Friends, Family of Li Wangyang Under Soft Detention, Remain Out of Contact; Guangdong Labor NGOs Under Threat | Countdown for China | 20 Jun 2012 | Amnesty International UK

Friends, Family of Li Wangyang Under Soft Detention, Remain Out of Contact; Guangdong Labor NGOs Under Threat

China Human Rights Briefing
 
June 12-19, 2012

To download this week’s CHRB as a .pdf file, please click here
 
Top News
 

    Authorities Maintain Suppression Over Deceased Activist Li Wangyang’s Friends, Family: Many friends and relatives of Li Wangyang, the labor activist who died on June 6 under suspicious circumstances, remain under soft detention and some have fallen completely out of contact. Authorities have clamped down on these individuals due to questioning over the cause of Li’s death, which authorities maintain was a suicide.

 

    Labor NGOs in Guangdong Facing Harassment, Potential Closure: Labor NGOs in Guangdong Province, particularly in factory-filled Shenzhen, have reported greater pressure and harassment from authorities since February, with some grassroots NGOs being forcibly evicted from their offices and effectively shut down. Provincial measures outlined last year may only increase authorities’ control over NGOs and threaten the existence of organizations that have posed challenges to the government.

 
Contents

    Arbitrary Detention
        Artist Criminally Detained for Performance Piece About Tiananmen Massacre
        Shanghai Woman Gets 15-Day Administrative Detention for “Illegal Petitioning”
        Shandong Woman Detained for “Illegal Assembly and Demonstration” Released Early Due to Poor Health, Suicidal Protest
        Hebei Man Sent to Second RTL Term for Exposing Corruption
        Anhui Woman Given Detention After Petitioning in Beijing

    Enforced Disappearance
        Harbin Lawyer Wei Liangyue Now Held Incommunicado Over Three Weeks

    Harassment of Activists
        Authorities Keep Tight Grip Over Deceased Activist Li Wangyang’s Friends, Family

    Harassment of Human Rights Lawyers
        Guangdong Lawyer Tang Jingling Stymied in Investigation of Activist Li Wangyang’s Death, Wife Faces Harassment at Home

    Law & Policy Watch
        Guangdong Labor NGOs Face More Harassment as Authorities “Strengthen” Their Management

 
Arbitrary Detention
 
Artist Criminally Detained for Performance Piece About Tiananmen Massacre
 
Beijing-based artist Hua Yong (华涌)has been criminally detained on a charge of “creating a disturbance” after being seized on June 4 near Tiananmen Square right as he began a performance piece commemorating the anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. The Tongzhou District branch of the Beijing Public Security Bureau issued Hua’s detention notice, and heis being detained at the Tongzhou District Detention Center. There is no information available on the whereabouts of a photographer, Guo Zhenming (郭珍明), who was also taken from the scene of the performance. Originally from Liaoning Province, Hua Yong also held an artistic performance last year related to June Fourth that led to a 15-day administrative detention. (CHRD)[1]
 
Shanghai Woman Gets 15-Day Administrative Detention for “Illegal Petitioning”
 
Yin Huimin (尹慧敏), a resident of Shanghai, was issued a15-day administrative detention for “illegal petitioning” after being seized on June 1while pursuing justice in Beijing. After being taken into custody, Yin was returned to Shanghai and issued a punishment by the Changning District branch of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB). Local court and PSB officials have often retaliated against Yin for her petitioning; she has been detained numerous times in black jails, given prior administrative detentions, and endured other forms of harassment and violent treatment, including being shackled and handcuffed. (CHRD)[2]
 
Shandong Woman Detained for “Illegal Assembly and Demonstration” Released Early Due to Poor Health, Suicidal Protest
 
Shandong petitioner Hao Weiying (郝伟英), who received a 15-day administrative detention after taking part in a demonstration in Beijing, was freed early due to poor health and after she protested her punishment by apparently trying to hang herself. On June 5, Hao was among more than 40 petitioners who held banners and shouted slogans in front of the entrance to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which is charged with rooting out corruption and malfeasance among Communist Party cadres. Issued a punishment for “illegal assembly and demonstration,” Hao was in extreme pain from various illnesses, including complications from breast cancer, while detained at the Laizhou City Detention House. She asked to be taken to a hospital for medical treatment, but police denied the request. On June 12, a surveillance camera reportedly caught Hao trying to hang herself in protest over her treatment, and police were able to bring her safely down to the ground. After finally taking her to a hospital the next day, police released Hao—on a basis of “leniency”—on June 14, about a week before her detention was set to end.
 
