releases 2013 Report on Human Rights Defenders: Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” Is Nightmare for Civil Society

Many Chinese activists have described 2013 as the worst year for human rights since at least 2008, as documented in CHRD’s “A Nightmarish Year Under Xi Jinping’s ‘Chinese Dream’: 2013 Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in China.” In its just-released report, CHRD delineates several trends that emerged in 2013 as well as longstanding concerns, including: the crackdown targeting peaceful assembly, association, and expression; increased criminalization of online speech; physical violence against human rights lawyers; severe reprisals against activists demanding participation in UN human rights activities; and political persecution and suppression in ethnic minority regions. In conjunction with the report, CHRD has produced animage gallery showcasing major trends and figures in China’s human rights landscape for 2013.

CHRD Submits Information on Cases of Two Activists to UN Experts

In February, CHRD submitted information on the cases of Guangdong-based activists Liu Yuandong (刘远东) andGuo Feixiong (郭飞雄, aka Yang Maodong, 杨茂东) to UN experts on arbitrary detention, torture, and freedom of expression, assembly, and association. Both Liu Yuandong and Guo Feixiong were involved in rallies in front of theSouthern Weekly headquarters in January 2013. Liu was arrested in April 2013 on charges of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place,” among other charges. He was tried in January 2014, but no verdict has been announced in his case. Guo, who has also been active in the “New Citizens’ Movement,” has been detained since last August.

Read CHRD’s 2013 annual report on HRDs, and view an image gallery of the year in human rights defense in China.

Contacts:

Renee Xia, International Director, +1 240 374 8937+1 240 374 8937reneexia@chrdnet.com

Victor Clemens, Research Coordinator, +852 8192 7875, victorclemens@chrdnet.com

[1] “Beijing Activist Li Yingzhi Criminally Detained For Trying to Visit Cao Shunli” (北京维权人士李英之因探望曹顺利被刑拘), March 4, 2014, WQW; “Christians Propose Fast to Support Cao Shunli” (基督徒发起为人权捍卫者曹顺利禁食接力祷告), March 3, 2014, WQW; “Cao Shunli Released on Medical Grounds, Hospital Tells Family She is Critically Ill” (曹顺利被擅自取保候审后,医院告知家属病危), February 28, 2014, WQW.

[2] “Beijing Rights Activist Ge Zhihui Criminally Detained, Home Searched” (北京维权人士葛志慧被抄家后刑拘), March 4, 2014, WQW.

[3] “Yang Kuang’s Case Transferred to Procuratorate, Liu Shasha Believed Held in Beijing No. 1 Detention Center After Missing for Many Days” (杨匡案已移送检察院,失踪多日的刘莎莎疑被押北京市第一看守所), February 28, 2014, WQW.

[4] “Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch Online Editor Liu Feiyue Detention Confirmed” (民生观察网负责人刘飞跃证实被拘留), March 5, 2014, CRLW; “Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province Petitioners Seized in Beijing Before ‘Two Meetings” (两会前江苏镇江访民在北京遭绑架带走), March 3, 2014, WQW; “As ‘Two Meetings’ Begins, Hundreds of Activists Demonstrate With Banners” (两会召开,百余名维权访民举牌抗议), March 3, 2014, WQW; “Heilongjiang Petitioners Intercepted at Train Station in Beijing Due to ‘Two Meetings” (因两会黑龙江维权人士单亚娟在火车站被拦截不让赴京), March 3, 2014, WQW; “Hangzhou Petitioners Held for 10 Days Before ‘Two Meetings’, Democracy Party Members Controlled” (两会前夕,杭州被抓访民均被拘留十天,民主党人遭严控), March 3, 2014, WQW; “Shandong Petitioners Movements Restricted Due to ‘Two Meetings” (山东访民闵现国因“两会”被限制自由), March 3, 2014, WQW; “Victim of June Fourth Qi Ziyong Restricted to House Arrest Due to ‘Two Meetings’” (因“两会”北京六四伤残者齐志勇遭警方软禁家中), March 2, 2014, WQW

 

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