[CHRB] Uighur Scholar Seized, Pre-trial Hearing Set for Legal Advocate Xu Zhiyong (1/10-1/16/14)

China Human Rights Briefing

January 10-16, 2014

Contents

Arbitrary Detention

  • Police Detain Uighur Professor and Blogger Ilham Tohti
  • Court Set to Hold Pre-trial Hearing in Xu Zhiyong Case

Freedom of Religion

  • Shaanxi Christian Arrested, Tortured for Seeking Property Taken by Police

On CHRD’s Website

  • Updated CHRD Profiles of Prisoners of Conscience

Arbitrary Detention

Police Detain Uighur Professor and Blogger Ilham Tohti

Around 3pm on January 15, several dozens of police officers from Beijing and Xinjiang took away Ilham Tohti (伊力哈木土赫提), an outspoken Uighur professor at the Central National Minorities University, from his residence in Beijing and searched his apartment for more than 6 hours. Police did not show any arrest warrant. The next day a dozen police officers returned to the apartment and continued their search. Police confiscated laptop computers, cell phones, manuscripts and other documents. It has been more than 24 hours since his detention. Seven Uighur students were reportedly taken away on the same day, but two of them were released by the evening. Ilham created the website Uigher Online (http://www.uighurbiz.net).[1]

Court Set to Hold Pre-trial Hearing in Xu Zhiyong Case

Pre-trial proceedings are scheduled to take place at the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate Court on January 17 in the case of legal advocate and activist Xu Zhiyong (许志永), who has been charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” in the widespread crackdown on assembly and association. According to Xu’s attorney, Zhang Qingfang (张庆芳), Xu said he would remain silent during proceedings if defense witnesses would not be allowed to testify, or if those who have been detained for the same alleged crime would not able to speak to evidence presented in court. Several individuals have applied to attend the hearing, though police often block supporters, particularly in “politically sensitive” cases involving prominent figures. Detained last July, Xu was formally arrested in August and is being held at Beijing Municipal No. 3 Detention Center.[2]

A pre-trial hearing has been set in the case of Xu Zhiyong (许志永), who has led the New Citizens’ (公民) Movement.

A pre-trial hearing has been set in the case of Xu Zhiyong (许志永), who has led the New Citizens’ (公民) Movement.

Freedom of Religion

Shaanxi Christian Arrested, Tortured for Seeking Property Taken by Police

Feng Tiandong (封天栋), a villager from Shaanxi Province was arrested in early January on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to attack state organs,” in apparent retaliation for asking police about possessions confiscated by officers who broke up a religious gathering at his home three years ago. In January 2011, police from Zizhou County seized dozens of people at Feng’s residence, and confiscated money, and other items from Feng’s home and from those taken into custody. The 60-year-old Feng was put under criminal detention in December 2013 on a charge of “using a cult to undermine implementation of the law” after he approached the head of the detention center in November about the illegal seizures. His charge was later changed when he was formally arrested. On January 8. Feng’s lawyer met him at Suide County Detention Center, where Feng said he had been tied to a “tiger bench,” a tool of torture, and also suffered wounds on his left wrist from being handcuffed by police when he was first seized.[3]

On CHRD’s Website

Updated CHRD Profiles of Prisoners of Conscience

In recent months, CHRD has added more than 20 profiles of prisoners of conscience to its website, including many activists swept up in the continuing crackdown on civil society as well as three Tibetan monks who have gone to prison.

The profiles include the four activists arrested in the crackdown whose cases are known to have gone to trial: Gu Yimin (顾义民) of Jiangsu Province, and three activists from Jiangxi, Liu Ping (刘萍), Li Sihua (李思华), and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平). Additionally, monks in Sichuan ProvinceChoedar (确扎), Sonam Gonpo (索朗贡布) and Sonam Choedar (索南确达)are also posted on the same page. The three Tibetan were sentenced in September 2013 after being held incommunicado for nearly a year. They had allegedly refused to comply with “patriotic” government policies, including an order to fly the Chinese national flag at their monastery.

The profiles also include many other individuals who have been detained in the ongoing crackdown, including in Beijing Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜), Ma Xinli (马新立), Wang Gongquan (王功权), Xu Zhiyong (许志永), and Zhao Changqing (赵常青), and in Guangdong Province Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄), Liu Yuandong (刘远东) , and Yang Lin (aka Yang Mingyu 杨明玉). In addition, Li Huaping (李化平) , Zhang Lin (张林) and Zhou Weilin (周维林) were detained after defending the education rights of Zhang’s young daughter in Anhui Province.

Shanghai-based activists Wang Kouma (王扣玛) and Wei Qin (魏勤) were tried together in September 2013 and convicted for alleged offenses related to a memorial held in January 2012 for Wang’s mother, who died under suspicious circumstances in a “black jail.”

Contacts:

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

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

[1] Uighur Professor Ilham Tohti (伊力哈木土赫提) Taken Away by Police, Home Raided Several Times” (维族教师伊力哈木被警方带走,家遭连续查抄), January 16, 2014, WQW.

[2] “Xu Zhiyong Case to Open This Friday With Pre-trial Hearing” (许志永一案将于本周开庭前会议), January 13, 2014, WQW; “Figures From Various Fields Apply to Request Attendance at Xu Zhiyong Hearing” (各界人士纷纷申请要求旁听许志永案的庭审), January 14, 2014, WQW.

[3] “Lawyer Lin Qilei: Describing Meeting With Feng Tiandong” (蔺其磊律师:会见封天栋弟兄情况简介), January 12, 2014, WQW.

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