[CHRB] Guizhou Activist Disappeared; Police Role Suspected in “Suicide” of Activist’s Father (1/31-2/6/2014)

 China Human Rights Briefing

 January 31-February 6, 2014

Contents

Enforced Disappearance

  • Guizhou Activist, Wife Forcibly Disappeared Since September, Whereabouts Unknown 

Arbitrary Detention

  • Police Seek Indictment of Journalist Who Exposed Corruption

Local Election Watch

  • Elections in Ethnic Minority Village in Guizhou Rife With Violations

Reprisals Against Activists’ Family Members

  • Father of Shandong Activist Falls to Death, Foul Play by Police Suspected

Special Notice

  • CHRD Appeals to UN for Activists Facing Trial, Alleging Arbitrary Detention, Torture, and Reprisals Against Expression, Assembly, and Association

Enforced Disappearance

Guizhou Activist, Wife Forcibly Disappeared Since September, Whereabouts Unknown  

Longtime democracy rights activist Mi Chongbiao (糜崇标) and his wife, Li Kezhen (李克珍), have been out of contact since September 2013, after being held under illegal house arrest for months in Guizhou Province. Last June, police arrived at their Guiyang City residence and placed the couple under tight 24-hour surveillance days after Mi had posted online a complaint that he had submitted to the UN Human Rights Council about rights violations that his family has suffered. From that time, officers restricted them from going out and even buying food for Mi, 74, who suffers from diabetes, and friends eventually were unable to contact them. Several weeks ago, an activist spotted Mi in a hospital by chance and learned details of the couple’s plight, but their current whereabouts remain unknown. In 2007, Mi Chongbiao established a human rights organization in Guiyang and began to share information on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He has been taken away by police many times and spent a total of 30 months in detention.[i]

Guizhou activist Mi Chongbiao (糜崇标) and his wife Li Kezhen (李克珍) have been forcibly disappeared since September 2013

Guizhou activist Mi Chongbiao (糜崇标) and his wife Li Kezhen (李克珍) have been forcibly disappeared since September 2013

Arbitrary Detention

Police Seek Indictment of Journalist Who Exposed Corruption

Beijing police have reportedly recommended that a procuratorate charge journalist Liu Hu (刘虎) with the crimes of “libel,” “extortion,” and “creating a disturbance” for information he posted on his weibo account between May 2012 and August 2013, according to CHRD sources. Liu was criminally detained on charges of “creating a disturbance” last August before being arrested on suspicion of “libel” the following month (see report). Liu’s lawyer, Zhou Ze (周泽), has questioned how his client could be charged with these crimes just for sending out weibo comments critical of officials, and also has asserted that urging people to donate to a charity for children, which Liu had also reportedly done, does not constitute extortion. Before Beijing police took him into custody, Liu Hu had been a Chongqing-based reporter for the Guangzhou New Express, focusing on corruption and official abuses of power.[ii]

Local Election Watch

Elections in Ethnic Minority Village in Guizhou Rife With Violations

Village committee elections held in December in Guizhou Province were fraught with violations and irregularities, leading to a confrontation between police and the family of the losing candidate, with up to 200 riot police surrounding the village at one point. In Qishan, a majority ethnic Buyi village in Guiyang City, election representatives handling the voting process on December 12 pressured villagers to vote for Jiang Qidi (江其弟), the only Han Chinese candidate for director of the village committee, with some election workers even circling Jiang’s name themselves if voters refused. Reportedly, there was rampant and illegal disenfranchisement of absentee voters, poor enforcement of secret-ballot regulations, and insufficient advanced notice of eligible candidates. A day after the election and with Jiang declared the winner, dozens of villagers from Qishan went to government offices to complain about election fraud, but authorities refused to hear their complaints or otherwise took no action.[iii]

