[CHRB] Activists Detained for Seeking Public Disclosure of Top Chinese Officials’ Wealth (3/28-4/3, 2013)
China Human Rights Briefing
March 28-April 3, 2013
- Activists Detained After Staging Protest Calling for Leaders to Disclose Wealth
- Elderly Petitioner Held in Black Jail for 3 Months
- Citing “State Secrets,” China Refuses to Allow Public Consultation on Preparations for Universal Periodic Review
- CHRD Submits Allegations of Abuses to UN on Behalf of Cao Haibo
Four activists have reportedly been criminally detained in Beijing on a charge of “unlawful assembly” after holding a public rally at which they held banners calling for public disclosure of top Chinese officials’ personal wealth. On March 31, police dragged away the activists, who had publicly demonstrated a dozen times since February. At least one of them, Hou Xin (候欣), had previously been summoned by police and put under house arrest due to her advocacy efforts. The activists are being held at Beijing No. 3 Detention Center.
Authorities in Hebei Province have held an elderly petitioner incommunicado in a black jail for the past three months after she was seized while trying to lodge grievances in Beijing. On January 2, police took 70-year-old Xie Yuhua (谢玉花) into custody, and then demanded she make a charge against activist Ge Zhihui (葛志慧), who authorities claimed had organized petitioners to gather in the capital. Refusing to implicate Ge, Xie was forcibly sent back to Hebei and has since been held in a guesthouse in Baoding City. CHRD is concerned about Xie’s health, which has suffered from her previously being sent to Re-education through Labor four times.
On April 2, CHRD released a statement urging Chinese authorities to stop harassing and persecuting activists for requesting to participate in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the country’s human rights record, and instead allow members of civil society to play an important role in the process. In a rare reply to an application by Beijing activist Cao Shunli (曹顺利) about disclosing UPR-related information, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in November 2012 that the drafting and dissemination of such material are “state secrets.” Since 2008—just prior to China’s first UPR—authorities have repeatedly denied citizens’ requests for information about the government’s “National Human Rights Report” prepared for the reviews as well as its “National Human Rights Action Plan.” At least one activist, Peng Lanlan (彭岚岚), remains incarcerated for organizing efforts to press the government to disclose information about UPR.
On April 1, CHRD submitted allegations of rights violations to UN Special Procedures on behalf of Cao Haibo (曹海波), who is serving an eight-year prison sentence on a charge of “subversion of state power.” Formerly employed at an Internet café in Yunnan Province, Cao was initially detained in October 2011—and sentenced a year later—for posting political views in an online group that he founded where members discussed democratic reform and constitutional rights. Claiming Cao’s case “involves state secrets,” police have frequently prevented his family and lawyers from visiting him, and Cao was tried in closed proceedings marred by myriad violations of Chinese law.
Editors: Ann Song & Victor Clemens
 “Four Citizens Detained for Rallying for Public Disclosure of Officials’ Finances at Xidan” (西单展示要求官员公开财产横幅的四名公民被拘留), April 2, 2013, WQW; “Xiao Guozhen: Heroine Hou Xin” (肖国珍：侠女侯欣), April 2, 2013, Charter 08
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