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[CHRB] Accused Murder Suspects Severely Beaten; Several Activists’ Trials Beginning

China Human Rights Briefing

July 25 – 30, 2014



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

  • Petitioners Severely Beaten in Detention, Held on Suspicion of Killing Policeman

Freedom of Peaceful Assembly & Association

  • Trials Beginning for 4 Activists Detained in 2013 Crackdown on Civil Liberties

Reprisals Against Human Rights Activists

  • 5 Jiangsu Activists Face Trial Over Black Jail Rescue


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

Petitioners Severely Beaten in Detention, Held on Suspicion of Killing Policeman

Petitioner Zhang Xiaoyu (张小玉) and her husband, Xu Youchen (许有臣), were severely beaten by police in Henan Province after they were detained on suspicion of killing a policeman. According to Rights Defense Network (RDN), lawyer Liu Shuqing (刘书庆) was able to meet the couple and confirmed that Zhang has nearly lost her eyesight as a result of a police assault in Jiaozuo City, while Xu sustained serious injuries to his face, including many abrasions. Lawyer Liu has requested that Zhang be released on medical grounds. The couple, veteran petitioners who have been detained in black jails many times and also been sent to Re-education through Labor, is currently held at Jiaozuo City Detention Center.

On July 17, Jiaozuo police had abducted Zhang and Xu in Beijing, where the couple was petitioning, and took them back to their hometown, according to Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW). Back in Jiaozuo on the same day, they were taken to Zhucun Police Station. Their son, Xu Tianlong (许天龙) was told that his parents were detained for stabbing a policeman at the Jiaozuo police station. Lawyers’ request to move the case to another district to avoid conflict of interest was rejected.

The couple’s case has been fraught with procedural irregularities. The body of the policeman allegedly killed by the couple was rushed to be cremated on July 21, only four days after he died, making it impossible to re-examine the exact time and cause of death. On the same day, after demanding to meet Zhang, lawyer Chang Weiping (常玮平) was summoned and interrogated by police for 12 hours. Police named the lawyer an important witness in the case, effectively preventing him from representing Zhang. Lawyer Chen Taihe (陈泰和) and lawyer Liu Shuqing were subsequently denied visits to Zhang. The attorneys now handling the case, Li Jinxing (李金星) and Liu Hao (刘浩), were beaten up by a group of unidentified men outside of the Jiaozuo City Detention Center on July 30.[1]


Petitioner Zhang Xiaoyu (张小玉), who has recently been detained, has suffered severe damage to her eyes from a police beating. (Image: CRLW)

Freedom of Peaceful Assembly & Association

Trials Beginning for 4 Activists Detained in 2013 Crackdown on Civil Liberties

Trials and pre-trial proceedings are finally taking place or are set to start for four activists detained about a year ago during the crackdown on free assembly, association, and expression.

The cases of Anhui-based activist Zhou Weilin (周维林) and Shanghai writer-activist Li Huaping (李化平) had hearings this week, reports RDN. Zhou’s pre-trial meeting was held on July 28 at the Shushan District People’s Court, which also heard Li’s case on July 30 but did not issue a verdict. Li’s trial was essentially closed to the public, as authorities barred supporters from entering the courthouse. Seized in the summer of 2013, Zhou and Li were later criminal detained on suspicion of “disrupting order of a public place.” In April 2013, they had helped organize rallies outside a primary school after authorities in Hefei City in Anhui had barred Annie Zhang (张安妮), a daughter of dissident Zhang Lin (张林), from attending school, citing her household registration in another city. Zhou Weilin turned to rights activism after losing his left hand in a factory accident. He has focused his advocacy on the persecution of activists, labor rights, and rights of persons with disabilities. Li Huaping, an influential commentator who writes online under the name “Norwegian Wood,”has been linked to the New Citizens’ Movement.[2]

In Guangdong Province, a pre-trial meeting will be held on August 1 for detained activist and legal advisor Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄, whose real name is Yang Maodong (杨茂东) and activist Sun Desheng (孙德胜), confirms RDN. Seized in August 2013 and arrested the next month, Guo is facing a charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place.” He was a leading figure in a protest about press freedom held in front of the Southern Weekly headquarters in January 2013, and also in a campaign calling on the government to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Charged with the same offense, Sun was criminally detained about a year ago and placed under residential surveillance in September 2013, and had reportedly taken part in a campaign calling for political, legal, and anti-graft reforms.[3]

