[CHRB] Police Torture Activists Involved in Anti-Corruption Campaign (4/26-5/1, 2013)

China Human Rights Briefing

April 26-May 1, 2013

Contents

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

  • Police Torture Activists Involved in Anti-Corruption Campaign
  • Film Documents Torture, Other Abuses in Masanjia Labor Camp

Reprisals Against Activists’ Family Members

  • One Year After Chen Guangcheng’s Escape: Authorities Intimidate & Intensify Harassment Against Relatives

Death Penalty

  • CHRD Submits Urgent Appeal to UN on Behalf of Street Vendor Facing Imminent Execution

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

Police Torture Activists Involved in Anti-Corruption Campaign

On April 27, police in Jiangxi Province tortured at least two activists—a married couple—after taking several people into custody, raiding homes, and confiscating property in Xinyu City. While being held by police, Liu Xizhen’s (刘喜珍) face was slapped so hard that it became swollen and turned purple. Police cuffed Liu to an iron chair for 24 hours while interrogating her and depriving her of sleep. Police also handcuffed Liu’s husband, Huang Huimin (黄慧敏), to a chair during questioning, and then locked him in a steel cage overnight. Both activists were subsequently released. Officers asked the couple about recent advocacy campaigns calling for disclosure of top Chinese officials’ assets and for the Chinese government to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The whereabouts of some seized activists, including oft-harassed Liu Ping (刘萍) and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平), remained unknown at the time of writing.[1]

Film Documents Torture, Other Abuses in Masanjia Labor Camp

A documentary film featuring interviews with victims of torture and other forms of mistreatment committed at the Masanjia Women’s Re-education through Labor (RTL) camp has been shown in Hong Kong and also via an online public screening. On April 27, a Hong Kong bookstore hosted a viewing of “Above the Ghosts’ Heads: The Women of Masanjia Labor Camp” (小鬼头上的女人), which details the ordeals of former detainees held at the facility in Liaoning Province. At the event, director Du Bin (杜斌) shared his thoughts on making the film, and said that he would disclose more information later about the horrendous conditions at Masanjia, abuses that Chinese authorities have denied. The documentary also was screened online on May 1, along with “Juvenile Laborers Confined in Dabao” (大堡小劳教), a film that exposes the inhuman treatment of juveniles held in an RTL camp in Sichuan Province around the time of widespread famine in China a half-century ago.[2]

Reprisals Against Activists’ Family Members

One Year After Chen Guangcheng’s Escape: Authorities Intimidate & Intensify Harassment Against Relatives

In the most recent acts of reprisal against activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), authorities in Shandong Province summoned two of his family members for questioning while intimidating another. In addition, a “squad” that patrols Dongshigu Village expelled Beijing residents who had come to visit the family. It is believed that this spate of harassment has been motivated by Chen’s ongoing criticism of the Chinese government as well as the one-year anniversary of his escape from house arrest. It is also a sign that the mistreatment of Chen’s relatives and supporters, which CHRD continues to chronicle on its website, is far from abating.

On April 24, the Linan County People’s Procuratorate summoned Chen’s sister-in-law Ren Zongju (任宗举) and an older brother, Chen Guangjun (陈光军), citing “suspicion of harboring a criminal.” The summonses relate to the case of Chen Kegui (陈克贵), Ren’s son who is serving a 39-month prison term for “intentional injury.” In April 2012, Chen Kegui got into an altercation with officials who invaded his home after Chen Guangcheng escaped from Dongshigu. Authorities have claimed that Chen Kegui hid after the incident with help from his mother and Chen Guangjun, both of whom were also questioned about the matter last May, when they were detained for a short time before being released on bail.

