[CHRD] Police Retaliate Against Protesters as Southern Weekly & Propaganda Officials Reach Apparent Compromise

China Human Rights Briefing
January 11, 2013
Freedom of Expression
Reprisals Against Protestors Underway in Shadow of Southern Weekly Compromise With Propaganda Officials
Police have rounded up protesters and other supporters of press freedoms even as officials vowed to loosen media controls in partial response to heated rallies in Guangzhou, which were triggered by the Guangdong provincial propaganda chief’s rewriting of the Southern Weekly’s New Year message. In particular, many protesters in Guangzhou and their supporters in other cities have been detained or questioned, as illustrated by the reports below.   
    •    On January 8, the writer Ye Du (野渡), who serves as the deputy secretary-general of the Independent Chinese PEN, was taken away by police just as he was broadcasting the protest on weibo from his cell phone. Police strip-searched and interrogated Ye, and held him for seven hours on suspicion of “illegal assembly” before releasing him into soft detention at home.
    •    Also on January 8, police in Hangzhou summoned dissident Mao Qingxiang (毛庆祥) on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power,” and raided the residence of dissident Lü Gengsong (吕耿松). Both men had joined friends online to show support to Southern Weekly reporters and editors.
    •    On January 9, national security officers in Guangzhou detained activists Yuan Fengchu (袁奉初) and Liu Yuandong (刘远东) outside of the newspaper’s headquarters, while another activist, Huang Bin (黄宾), was reportedly beaten after being taken in a local police station for questioning. Yuan and Huang have since been forcibly sent away from Guangzhou and barred from returning.
    •    On January 10, retaliation against protesters appeared to only escalate in Guangzhou. Unidentified men wrestled away Jiang Di (江迪), a student at Guangzhou Industrial University, after he talked to journalists near the Southern Weekend headquarters. He Junhao (何俊灏), a student from Huanan University of Technology, was also reportedly seized from the area.
    •    Also on January 10, about a dozen other supporters near the newspaper’s office were pushed into vehicles by unidentified men and then held in a movie theatre. Police also took away activist Xiao Qingshan (肖青山) and a friend as they tried to unfurl a banner. The two were taken away and detained at a military base in Guangzhou. In addition, four men pushed over a handicapped protester in a wheelchair and forced him into a vehicle.
    •    In Guangzhou and elsewhere, several other protesters and those who expressed their support online have reportedly disclosed on weibo that they have been warned or “invited to tea” by police.[1]
Edited by Renee Xia and Ann Song

[1] “Guangzhou Government’s Rude Treatment of Southern Weekend Supporters” (广州当局粗暴对待《南方周末》的支持者), January 10, 2013, WQW; “Police Take Away Group of Democracy Rights Activists Supporting Southern Weekly” (声援南方周末的一批民主维权人士被警方带走), January 9, 2013, WQW; “Netizens From Around China Support Southern Weekly, Demand Expression Freedoms” (各地网友持续支持《南方周末》要求言论自由), January 9, 2013, WQW;  “Independent Writer Ye Du Strip-Searched by Police” (独立作家野渡被警察剥光衣服搜查), January 8, 2013, WQW; “Guangzhou Democratic Activists Participated in Assemblies Supporting Southern Weekly” (广州民主维权人士参加集会声援南方周末), January 8, 2013, WQW; “Urgent Attention: Mao Qingxiang Summoned For ‘Inciting Subversion Of State Power,’ Lü Gengsong Has House Searched” (紧急关注:毛庆祥被杭州警方以“煽颠罪”传唤,吕耿松被抄家), January 8, 2013, WQW; “Zhejiang Democratic Activists Support Southern Weekly” (浙江民主人士声援《南方周末》), January 7, 2013, WQW; “WQW Statement: Defend Freedom of Speech, End Censorship” (维权网声明:捍卫言论自由 结束党官审查), January 7, 2013, WQW

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
View latest posts