Before the demonstration in Beijing, Hao had applied to her local authorities to hold the activity, but police did not grant her permission, claiming that it would “severely undermine the social order.” Hao was issued a prior detention in April after protesting outside the State Letters and Visits Bureau in Beijing. She was released early that time as well, however, as authorities feared for her life after Hao lost consciousness several times due to her bad health. (CHRD)[3]
 
Hebei Man Sent to Second RTL Term for Exposing Corruption
 
Hebei rights defender Liu Ruisheng (刘瑞生)is serving a 15-month Re-education through Labor punishment—his recent second stint in RTL—after petitioning in Beijing in January. Though the Hengshui City RTL Committee originally ordered Liu to RTL in January, Liu was reportedly not sent to an RTL facility until early April. Detained at the Hengshui City RTL, Liu previously was given a one-year RTL term in September of 2010 and was released a year later. He then resumed his petitioning activities, which have focused on exposing economic corruption among local village cadres. (CHRD)[4]
 
Anhui Woman Given Detention After Petitioning in Beijing
 
A woman from Anhui Province, petitioner Zhang Wenying (张文英), was recently given a seven-day administrative detention after petitioning near the National People’s Congress Letters and Visits Office in Beijing. Interceptors from Zhang’s hometown of Suzhou seized Zhang on June 13 and returned her to Anhui two days later, where she was held in a black jail for two days. She then was issued the detention on June 16, reportedly after officers from the Beiguan Police Station discussed her case with higher-level authorities. Zhang has petitioned after unsuccessfully seeking justice through civil appeals in local courts over a breeding farm transfer agreement that she and her husband have viewed as unfair. (CHRD)[5]
 
Enforced Disappearance
 
Harbin Lawyer Wei Liangyue Now Held Incommunicado Over Three Weeks
 
Heilongjiang human rights lawyer Wei Liangyue (韦良玥)has been held incommunicado for more than three weeks, with authorities not disclosing either his place of detention or a reason for his being held. National security officers from the Nangang District of Harbin seized Wei from his home on May 25. Days later, a Harbin official merely told Wei’s wife that her husband is being held in a secret location and undergoing a period of “study,” but he would not elaborate. Since then, Harbin authorities have refused to provide further information to his wife, who has gone with a lawyer Xie Yanyi (谢燕益), to inquire about Wei’s fate. The two have even gone to the city and provincial procuratorates to seek Wei’s release. (CHRD)[6]
 
Harassment of Activists
 
Authorities Keep Tight Grip Over Deceased Activist Li Wangyang’s Friends, Family
 
Several friends and relatives of Li Wangyang (李旺阳), the labor activist who died on June 6 under suspicious circumstances, are still under soft detention or have fallen completely out of contact, many for refusing to sign guarantees not to question the cause of Li’s death, which authorities maintain was a suicide. Yin Zheng’an (尹正安) is only the latest of Li’s friends to lose contact with the outside world. Yin had been held under soft detention at home for nearly two weeks, and before falling out contact Yin reportedly told a friend that several individuals came to his home on June 17 and advised him to “go travel.”
 
Two weeks after Li Wangyang’s death, Li’s younger sister, Li Wangling (李旺玲), and her husband, Zhao Baozhu (赵宝珠)are still under soft detention, as are Huang Lihong (黄丽红), Lei Deming (雷德明), and Li Zanmin (李赞民). The whereabouts of several others who have sought clarity on Li’s death—Zhou Zhirong (周志荣), Zhang Shanguang (张善光), and Li Jian’an (黎建安)—are unknown. Other friends of Li—including Liu Shuilian (刘水莲), Liu Shaohua (刘少华), and Ouyang Jinghua (欧阳经华)—have also been questioned by authorities. Activist Zhu Chengzhi (朱承志),among several activists seized on June 9, was subsequently given a 10-day detention on a charge of “disrupting social order” after casting doubts online about how Li died. (CHRD)[7]
 
Harassment of Human Rights Lawyers
 
Guangdong Lawyer Tang Jingling Stymied in Investigation of Activist Li Wangyang’s Death, Wife Faces Harassment at Home
 