Reprisals Against Activists’ Family Members

Father of Shandong Activist Falls to Death, Foul Play by Police Suspected

Xue Fushun (薛福顺), the father of democracy activist Xue Mingkai (薛明凯), died after falling from the roof of a four-story procuratorate building on January 29, in an incident that authorities in Shandong Province have declared a “suicide” though family members strongly believe that he was killed by police. Xue Fushun and his wife Wang Shuqing (王书清) had been taken to a “black jail” on January 23 by Qufu City authorities before managing to escape on January 29. They sought help at a procuratorate office in Qufu, with Xue Fushun subsequently falling from the building under suspicious circumstances. Wang, who was taken into custody on February 2 in Beijing, was only briefly allowed to view Xue’s covered body with only his face shown, and has said it appeared that his face had black marks and seemed to have been beaten. Xue Fushun and Wang Shuqing have repeatedly face reprisals for their son’s activism, with Wang being sent to a Re-education through Labor camp. Xue Mingkai himself was released from prison last September after serving a sentence for “inciting subversion of state power,” though police have closely monitored his movements since he was freed.[iv]

Special Notice

CHRD Appeals to UN for Activists Facing Trial, Alleging Arbitrary Detention, Torture, and Reprisals Against Expression, Assembly, and Association

CHRD recently sent to UN experts letters of complaint alleging rights abuses on behalf of three activists from Jiangxi Province, Liu Ping (刘萍), Wei Zhongping (魏忠平), and Li Sihua (李思华), and also Anhui activists Zhang Lin (张林) and Zhou Weilin (周维林). (See the letter submitted for the Jiangxi activists and the letter for the Anhui activists.) Trial proceedings in early December for Liu, Wei, and Li were characterized by blatant violations, with authorities refusing to investigate allegations that Liu was tortured in detention. Zhang Lin also was tried in December. No verdicts have been issued in any of their cases. Meanwhile, Zhou Weilin’s case was sent back to a local procuratorate for more investigation, and it is unclear when he will stand trial. All of these individuals have been detained in the ongoing crackdown on peaceful assembly, association and expression that began in March 2013.[v]

Contacts:

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

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

[i] “Family of Guizhou Rights Activist Mi Chongbiao Has No Contact for Half Year After Police Take Him Away” (贵州人权捍卫者糜崇标被警方带走后半年来与家人失去联系), January 28, 2014, WQW.

 

[ii] “Journalist Liu Hu Faces Three Charges” (记者刘虎被起诉三宗罪), February 5, 2014, Radio France International (re-posted on Charter 08 Blog).

 

[iii] “China Election Watch 2013 No 46: Baiyun District, Guiyang City Officials “Guide” Election Officials to Ensure Ethnic Buyi Candidate Loses (Part 3)” (中国选举观察(2013)之四十六—贵阳市白云区政府“指导”的村官选举恶意使布依族候选人落选(之三)), February 5, 2014, WQW; “China Election Watch 2013 No 45: Baiyun District, Guiyang City Officials “Guide” Election Officials to Ensure Ethnic Buyi Candidate Loses (Part 2)” (中国选举观察(2013)之四十五—贵阳市白云区政府“指导”的村官选举恶意使布依族候选人落选(之二)), February 4, 2014, WQW; “China Election Watch 2013 No 44: Baiyun District, Guiyang City Officials ‘Guide’ Election Officials to Ensure Ethnic Buyi Candidate Loses (Part 1)” 中国选举观察(2013)之四十四——贵阳市白云区政府“指导”的村官选举恶意使布依族候选人落选(之一)), February 3, 2014, WQW.

 

[iv] “Lawyer’s Watch Group on Unusual Death of Xue Fushun” (薛福顺非正常死亡案件律师观察团成立), February 5, 2014, WQW.

 

[v] “Submission to the UN on Liu Ping, Wei Zhongping, and Li Sihua”, December 29, 2013, CHRD. “Submission to UN on Zhang Lin, Zhou Weilin”, January 3, 2014, CHRD; “Hefei Activist Zhou Weilin’s Case Again Sent Back to Procuratorate” (合肥维权人士周维林案再次被移送到检察院), February 5, 2014, WQW.

 

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