[CHRB] More Activists Detained for Peaceful Assembly & Association (8/8-8/14, 2013)

 

 China Human Rights Briefing

 

August 8-14, 2013

 

Contents

 

 

 

Arbitrary Detention

 

Update: More Detentions in Ongoing Crackdown on Freedom of Assembly & Association

Hangzhou Activist Criminally Detained for “Obstructing Official Business”

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

 

Petitioner Dies in Black Jail, Family Suspects Guards Beat Her to Death 

On CHRD’s Website

 

Newest CHRD Profiles of Prisoners of Conscience

Arbitrary Detention

 

Update: More Detentions in Ongoing Crackdown on Freedom of Assembly & Association

 

Authorities have arrested one more activist and criminally detained two others in the crackdown on peaceful assembly and association that the Chinese government has waged since March. Shenzhen-based activist Yang Lin (杨林, whose real name is Yang Mingyu, 杨明玉), who had been held incommunicado by police in Guangdong since June 12, was arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” on July 19. This brings to at least 23 the number of arrests in a crackdown that has seen more than 50 individuals criminally detained and dozens given brief administrative detentions. Held at Futian District Detention Center, Yang was initially taken into custody in Beijing on June 3 before being sent back to Shenzhen. A signatory of “Charter 08,” Yang has pushed for disclosure of official corruption while advocating democracy and constitutionalism.

 

In addition, Hunan activist Li Huaping (李化平), who writes online under the name “Norwegian Wood” (挪威森林), was criminally detained by police on August 10 in Changsha City for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place.” Li had reportedly initiated a “watch project” calling for support and financial assistance for individuals swept up in the crackdown. Li is believed to be in custody in Hefei, the capital of Anhui Province where his detention notice was issued, but activists have yet to find out where he is being held. Li has written online about democracy and freedom and been involved with the New Citizens’ Movement, a loose grouping of activists who for the past couple of years have advocated for democratic and rule-of-law reforms, constitutionalism, and social justice.

 

Another activist, Liu Jiacai (刘家财) of Hubei Province,was criminally detained on August 12 on charges of “inciting subversion,” in what is being viewed as partial reprisal for his efforts to gather fellow Yichang activists for “dinner parties,” where they discussed issues of rights and justice. For many years, Liu has faced various forms of retaliation for his pro-democracy and rights advocacy, including being sent to prison in 2002 for two years, also for “inciting subversion.” In late 2012, he was dismissed from a job in Yunnan, allegedly because of his activism, and then he returned to Hubei. Liu Jiacai, who is being held at Yichang City No. 1 Detention Center, had just served a 10-day administrative punishment when he was criminally detained.[1]

 

 

 

 

Police notice indicating that activist Yang Mingyu (杨明玉) has been arrested on a charge of “inciting subversion of state power” in Guangdong Province.

Hangzhou Activist Criminally Detained for “Obstructing Official Business”

 

Hangzhou activist Yang Yunbiao (杨云彪) was criminally detained on August 11 on suspicion of “obstructing official business” after distributing flyers with other activists about their personal grievances at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Yang is being held at Xihu District Detention Center in Hangzhou. Others seized at the same time have been given administrative detentions or are being held incommunicado. Since 2006, Yang has been imprisoned twice for a total of five years after trying to seek justice for the demolition of his home. He began petitioning in Beijing over a year ago and has been sent to black jails more than 10 times in retaliation.[2]

 

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

 

Petitioner Dies in Black Jail, Family Suspects Guards Beat Her to Death  

 

Wang Delan (王德兰), a 59-year-old petitioner, died in a black jail in Hubei Province on August 7 after being sent back from Beijing to her hometown about a week earlier. Her family and others strongly suspect that Wang was beaten to death by guards at the illegal makeshift detention facility, but police in Yicheng City claim that Wang committed suicide. Authorities rushed to cremate the body over the family’s objection. The local government has suppressed news of Wang’s death and is detaining her family members so they cannot speak out about the incident. Police have also beaten and seized individuals who protested in front of the hotel that housed the black jail where Wang died. Wang started petitioning in 2004 after her home was forcibly demolished and she felt that she was inadequately compensated.[3]

 

On CHRD’s Website

 

Newest CHRD Profiles of Prisoners of Conscience

 

CHRD is featuring several activists whose profiles have been newly added to its website: activist Peng Lanlan (彭兰岚), who was just released from detention, as well as Wang Hanfei (王寒非), an imprisoned editor, and three Tibetans, Kalsang Dhondup (尕藏当智), Lobsang (落桑), and Jigme Thabkey (久买谈克), who were sentenced together in March.