Guangdong human rights lawyer Tang Jingling (唐荆陵)made little headway when trying to look into the death of labor activist Li Wangyang (李旺阳), and authorities also went to Tang’s home several times and harassed his wife. Tang, who happened to be in Hunan doing research when Li was found dead in a hospital room on June 6, was brought on by the activist’s relatives to seek more answers about Li’s death, which was ruled a suicide by police under suspicious circumstances. After meeting with Li’s relativeson June 7, Tang went to Dayang Hospital to conduct research, but the room where Li’s body had been found was locked, and when Tang went back to the hospital later he saw the room was being guarded. Tang later submitted an appealto local authorities to ceaseharassment of Li’s family members and friends a proper investigationcan be conducted. As authorities moved to suppress and intimidate many people close to Li, friends advised Tang to leave Shaoyang, which he eventually did before departing Hunan altogether on June 12. According to Tang’s wife, authorities in Guangzhou came to their home in Guangzhou everyday to harass her after Tang had gone to Hunan, claiming that they were “looking for someone,” or most likely waiting for Tang to return home. (CHRD)[8]
 
Law & Policy Watch
 
Guangdong Labor NGOs Face More Harassment as Authorities “Strengthen” Their Management
 
Labor NGOs in Guangdong have reported increased pressure and harassment from the authorities beginning from early this year. Since February, a number of grassroots labor NGOs—including the Shenzhen Chunfeng Labor Dispute Service Center, Dagongzhe Migrant Workers Center, and Time Women Workers Service—have been forcibly evicted from their offices, causing some of these organizations to effectively close down. It is suspected that landlords who ousted these NGOs acted under pressure from authorities. Lately, some of these NGOs have also faced more frequent inspections by government agencies, and the Shenzhen Administration for Industry and Commerce closed down one NGO for being “unregistered.” Unidentified individuals have also monitored and harassed another organization.
 
A year ago, in July 2011, the Guangdong provincial government issued “Decisions on Strengthening Social Construction,” which spells out some widely lauded proposals for migrant workers as well as for NGOs, like simplifying registration procedures so that certain categories of NGOs can register directly with the Ministry of Civil Affairs. However, some grassroots labor NGOs have since confronted greater official harassment than before, while the government also recently set up a new coalition of labor NGOs under an official provincial labor union. The organizations that have faced harassment believe that the new coalition aims to absorb NGOs that are cooperative with the government while isolating organizations that have worked more independently. If this is the case, the new measures outlined last year might be a move by the authorities to increase control over NGOs, thus threatening the survival of those that have challenged the government in various ways, including by defending human rights. (CHRD)[9]
 
Editors: Victor Clemens and Wang Songlian

[1]“Beijing Artist Hua Yong Criminally Detained for ‘Creating a Disturbance’ for Commemorating June Fourth” (北京艺术家华涌纪念六四被以“寻衅滋事罪”刑事拘留), June 12, 2012, CHRD; “Beijing Artist Hua Yong Taken Away by Police for Performance Art Commemorating June Fourth” (北京艺术家华涌行为艺术纪念六四被警方带走), June 5, 2012, CHRD
 
[2]“Shanghai Petitioner Yin Huimin Detained for 15 Days for ‘Illegal Petitioning’” (上海访民尹慧敏被以“非法上访”为由拘留15天), June 12, 2012, CHRD
 
[3]“Laizhou, Shandong Petitioner Hao Weiying Released 8 Days Area After Suicidal Protest” (山东莱州访民郝伟英以死抗争获提前8天释放), June 15, 2012, CHRD; “Laizhou, Shandong Petitioner Hao Weiying Detained on Suspicion of ‘Illegal Assembly & Demonstration’” (山东莱州访民郝伟英被控“非法集会示威”遭拘留), June 12, 2012, CHRD; “Authorities Make Accusations Against Jing Meijie, Jing Tortured in Detention” (警方逼访民指控荆美杰,荆美杰在拘留所遭酷刑), April 25, 2012, CHRD
 
[4]“Liu Ruisheng, Hebei Activist Striving to Expose Corruption, Sent to RTL for Second Time” (河北揭腐维权人士刘瑞生被二次劳教), June 16, 2012, CHRD
 
