[CHRB] Activist Given 3 Years for Inciting Subversion, Tibetans Tortured to Death (2/7-13/2014)

China Human Rights Briefing

 February 7-13, 2014

Contents

Arbitrary Detention

  • Activist Sentenced to 3 Years for Inciting Subversion After Prolonged Detention Without Trial
  • Liaoning Activists Detained For Online Criticism of Unjust Detention System
  • Mother Denied Prison Visit to Shandong Dissident, Contact Cut Off for Years

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

  • Two Tibetans Tortured to Death, Two Others Handed Long Sentences
  • Detained Activist Cao Shunli’s Health Deteriorates, Fellow Activist Peng Lanlan Subjected to Torture

Arbitrary Detention

Activist Sentenced to 3 Years for Inciting Subversion After Prolonged Detention Without Trial

Democracy activist Liu Benqi (刘本琦) was sentenced to three years for “inciting subversion of state power” on January 23 after being detained in Qinghai Province for one-and-a-half years, and six months following his trial. Originally from Hubei, Liu was living in Golmud City (CH: Ge’ermu) when police took him away in July of 2012 (see report), apparently after he had expressed his political views online and contacted overseas dissidents. Liu has been held at Golmund City Detention Center ever since, and his case was heard in June 2013. His wife, Liu Ying (刘英), recently visited him and has said his face looked swollen, which she thought was likely due to poor nutrition at the detention center. In announcing the sentence last month, authorities also ordered Liu to be transferred soon to a prison in Xining, hundreds of miles from his family. Previously, his wife had been sent to a Re-education Through Labor camp for one year for revealing information about her husband’s case.[i]

Liaoning Activists Detained For Online Criticism of Unjust Detention System

Activist Wang Zhenhua (王振华) was criminally detained in Liaoning Province on February 3 on suspicion of “creating a disturbance,” and fellow activists Xu Meiying (许梅英) and Xin Ying (辛颖) are also reportedly being held on the same charge. They were among a number of activists swept up in Jinzhou City just before the opening of the Jinzhou World Landscape Art Expo in May 2013 and later released. According to lawyer Wang Quanzhang (王全章), the current detentions appear related to their support to a “declaration of war” that Wang launched against China’s criminal detention system that they expressed through weibo posts; police had previously harassed Xu Meiying due to her online expression, and Xin Ying has been detained five times in the past six months. Wang Zhenhua is being held at Shenyang City No. 1 Detention Center, but it is unclear if the other two activists are being held in the same location.[2]

Mother Denied Prison Visit to Shandong Dissident, Contact Cut Off for Years

In December, authorities in Shandong Province once again denied a request by the mother of Ren Ziyuan (任自元),  a dissident serving a 10-year sentence for “subversion,” to see him at Shandong Provincial No. 1 Prison. Authorities have consistently blocked communications between Ren and his family since he was initially detained in 2005; the last time the activist was allowed a family visit was nearly four years ago, in March 2010, when it was discovered that he had contracted tuberculosis and that his health was very poor. In 2012, a prisoner who had been released said that Ren had been tortured and beaten in detention—the most recent piece of information that his family has received about him. A Jining court sentenced Ren in March 2006 for his allegedly trying to establish a pro-democracy party (see report).[3]

The family of dissident Ren Ziyuan (任自元) has consistently been blocked from communicating with him during his 10-year prison sentence, issued in 2006 for “subversion.”

The family of dissident Ren Ziyuan (任自元) has consistently been blocked from communicating with him during his 10-year prison sentence, issued in 2006 for “subversion.”

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

Two Tibetans Tortured to Death, Two Others Handed Long Sentences

As further examples of intensified suppression of Tibetans challenging Chinese government policies in the Tibet Autonomous Region, two detained monks have reportedly been beaten and tortured to death by police, and two other Tibetans have been given prison sentences of 10 and 11 years, respectively. The body of Konchok Dakpa was returned to his family on January 20, with police warning the monk’s family not to discuss his death. Detained in December 2013 and then held incommunicado, Konchok Dakpa had protested against Chinese mining at a sacred mountain in May of last year. Another monk, Ngawang Jamyang, was also reportedly tortured to death in detention and his body returned to his family in December, a month after police took him into custody.