Authorities have also been waging a malicious campaign of intimidation against Chen Guangfu (陈光福), Chen Kegui’s father, while slandering his activist brother. On April 20, a year to the day since Chen Guangcheng slipped out of Dongshigu, notices appeared around the village that criticized the Chen brothers and branded the activist a “traitor” to China. The notices also posed death threats against Chen Guangfu, whose property has recently been pelted with rocks and bottles, among other objects, and with dead fowl thrown into his home’s courtyard. Local police have ignored Chen’s requests to look into this harassment, which has been a daily occurrence since April 18, and his emergency calls to police lately have gone unanswered.

Dongshigu authorities have gradually dismantled the surveillance apparatus that was built up to monitor Chen Guangcheng and his family for years. Still, the village is being patrolled by a 14-member “security defense squad,” which officials claim “protects villagers’ property and safety.” It appears that the squad’s main purpose, however, is to keep close watch over the Chen family as well as outsiders who contact them. On April 18, members of the squad roughed up and seized four Beijing residents, including the artist Xia Xing (夏星), after they found them filming near Chen Guangfu’s home. Some in the group were held by police for 16 hours and then forcibly sent back to Beijing.[3]

Death Penalty

CHRD Submits Urgent Appeal to UN on Behalf of Street Vendor Facing Imminent Execution

On April 17, CHRD sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations on behalf of Xia Junfeng (夏俊峰), a street vendor from Liaoning Province sentenced to death in November 2009 after allegedly killing two City Administration and Law Enforcement officers (chengguan). His lawyer maintains that Xia acted in self-defense in May 2009, when he took a knife and stabbed the officers who had begun beating him, and that Xia’s first-instance trial and appeal hearing were rife with violations of China’s Criminal Procedure Law. The Supreme People’s Court, which must approve all death penalty cases, could issue a decision regarding Xia’s sentence at any time. If the court upholds the sentence, an execution could be carried out within one week.[4]

Edited by Ann Song and Victor Clemens

[1]“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

[2]“Documentary Showing Cruel Torture in Chinese Labor Camp Released in Hong Kong”(中国劳教所酷刑纪录片在香港发布), April 30, 2013, VOA; “Record of Discussion Following Release of ‘Above the Ghosts’ Heads: The Women of Masanjia Labor Camp’ in 1908 Bookstore” (1908书社《小鬼头上的女人》试映会会后讨论文字整理), April 28, 2013, Tianhao’e (田好饿) Blog; Short Introduction of Juvenile Laborers Confined in Dabao and Above Ghosts’ Heads, April 24, 2013, Liaoliaoyuan (了了园) Blog

[3] “Chen Guangcheng: A Special Bulletin – Updates on Situation of Chen Guangcheng & His Family Members, Relatives & Supporters Since Chen’s Flight for Freedom,” April 30, 2013 (updated), CHRD; “Chen Guangfu’s Home Again Attacked in Middle of Night, Calls to Police Restricted” (陈光福家凌晨又遭袭击,报警求助电话受限), April 30, 2013, WQW; “Chen Guangcheng’s Sister-in-Law, Older Brother Summoned by Linan County People’s Procuratorate on Charge of ‘Harboring Suspect’,” (陈光诚大嫂和三哥被沂南县检察院以涉嫌“窝藏罪”传唤), April 24,2013,WQW;  “Notices Appear in Dongshigu Maliciously Attacking Cheng Guangfu, Brothers” (东师古又现小字报,恶毒辱骂陈光福兄弟三人), April 23, 2013, WQW; “Cheng Guangfu Receives Death Threats, Home Gets Pelted With Rocks” (陈光福遭死亡威胁家中被乱石打砸), April 22, 2013, WQW; “Beijing Artist Beaten in Dongshigu, Threatening Notices Posted in Village” (北京艺术家进东师古遭殴打,村中贴出威胁陈光福小字报), April 20, 2013, WQW; “Beijing Artist Visiting Dongshigu Goes Out of Contact After Being Beaten, Seized by Police” (北京艺术家探访东师古遭群殴被警方抓走后失去联系), April 19, 2013, WQW

[4] Submission to UN on Xia Junfeng – April 17, 2013, CHRD

 

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