[CHRB] Law Professor Suspended in Reprisal for Representing Detained Activists (8/22-28, 2013)

China Human Rights Briefing

August 22-28, 2013

Contents

Arbitrary Detention

Updates on Crackdown on Peaceful Assembly & Association

  • Activist Xu Zhiyong Formally Arrested; 3 Others Arrested, Criminally Detained
  • Arrested Jiangxi Activist Faces Latest Concocted Charge of “Using Cult to Undermine Implementation of the Law”

Reprisals Against Human Rights Lawyers

  • Law Professor Suspended for Political Expression & Defending Detained Activists

Arbitrary Detention

Updates on Crackdown on Peaceful Assembly & Association

Activist Xu Zhiyong Formally Arrested; 3 Others Arrested, Criminally Detained

On August 22, prominent legal advocate Xu Zhiyong (许志永) was formally arrested in Beijing on a charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place.” Police criminally detained Xu on July 16 on suspicion of the same crime for his role in the “New Citizens’ Movement,” a loose grouping of activists that he has spearheaded since 2011, and many of whom have also been detained since March. Xu is being held at Beijing No. 3 Detention Center. After one lawyer was denied a visit to Xu and harassed, another lawyer was able to meet Xu at the detention center.

Police also have taken action against two others with ties to the movement. Activist Li Huanjun (李焕君), who was criminally detained on July 12, was arrested on August 16 on a charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place.” Li is being held at Beijing No. 1 Detention Center. In addition, Guangzhou activist Sun Desheng (孙德胜) has been criminally detained on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place.” Officials refused Sun’s lawyers request to meet him at the detention center on August 27, citing the need for permission from higher authorities. On August 13, Sun was seized by Guangzhou national security officers in apparent reprisal for his activism, which has included calling for the release of Xu Zhiyong. Sun is being held at Tianhe District Detention Center.

Longtime Anhui activist Zhang Lin (张林) was also arrested on August 22, on a charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place.” Zhang was taken into custody on July 18 in apparent retaliation for protests against authorities who blocked his 10-year-old daughter Annie Zhang (张安妮) from attending school in Hefei City. Zhang Lin is being detained at Bengbu City No. 1 Detention Center.[1]

Arrested Jiangxi Activist Faces Latest Concocted Charge of “Using Cult to Undermine Implementation of the Law”

Jiangxi activist Liu Ping (刘萍), who has suffered from a stomach illness, reportedly is still sick in detention, and authorities have now changed the “crimes” against her for a fourth time in a revolving series of charges, according to her lawyer, Zheng Jianwei (郑建伟). Authorities told the lawyer that Liu is now being investigated for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” and “using cult to undermine implementation of the law” as police attempt to bolster what clearly appears to be a flimsy criminal case. By July, Liu reportedly had become very weak in Xinyu City Detention Center, having lost a great deal of weight while needing to force herself to eat and suffering daily bouts of diarrhea. (CHRD has previously reported on Liu’s mistreatment in police custody.)[2]

Jiangxi activist Liu Ping (刘萍) is ill in detention and has faced a series of revolving and concocted criminal charges.

Jiangxi activist Liu Ping (刘萍) is ill in detention and has faced a series of revolving and concocted criminal charges.

Reprisals Against Human Rights Lawyers

Law Professor Suspended for Political Expression & Defending Detained Activists

Law professor and lawyer Zhang Xuezhong (张雪忠) has been suspended from his teaching post at East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, apparently in a move to retaliate against him for an article he wrote promoting constitutional reform in China and for taking on the cases of detained human rights activists. School authorities reportedly informed Zhang in June that an article of his discussing and calling for reform had violated the country’s Constitution and other laws. The school also asked for Zhang’s response on the matter, but upon receiving Zhang’s views on freedom of expression, the university notified him on August 17 that the school’s Communist Party Committee had decided not to allow him to teach. Zhang revealed these developments on his microblog, which was subsequently blocked by censors. Zhang Xuezhong has written widely on rule-of-law reforms, constitutionalism, and social justice. People familiar with the circumstances believe that the suspension’s main intent is to punish Zhang for representing several activists detained in the ongoing crackdown on free assembly and association, including Liu Ping (刘萍) of Jiangxi Province (see above), Li Huaping (李化平) of Hunan, and Zhao Changqing (赵长青) of Beijing.[3]