 

Just released after nearly a year in police custody, Peng Lanlan is the only activist known to have been arrested for seeking a role in China’s human rights action plans and upcoming Universal Periodic Review. In June 2013, the Dongcheng District People’s Court tried Peng in closed proceedings. A hearing in July upheld the original verdict of a one-year sentence, and Peng was released after serving her full term. Peng reportedly was beaten in detention and had recently grown very weak in prison, and requires urgent medical attention.

 

Wang Hanfei, the editor of the Hong Kong-based journal “China Special Report” (中国观察), was sentenced to four years in prison in April 2013 on charges of “illegal business activity” and “fraud.” The punishment appears to be related to articles he published in July 2012 that disclosed corruption by a high-ranking official in Hunan Province and praised Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波). CHRD reported in May that Wang was being forced to work long hours in prison, and had also been seriously beaten.

 

Kalsang Dhondup, Lobsang, and Jigme Thabkey were convicted of “inciting splittism” in March 2013. The verdict was handed down four months after the men took part in a mourning ceremony following a self-immolation protest in Qinghai Province. The punishments were in line with the Chinese government’s policy of criminalizing acts tied to self-immolations.[4]

 

[1] Yichang, Hubei Activist Liu Jiacai Criminally Detained for Inciting Subversion” (湖北宜昌维权人士刘家财被以煽动颠覆国家政权罪刑拘), August 13, 2013, CRLW; “Chai Baowen, Yao Cheng Tries to Give Money to Li Huaping in Detention Center in Hefei But Fails” (柴宝文、姚诚到合肥市看守所给李化平存钱无果), August 12, 2013, WQW; “Over 100 People Asking for Immediate Release of Yang Lin” (百余名各界人士要求当局停止迫害,立即释放杨林), August 12, 2013, WQW; “Shenzhen-based Rights Activist Yang Lin Arrested for ‘Inciting Subversion’” (深圳维权人士杨林被以“煽动颠覆国家政权罪”逮捕), August 11, 2013, WQW; “Urgent Attention: Li Huaping, ‘Norwegian Wood,’ Criminally Detained in Changsha, Hunan Province” (紧急关注:挪威森林李化平在湖南长沙被刑拘), August 10, 2013, WQW; “Shenzhen Rights Defender Yang Lin Disappeared, People From All Around Co-sign Letter Calling For Authorities’ Disclosure of Truth” (深圳维权人士杨林失踪 各界联署要求当局公开真相), August 6, 2013, RFA; “Over 100 People Co-sign Letter Calling For Authorities’ Disclosure of Yang Lin’s Whereabouts” (百余名各界人士联名要求公开杨林失踪真相), August 5, 2013, WQW; “Shanghai Citizens Express Support For Yang Lin, Missing For 41 Days, and Urge Government to Ratify ‘International Convention for Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance’” (上海民众声援失踪41天的杨林,要求政府加入《保护所有人免遭强迫失踪国际公约》), July 27, 2013, WQW; “Shanghai Citizens Express Support For Yang Lin, Missing For Over 30 Days” (上海民众声援失踪30多天的深圳维权人士杨林), July 19, 2013, WQW; “Shenzhen Rights Defender Yang Lin Missing Since June 12” (深圳维权人士杨林自6月12日失踪至今), June 22, 2013, WQW; “Citizen Li Huaping Initiates ‘Watch Project’ ” (公民李化平发起“守望工程”), June 21, 2013; WQW; “Rights Defender Yang Lin Threatened Around June Fourth: Put You In Bag to Throw Into Sea” (六四期间维权人士杨林被威胁:用一个麻袋把你沉到海底), June 15, 2013, WQW; “Shenzhen Rights Defender Yang Lin Taken Away by Police in Beijing” (深圳维权人士杨林在北京被警察带走), June 4, 2013, WQW

 

[2] “Hangzhou Authorities Launches New Turn of Crackdown, Rights Activists Visited Friends In Custody ” (杭州当局进行新一轮严打,维权人士看望囹圄中战友), August 13, 2013, WQW; “Hangzhou Rights Activist Yang Yunbiao Criminally Detained Again For ‘Obstructing Official Business’” (杭州维权人士杨云彪再次被以“妨害公务罪”刑拘), August 11, 2013, WQW

 

[3] “Petitioner From Yicheng, Hubei Province, Wang Delan Died In Black Jail for Petitioning In Beijing” (湖北宜城访民王德兰北京上访被关黑监狱致死), August 10, 2013, WQW

 

[4] Prisoners of Conscience – Kalsang Dhondup, Lobsang, Jigme Thabkey, CHRD; Prisoner of Conscience – Wang Hanfei, CHRD; Prisoner of Conscience – Peng Lanlan, CHRD

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