Reprisals Against Human Rights Activists

5 Jiangsu Activists Face Trial Over Black Jail Rescue

Five Jiangsu activists—Ms. Ding Hongfen (丁红芬) and four men, Qu Fengsheng (瞿峰盛), Shen Aibin (沈爱斌), Shen Guodong (沈果东), and Yin Xijin (殷锡金)—have been indicted for “intentional destruction of property” in apparent retaliation for uncovering a black jail and rescuing detainees there in June 2013, reports RDN. Wuxi City authorities indicted them on May 29, and a trial date has yet to be announced. The five activists were seized after alerting police to illegal detentions of petitioners in a Wuxi guesthouse, among them a 82-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man (see report). The activists have been accused of damaging guesthouse property, including the door to the room where the freed individuals were locked up. The five activists are currently detained at Wuxi City No. 1 and No. 2 Detention Centers. CHRD previously reported that police tortured Shen Aibin in an attempt to coerce a confession (see report).[4]


For more information, please contacts:

Renee Xia, International Director (Mandarin, English), +1 240 374 8937,

David Zhao, Researcher and Media Outreach (Mandarin, English, Cantonese), +852 61252921,

Victor Clemens, Research Coordinator (English), +1 209 643 0539,


Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnet


[1] “Zhang Xiaoyu May Become Permanently Blind Without Prompt Treatment, Lawyer Applies for Medical Parole” (张小玉如不及时治疗或致永久性失明律师吁取保候审), July 28, 2014, Rights Defense Network (RDN); “Henan Petitioner Zhang Xiaoyu Files Administrative Suit at Supreme People’s Court” (河南访民张小玉向最高法院提起行政起诉), July 6, 2011, RDN; “Henan Petitioner Zhang Xiaoyu Under Police Custody Upon Returning Home, Accused of Stabbing” (河南访民张小玉回乡后被控制警方称她“捅人了”), July 19, 2014, Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch (CRLW); “Urgent Appeal: Lawyers Li Jinxing and Liu Hao Attacked by Huge Group of Unidentified Men Outside Jiaozuo Detention Center” (紧急关注:李金星、刘浩律师在焦作看守所门前遭大批不明身份人员围堵殴打), July 30, 2014, RDN; “Whole Story of Case of Jiaozuo, Henan Petitioner Couple Zhang Xiaoyu and Xu Youchen” (河南焦作访民张小玉、许有臣夫妇案的来龙去脉), July 21, 2014, RDN; “Liu Hongxia: Report Analysis on Zhang Xiaoyu’s Petitioning and Grievances” (刘红霞:张小玉上访冤屈分析报告), July 22, 2014, RDN.

[2] “Trial of ‘Norwegian Wood’ Li Huaping Opens Today, More Than 30 Citizens Denied Attendance” (“挪威森林”李化平“聚扰”案今开庭,30余公民前往旁听被拒), July 30, 2014, RDN; “Update: Pre-trial Meeting for Zhou Weilin Case to Take Place on July 28 in Hefei, Trial for Li Huaping Begins July 30” (快讯:周维林案7月28日在合肥召开庭前会议李化平案7月30日开庭), July 24, 2014, RDN;“Urgent Appeal: Li Huaping (aka Norwegian Wood) Criminal Detained in Changsha, Hunan” (紧急关注:挪威森林李化平在湖南长沙被刑拘), August 10, 2013, RDN.

[3]“Update: Pre-trial Meeting for Guo Feixiong, Sun Desheng Case to Take Place on August 1” (快讯:郭飞雄、孙德胜案8月1日将召开庭前会议开庭在即), July 25, 2014, RDN; “Indictment of Guo Feixiong and Sun Desheng” (郭飞雄孙德胜案法院起诉书), July 8, 2014.

[4] “Calls for Release of Ding Hongfen and Shen Aibin at First Anniversary of Wuxi Black Jail Rescue” (纪念冲击无锡黑监狱一周年,呼吁释放丁红芬和沈爱斌), June 22, 2014, RDN; “Ding Hongfen, Others Involved in Wuxi Black Jail Rescue Prosecuted for Damaging Property” (无锡丁红芬等黑监狱救人案,检察院以毁坏财产罪公诉), July 27, 2014, RDN.


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