[CHRB] Self-Immolation of Tibetans and in Jiangxi Province; Shanghai Activist Held Incommunicado for 5 Months, and more

China Human Rights BriefingFebruary 16-21, 2013

ContentsArbitrary Detention

  • Activist Who Assisted Petitioners in Beijing Given 15 Months of RTL

Enforced Disappearance 

  • Shanghai Activist Held Incommunicado for Past Five Months

Forced Eviction & Demolition

  • Jiangxi Villager in Coma After Self-immolating Over Forced Demolition

Freedom of Religion

  • Self-Immolations in Tibetan Areas Surpass 100, More Burn Themselves to Death

Arbitrary Detention

Activist Who Assisted Petitioners in Beijing Given 15 Months of RTL

Activist Pei Fugui (裴富贵), who founded “Petitioners’ House” in Beijing to provide services to petitioners, was given a 15-month Re-education through Labor (RTL) punishment in late September, in apparent retaliation for his charity work in the capital. Seized in late August, Pei is serving the RTL stint on a charge of “creating a disturbance.” His alleged “crimes” include refusing to buy tickets when taking the public bus, renting out living quarters to petitioners at low rates, and writing anti-corruption slogans on the walls of his home. “Petitioners’ House” has served as a temporary shelter for countless petitioners who choose to stay in Beijing for extended periods as they seek redress to their grievances. Pei started to help other petitioners while pursuing justice himself over a forced land expropriation.[1]

Enforced Disappearance

Shanghai Activist Held Incommunicado for Past Five Months

Since Shanghai human rights activist Wei Qin (魏勤) was seized in Beijing on September 25, her family has not been allowed to visit her or received any message that Wei has tried to send to them. Family members are concerned about Wei’s health. Claiming that the “case is under investigation,” police have turned Wei’s family away every time that they have tried to visit her at the Jing’an District Detention Center. A month after being taken into custody, Wei was formally arrested on November 1 for “creating a disturbance.” A signatory of Charter 08, Wei started petitioning after her house was forcibly demolished in 2004, and then began helping others in seeking justice. In retaliation, authorities had previously detained Wei many times and also sent her to Re-education through Labor for 15 months.[2]

Forced Eviction & Demolition

Jiangxi Villager in Coma After Self-immolating Over Forced Demolition

Hu Tengping (胡腾平), a migrant worker from Jiangxi Province, recently self-immolated when his home was forcibly demolished. Around midnight on January 7, Hu’s residence was destroyed by unidentified men. There was no demolition agreement or plan for temporary housing in place, and very little compensation was offered to the family. A distraught Hu, who had returned to his village to celebrate Chinese New Year, set himself on fire at the local village committee office. Hu suffered life-threatening injuries and is currently in a coma. According to Hu’s family, officials in Xinyu City have promised to cover all expenses related to his medical treatment, but only if the family keeps quiet about the incident.[3]

Freedom of Religion

Self-Immolations in Tibetan Areas Surpass 100, More Burn Themselves to Death

On February 13, two ethnic Tibetans died after self-immolating, with the acts of political protest coming 10 days after the 100th confirmed self-immolation in Tibetan areas of China since 2009. Police in Gansu Province, where Drukpa Khar (珠巴卡) self-immolated, are tightly controlling information about his death. Drubtse (竹泽), a monk who had recently arrived in Nepal, lit himself on fire after reportedly shouting pro-Dalai Lama and Tibetan independence slogans. He died later that day in a Katmandu hospital. Originally from Sichuan Province, Drubtse had reportedly been detained and tortured for seven months in 2011 before escaping into exile.[4]

Edited by Ann Song and Victor Clemens9

[1] “Pei Fugui, Founder of ‘Beijing Petitioners Home,’ Issued 15 Months of RTL” (北京访民之家创办人裴富贵被劳教一年三个月), February 16, 2013, WQW

[2] “Shanghai Human Rights Activist Wei Qin Detained For Almost Five Months, Family Not Allowed to Visit Her” (上海维权人士魏勤被羁押近5个月,家人未获准会见), February 18, 2013, WQW

[3] “Record of Self-immolation Protest Over Forced Demolition Committed by Hu Tengping, Resident of Zhoukeng Village, Xinyu City in Jiangxi Working Outside Village” (江西新余周坑村在外打工村民胡腾平抗议强拆自焚事件纪实), February 14, 2013, WQW

[4] “Eyewitness account of Tibetan self-immolation in Nepal,” February 18, 2013, TCHRD; “Two More Tibetans Die From Self-immolation Protests” (西藏再次发生两位藏人自焚身亡事件), February 15, 2013, WQW; “TCHRD releases 2012 Annual Report on Human Rights Situation in Tibet”, January 17, 2013, TCHRD; “Full list of self-immolations in Tibet,” updated through February 20, 2013, Free Tibet

 

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