[CHRB] Activist Guo Feixiong Detained in Crackdown as Known Arrests Reach 25 (8/15-21, 2013)

 

[CHRB] Activist Guo Feixiong Detained in Crackdown as Known Arrests Reach 25 (8/15-21, 2013)

Aug 22, 2013 • 12:40 am

China Human Rights Briefing

 

August 15-21, 2013

 

Contents

 

Arbitrary Detention

 

Updates on Crackdown: Activist Guo Feixiong Detained, Lawyers’ Visit Denied; Known Arrests Reach 25

Death Penalty

 

Tibetan Man Gets Death Sentence for Wife’s Self-Immolation

 Arbitrary Detention

 

Updates on Crackdown: Activist Guo Feixiong Detained, Lawyers’ Visit Denied; Known Arrests Reach 25

 

On August 8, prominent Guangzhou-based activist Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄, aka Yang Maodong, 杨茂东) was criminally detained on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place,” becoming another major figure in China’s civil society to be netted in the crackdown on peaceful assembly and association. Guo, whose sister reportedly received a detention notice only on August 17, is being held at Tianhe District Detention Center. The detention appears to be reprisal for Guo’s participation in the “New Citizens’ Movement,” a loose network of activists spearheaded by well-known activist Xu Zhiyong (许志永), himself criminally detained in Beijing in mid-July.

 

Alleging that Guo’s case involves “state security,” Guangzhou police on August 21 did not allow lawyers Sui Muqing (隋牧青) and Liu Zhengqing (刘正清) to meet with Guo, claiming that he has ties to an “advocacy tour” undertaken by Guangdong activists seized in late May in Hubei Province. Three of those activists, who aimed to encourage citizen activism and spread ideas of democracy and rule of law, were arrested and are being held in Chibi City, two on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” and one for “subversion” (see report and case details).

 

 

Prominent activist Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄) has been criminally detained for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” in the crackdown on assembly and association.

CHRD has also confirmed the arrests of two more activists—bringing the number of known arrests to 25 during the crackdown, with many others still criminally detained. Song Ze (宋泽, aka Song Guangqiang, 宋光强), a close associate of Xu Zhiyong, was arrested on August 16 on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place.” Song has been held at Beijing No. 3 Detention Center since being taken into custody on July 12. Shandong activist Zhang Xiangzhong (张向忠) has also been arrested, on a charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order.” Criminally detained on July 2, Zhang had displayed banners in support of activists swept up in the crackdown. Authorities have prevented lawyer Fu Yonggang (付永刚) from meeting Zhang at Beijing No. 3 Detention Center, and Zhang’s family has not received formal notification of either his criminal detention or arrest.

 

In addition, Liaoning-based activist Zhang Fuying (张福英) is missing, more than two months after he was taken into custody. On June 13, Zhang was detained by Beijing police in retaliation for his activism, which has included seeking disclosure of top officials’ assets. An official from the Haidian District Public Security Bureau (PSB) reportedly told Jiangxi activist Peng Zhonglin (彭中林) that Zhang was transferred on June 25 to the Beijing Municipal PSB and would “disappear forever.”[1]

 

See CHRD’s website for further background and case details on the ongoing crackdown against peaceful assembly and association.

 

Death Penalty

 

Tibetan Man Gets Death Sentence for Wife’s Self-Immolation

 

On August 15, a Tibetan man in Sichuan Province, Drolma Kyab, was sentenced to death for his wife’s self-immolation protest, with authorities claiming that he killed her and then burned her body to only make it appear that she self-immolated. According to a report in official Chinese media, Kyab, 32, allegedly strangled to death his wife, 29-year-old Kunchok Wangmo, on March 11, 2013, after the couple argued, and then burned her body the next morning. However, Tibetan sources in exile reported in March that the woman had died from a self-immolation protest against Chinese government rule, and that police took Kyab into custody when he refused to admit that her death was triggered by a domestic quarrel.

 

The punishment, which was handed down by the Aba (Tibetan: Ngaba) County Intermediate People’s Court, is the first known death sentence given to a Tibetan linked to self-immolations, and suggests a deepening of the government’s criminalization of that form of protest. Although state media reported that Kyab confessed to the killing, there is suspicion that torture may have been used to coerce a confession in such a politically charged case.[2]

 

[1] “Guangzhou Lawyers Refused Visit to Guo Feixiong, Express Concern About Torture” (广州律师会见郭飞雄遭拒,担心其遭到酷刑), August 21, 2013, WQW; “Urgent Appeal Calling For Immediate Release of Guo Feixiong” (强烈要求立即释放郭飞雄的紧急呼吁书), August 21, 2013, WQW; “Shandong Democratic Activist Zhang Xiangzhong Likely Arrested, Lawyer Blocked From Meeting” (山东民主人士张向忠疑遭逮捕,律师会见被拒), August 21, 2013, WQW; “Song Ze Arrested for ‘Gathering Crowd to Disrupt Order of Public Place’” (宋泽被以“聚众扰乱公共场所秩序罪”逮捕), August 20, 2013, WQW; “Missing 66 Days, Zhang Fuying Needs Human Rights Lawyer for Legal Aid” (张福英被消失66天,急需人权律师提供法律援助), August 19, 2013, HRCC; “WQW Statement: Denunciation of Chinese Government’s Continuing Crackdown on Human Rights Defenders” (“维权网”声明:严正谴责中国当局持续打压人权捍卫者), August 19, 2013, WQW; “Guo Feixiong Criminally Detained Likely for Civil Society Movement; Hunan Authorities Escalate Crackdown On Rights Defenders” (郭飞雄被刑拘或因公民社会运动 湖南当局打压维权人士行动升级), August 18, 2013, RFA; “Urgent Attention: Prominent Rights Activist Guo Feixiong Criminally Detained” (紧急关注:著名维权人士郭飞雄被刑拘), August 17, 2013, WQW; “Lawyer Liu Weiguo Fails to Meet Xu Zhiyong After Early Morning Efforts, Happens to Find Missing Activist Song Ze at Detention Center” (刘卫国律师今早会见许志永未果 却意外发现失踪维权义工宋泽), July 18, 2013, CRLW; “Guangzhou Activist Yang Tingjian Disappeared After Administrative Detention Expired” (广州街头民主活动人士杨霆剑拘留后失踪), June 22, 2013, WQW; “Democratic Activist Yang Tingjian Disappeared After Administrative Detention Expired” (民主人士杨霆剑行政拘留期满后失踪,家属找寻遭国保威胁), June 20, 2013, WQW

 

[2] “Tibetan man sentenced to death over wife’s self-immolation,” August 17, 2013, TCHRD

 

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