Kelsang Choklang, a monk from the same monastery as Ngawang Jamyang and seized at the same time, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in January, reportedly for “illegally gathering a crowd.” In addition, Tibetan layman Dorje Dragtsel was given an 11-year sentence in January—seven years for allegedly being a ringleader of the anti-mining demonstrations last May, three for “wantonly lending money,” and one year for “obstructing the work of cadres.” Dorje Dragstel was seized in October (see report). The government’s heavy-handed tactics in Diru (CH: Biru) County, Nagchu (CH: Naqu) Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region have led to many clashes between locals and authorities, resulting in enforced disappearances, cases of alleged torture, and several long prison sentences (see report).[4]

Detained Activist Cao Shunli’s Health Deteriorates, Fellow Activist Peng Lanlan Subjected to Torture

Beijing activist Cao Shunli (曹顺利)’s health has significantly deteriorated in detention, and she has not been allowed access to a doctor, according to her attorney Wang Yu (王宇). Cao has reportedly contracted tuberculosis and liver ascites and is dealing with fibroid tumors and cysts, and has become very frail. Authorities have refused requests for the activist’s release on medical grounds that have been made by Wang as well as Cao’s family. Cao’s case has recently been sent for a second time by police to a local procuratorate for prosecution. Cao was seized at Beijing Capital International Airport in September 2013, just as she was about to board a plan to Geneva to attend UN human rights training activities, and arrested the following month on a charge of “creating a disturbance.” Before being detained, Cao had been at the forefront of a years-long campaign demanding China’s civil society be given a role in the Universal Periodic Review of the country’s human rights record before the UN Human Rights Council.[5]

Meanwhile, Cao’s fellow activist in the campaign, the recently released activist Peng Lanlan (彭兰岚) of Henan Province was tortured and subjected to other forms of mistreatment in two psychiatric facilities over the space of a month after being seized in Beijing in December. Beijing police beat Peng after they seized her on December 20, 2013, when she was distributing survey forms collecting feedback on China’s National Human Rights Action Plan. Officers later sent her to a hospital to treat her injuries before transferring her to Huayi Psychiatric Hospital in the capital. While being held there, Peng was stripped naked, tied down for several straight days, beaten, and forced to take psychiatric medications. On January 4, she was taken from Beijing to a psychiatric facility in Changsha City in Henan. In this institution, Peng was forced to undergo medical tests and take psychiatric medicine before she was eventually released on January 21. Peng had been detained many times for her advocacy work, including for six months in a psychiatric hospital in 2004 and, more recently, for one year—from August 2012 to last August—in retaliation for her advocacy for the role of civil society in Universal Periodic Review.[6]

Contacts:

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

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

[1] “Democracy Activist Liu Benqi Sentenced to Three Years for ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power,’ to be Sent to Xining to Serve Sentence” (湖北籍在青海的民主人士刘本琦被以“煽颠罪”判三年,将往西宁服刑), February 9, 2014, WQW; “Liu Benqi Criminally Detained on Charges of ‘Inciting Subversion,’ Wife Sent to RTL Camp, 5-Year-Old Child Missing” (刘本琦被以涉嫌“煽颠”刑拘,妻子刘英被劳教,五岁孩子失踪), November 2, 2012, WQW.

[2] “Several Shenyang Activists Criminally Detained” (沈阳多位维权人士遭刑事拘留), February 9, 2014, WQW.

[3] “Mother of Shandong Dissident Ren Ziyuan Again Refused Request to Visit Prison”

(山东异见人士任自元的母亲探监再遭拒绝), February 7, 2014, WQW.

[4]Repression escalates in Tibet’s Diru County: Tibetan youth beaten to death, 2 others given heavy sentences and another disappeared,” February 7, 2014, TCHRD; “Diru Crackdown:  Senior Tibetan Buddhist Scholar Beaten to Death in Police Custody,” December 19, 2013, TCHRD.

[5] “Cao Shunli’s Case Again Transferred to Procuratorate, Her Health Worringly Worsens”

(曹顺利案重新移送检察院,健康恶化令人担忧), February 8, 2014, WQW.

[6] “Peng Lanlan Again Sent to Psychiatric Hospitals for Distributing Registration Forms on National Human Rights Plan” (因散发国家人权计划登记表 彭兰岚被再入精神病院), February 11, 2014, CRLW.

 

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