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

[1] “Spearhead of ‘New Citizens’ Movement’ Xu Zhiyong Arrested” (公民运动倡导者许志永被逮捕), August 24, 2013, WQW; “Guangzhou Rights Activist Sun Desheng Criminally Detained on Suspicion of ‘Gathering Crowd to Disrupt Order of Public Place’” (广州维权人士孙德胜被以“涉嫌涉嫌聚众扰乱公共场所秩序”刑拘), August 24, 2013, WQW; “Anhui Bangbu Dissident Zhang Lin Formally Arrested” (安徽蚌埠异见人士张林已被检察院正式批捕), August 22, 2013,WQW; “Human Rights Defender Zhang Lin’s Case Transferred to Procuratorate, Daughter Calling For Releasing Her Dad” (人权捍卫者张林一案已移交检察院,女儿呼吁释放爸爸), August 22, 2013,WQW; “Beijing Rights Activist Li Huanjun Formally Arrested” (北京维权人士李焕君已被批准逮捕), August 22, 2013,WQW; “Guangzhou Rights Activist Sun Desheng Not Released After Beijing Taken Away By Security Police For 24 Hours” (广州维权人士孙德胜被国保带走24小时仍未获释), August 14, 2013, WQW; “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; “Lawyers, Liu Xiaoyuan and Li Fangping, Visit Detained Zhang Lin at Detention Center” (刘晓原、李方平律师到看守所会见被羁押的张林 ), July 22, 2013, WQW; “Anhui Activist Zhang Lin Criminally Detained on Suspicion for “Gathering a Crowd to Disrupt Social Order of a Public Place” (安徽民运人士张林被以“涉嫌聚众扰乱公共场所秩序罪”刑事拘留) July 19, 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; “Several People Bringing Money to Xu Zhiyong at Detention Center Seized, ‘Transition Institute’ Searched, Ordered to Close”(到看守所为许志永存钱送物多人被抓,传知行研究所被查抄取缔), July 18, 2013, WQW; “Lawyer Liu Weiguo Prevented From Seeing Xu Zhiyong at Detention Center”  (刘卫国律师到看守所会见许志永未果)July 18, 2013, WQW; “Li Huanjun Talking About Process of Being Seized And Having House Searched When Meeting Lawyer” (李焕君会见律师讲述被抓捕、抄家的过程), July 17, 2013, WQW; “Beijing Activist Li Huanjun Criminally Detained for ‘Gathering a Crowd to Disrupt Social Order’” (北京维权人士李焕君被“涉嫌聚众扰乱社会秩序罪”刑事拘留) July 14, 2013, WQW; and “Trying to Meet Sun Desheng at Detention Center, Guangzhou Lawyers Wen Yu, Ge Yunxian Were Rejected” (广州律师闻宇、葛先云到看守所会见孙德胜遭拒) August 29, 2013, WQW.

[2] “Liu Ping Again Being Investigated, Now for ‘Unlawful Assembly’ and ‘Using a Cult’”

(刘萍被以“涉嫌聚众”和“利用邪教”的罪名再次调查), August 28, 2013, WQW; “Liu Ping Severely Beaten, Mistreated in Detention, Indicates She Will Not Commit Suicide” (刘萍关押期间遭遇殴打虐待 表示绝不自杀), August 6, 2013, WQW; “Activist Liu Ping Trial to Open on July 18 on Charge of ‘Unlawful Assembly’” (特别关注:维权人士刘萍“非法集会罪”一案将于本月18日开庭), July 5, 2013, WQW; “Xinyu, Jiangxi Activist Liu Ping Arrested for ‘Unlawful Assembly’” (江西新余维权人士刘萍被以“非法集会罪”逮捕), June 5, 2013, WQW; “Police Send ’Inciting Subversion’ Case of Liu Ping to Procuratorate for Approval, Authorities Reject Lawyer’s Application to Meet Her” (刘萍“煽动颠覆案”警方报请检察院批捕,律师申请会见遭拒), May 30, 2013, WQW; “Human Rights Defense Network Solemnly Protest Citizens Detained by Authorities in Beijing and Jiangxi for ‘Demanding Officials Disclose Assets’” (“维权网”严正抗议北京和江西当局拘捕“要求官员公布财产”的公民), May 8, 2013, WQW; “Jiangxi Human Rights Activist Liu Ping Criminally Detained on Charge of ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’” (江西维权人士刘萍因“涉嫌煽动颠覆罪”被刑事拘留), May 8, 2013, WQW; “News Flash: Well-known Rights Activist Liu Ping Criminally Detained on Charge of ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’” (快讯:著名维权人士刘萍因涉嫌煽动颠覆国家政权罪被刑事拘留), May 7, 2013, WQW; “Human Rights Activists in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province Tortured in Custody, Many Still Detained, Including Liu Ping” (江西新余被拘押维权人士遭酷刑,刘萍等多人仍未获释), April 29, 2013, WQW; “Human Rights Activists in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province Tortured in Custody, Many Still Detained, Including Liu Ping” (江西新余被拘押维权人士遭酷刑,刘萍等多人仍未获释), April 29, 2013, WQW; Chinese Authorities Must Release Activists, End Escalating Crackdown on Free Expression, April 19, 2013, CHRD

[3] “ECUPL Professor Zhang Xuezhong Suspended From Position for Advocating Constitutionalism, Authorities Continue Suppressing Voice Calling For Reform” (华政教授张雪忠因呼吁宪政被停职 当局持续打压改革呼声), August 26, 2013, RFA; “Zhang Xuezhong: An Odd Issue In The Suspension Matter” (张雪忠: 华政剥夺我授课资格的一大诡异之处), August 25, 2013, Reposted On Ou Biaofeng’s Path.

 

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