[CHRB] Arrested Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tothi Suffering From Multiple Illnesses & Other News (June 20 – June 26, 2014)


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

  • Arrested Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Suffering From Multiple Illnesses, Mistreatment
  • Detained Tibetan Monk in Worsening Health, Lawyers’ Visitation Denied

Arbitrary Detention

  • Lawyer, Activists Arrested on “Inciting Subversion” Charges in Guangzhou
  • Independent Journalist Yin Yusheng Detained for “Disrupting Order of Public Place”
  • Shenyang Authorities Arrest Democracy Activist-Writer Jiang Lijun  

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

Arrested Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Suffering From Multiple Illnesses, Mistreatment

 PEN American Center)

Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, arrested for “splittism,” is not receiving adequate medical treatment for several illnesses. (image: PEN American Center)

Arrested Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti (伊力哈木Ÿ土赫提) is suffering from serious and insufficiently treated illnesses while facing other forms of abuse, according to a lawyer who was finally granted a visit with him on June 26. After not being able to see their client since he was seized in mid-January, lawyers Li Fangping (李方平) and Wang Yu (王宇) gained access to Tohti at Xinjiang Autonomous Region Public Security Bureau Detention Center in Urumqi City. According to Li, Tohti was shackled for more than 20 days and went on a hunger strike for 10 days after being seized. He was also deprived of food and water for 10 days following the attack on the Kunming Train Station by suspected Uyghur separatists on March 1, and has lost a great deal of weight. In addition, the 44-year-old Tohti has heart disease, prostatitis (infection of the prostate), and pharyngitis (an inflammation of the pharynx). He also has pain in his liver, but no tests have been done since he was detained to identify the cause. Tohti told the lawyers that he is receiving some medication, but that treatment is insufficient (see CHRD’s medical watch list for detainees and political prisoners).

Lawyers Li and Wang arrived in Urumqi on June 23 seeking to ascertain the status of the charges against their client after hearing rumors that Tohti had been sentenced in a secret trial, reported Rights Defense Network (RDN). On that day, authorities repeatedly denied requests for a pre-trial meeting with Tohti, and the lawyers learned the case had been transferred to the Urumqi City People’s Procuratorate on June 19, with no trial having taken place.[1] A professor at Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, Ilham Tohti was seized in the capital on January 15, 2014. Urumqi police formally arrested him on February 20 on charges of “splittism,” a crime punishable by death (see report).

Detained Tibetan Monk in Worsening Health, Lawyers’ Visitation Denied

Lawyers for imprisoned Tibetan monk Karma Tsewang (堪布尕玛才旺) were denied a request to see him on June 16 as concerns mount over illnesses that may be threatening his life. Lawyers Tang Tianhao (唐天昊) and Liang Xiaojun (梁小) were unable to meet with the senior monk, who was detained last December on suspicion of “harboring fugitive monks” from another monastery. Currently held in Chamdo Public Security Bureau Detention Center, Karma Tsewang suffers from hepatitis, bacterial tracheitis, tuberculosis, and other diseases. He has been denied necessary treatment and medication, causing his health to deteriorate. Authorities have rejected an application for his medical release, citing “state stability” concerns (see CHRD’s medical watch list of detainees and political prisoners). On May 26, detention officials refused a previous attempt by lawyer Tang to visit, and informed Tang that Karma Tsewang is also being held on an additional charge of “leaking state secrets,” reportedly stemming from a monk’s self-immolation in Chamdo from December 2011.[2]

Arbitrary Detention

Lawyer, Activists Arrested on “Inciting Subversion” Charges in Guangzhou

In Guangdong Province, disbarred human rights lawyer Tang Jingling (唐荆陵) and activists Wang Qingying (王清营) and Yuan Xinting (袁新亭) were formally arrested on June 20 on charges of “inciting subversion of state power,” reports RDN. Tang told his lawyer he was likely detained for his call for a “June Fourth Meditation” as part of a civil disobedience movement that he spearheaded. Wang and Yuan had joined Tang’s effort. Criminally detained in mid-May on a less serious charge of “creating a disturbance,” all three men are being held at Guangzhou No.1 Detention Center. They are among seven individuals who CHRD has now confirmed to be arrested due to suppression around the 25-year anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre (see updates).[3]

Independent Journalist Yin Yusheng Detained for “Disrupting Order of Public Place”

Independent investigative journalist Yin Yusheng (殷玉生) was apprehended by police on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” on June 26, confirmed RDN. It is believed that Yin was taken into custody because he attended a memorial tribute in February for former Chinese leaders Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang.

Yin is being held in Zhengzhou City Detention Center in Henan Province. Neither his lawyers nor family have received legal documents concerning his detention. The event in February was organized by the activist couple Chen Wei (陈卫) and Yu Siwen (于世文), who were detained in late May during the June Fourth anniversary crackdown, along with five others who joined in the memorial (see updates). Formerly with the state newspaper Chengdu Commercial Daily, Yin lost his job after reporting on a public security official’s son who tried to evade responsibility for killing a female student in a hit-and-run car accident at Hebei University in 2010.[4]

Shenyang Authorities Arrest Democracy Activist-Writer Jiang Lijun  

Democracy activist and freelance writer Jiang Lijun (姜力均) was formally arrested on June 25 on charges of “creating a disturbance” and “inciting subversion of state power,” allegedly for information that he circulated online, reports Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW).[5] Shenyang police initially took Jiang away from his home on May 16, though only on suspicion of “creating a disturbance,” and criminally detained him two days later.[6] Jiang is being held at Shenyang City No. 1 Detention Center. Jiang was previously sentenced to four years of imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power” after Yahoo! provided details of his account to Chinese authorities, who then used pro-democracy writings found in his email as evidence in his trial in 2003.


Renee Xia, International Director (Mandarin, English), +1 240 374 8937, reneexia@chrdnet.com

David Zhao, Researcher and Media Outreach (Mandarin, English, Cantonese), +852 61252921, davidzhao@chrdnet.com

Victor Clemens, Research Coordinator (English), +1 209 643 0539, victorclemens@chrdnet.com

Follow us on Twitter:@CHRDnet


[1]“Access Denied as Lawyer Representatives Arrived Urumqi Demanding to Meet Ilham Tohti”(代理律师亲赴乌鲁木齐要求会见伊力哈木遭拒), June 24, 2014, Rights Defense Network (RDN).

[2] “Lawyers Blocked From Handling Karma Tsewang Case According to Law” (堪布尕玛才旺的律师被阻扰依法办案), June 24, 2014, Invisible Tibet (Blog).

[3]“Tang Jingling and Yuan Xinting Formally Arrested by Guangzhou Authorities” (广州唐荆陵、袁新亭被当局以涉嫌”煽动颠覆国家政权罪”批捕), June 21, 2014, RDN; “Guangdong Democracy Activist Wang Qingying Formally Arrested on Charge of ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’” (广东民主维权人士王清营被以涉嫌“煽动颠覆国家政权”罪逮捕), June 21, 2014, RDN.

[4] “Well-Known Independent Investigative Journalist Yin Yusheng Taken Away in Handcuffs” (著名独立调查记者殷玉生被警方铐走), June 26, 2014, RDN.

[5] “Procuratorate Approves Arrest of Shenyang Democracy Activist Jiang Lijun” (沈阳民主维权人士姜力钧被检察院批捕), June 25, 2014, Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW).

[6] “Liaoning Rights Defender Jiang Lijun Goes Missing” (辽宁维权人士姜力钧与外界失去联系), May 23, 2014, RDN.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
View latest posts