[5]“Anhui Petitioner Zhang Wenying Returned to Hometown, Detained After Being Intercepted in Beijing” (安徽访民张文英在北京被截访押回当地拘留), June 16, 2012, CHRD; “Anhui Petitioner Zhang Wenying Submits Application, High Court Drags on Appellate Retrial Deadline” (安徽访民张文英申请被高院拖过再审期限后定为申诉案件), April 12, 2012, CHRD
 
[6]“Human Rights Lawyer Wei Liangyue Now Held 22 Days, Attorney Xie Yanyi Appeals for Concern” (人权律师韦良玥被关押22天,代理律师谢燕益呼吁各界关注), June 15, 2012, CHRD
 
[7]“Yin Zheng’an Goes Missing For Refusing to Sign Guarantee to Not Pursue Truth of Death of Li Wangyang” (尹正安因拒签不再关注李旺阳死亡真相的保证书被失踪), June 17, 2012, CHRD; “Hunan Rights Defender Zhu Chengzhi Given 10-Day Detention for Refusing to Promise to Stop Questioning Circumstances of Li Wangyang’s Death” (湖南维权人士朱承志因拒写不过问李旺阳事件保证书被拘留10天), June 10, 2012, CHRD; “National Security Forces Barge Into Home, Take Away Ms. Huang Lihong for Showing Concern About Li Wangyang” (紧急关注: 湖南关注李旺阳的黄丽红女士被国保砸门带走), June 11, 2012, CHRD; “Several Hunan Democracy Activists Taken Away by Police Over Li Wangyang Matter” (湖南多名民主维权人士因李旺阳事件被警方带走), June 9, 2012, CHRD; “Li Wangyang Autopsy Perhaps Already Conducted, Li’s Family & Fellow Shaoyang Activists Under Tight Control” (李旺阳可能已被尸检,李旺阳家属及邵阳维权人士受到严密控制), June 8, 2012, CHRD; “Friends of Li Wangyang Come to Shaoyang & Fall Under Police Control, Li’s Death Declared ‘ Suicide’” (到邵阳想送李旺阳的朋友被控制,李旺阳被宣布“自杀”), June 7, 2012, CHRD; “Li Wangyang’s Family Urgently Seeking Legal Assistance” (李旺阳家属急求律师仗义援助), June 7, 2012, CHRD; “Family Requests Relevant Experts Perform Autopsy on Li Wangyang” (李旺阳家属强烈要求由相关专家对李旺阳进行尸检), June 6, 2012, CHRD; “Special Alert: June Fourth Victim Li Wangyang’s Corpse Taken Away by Police” (特别关注:六四受害者李旺阳的遗体被警方强行运走), June 6, 2012, CHRD; “Shaoyang Democracy Activist, June Fourth Victim Li Wangyang Suddenly Passes Away” (邵阳民主人士,六四受难者李旺阳突然离世), June 6, 2012, CHRD
 
[8]“Lawyer Tang Jingling Meets with Li Wangyang’s Family, Faces Interference in Investigation As Police Harass Wife at Home” (唐荆陵律师受李旺阳亲人委托调查遇阻,家中被警方骚扰), June 13, 2012, CHRD; “Hunan Rights Defender Zhu Chengzhi Given 10-Day Detention for Refusing to Promise to Stop Questioning Circumstances of Li Wangyang’s Death” (湖南维权人士朱承志因拒写不过问李旺阳事件保证书被拘留10天), June 10, 2012, CHRD; “National Security Forces Barge Into Home, Take Away Ms. Huang Lihong for Showing Concern About Li Wangyang” (紧急关注: 湖南关注李旺阳的黄丽红女士被国保砸门带走), June 11, 2012, CHRD; “Several Hunan Democracy Activists Taken Away by Police Over Li Wangyang Matter” (湖南多名民主维权人士因李旺阳事件被警方带走), June 9, 2012, CHRD; “Li Wangyang Autopsy Perhaps Already Conducted, Li’s Family & Fellow Shaoyang Activists Under Tight Control” (李旺阳可能已被尸检,李旺阳家属及邵阳维权人士受到严密控制), June 8, 2012, CHRD; “Friends of Li Wangyang Come to Shaoyang & Fall Under Police Control, Li’s Death Declared ‘ Suicide’” (到邵阳想送李旺阳的朋友被控制,李旺阳被宣布“自杀”), June 7, 2012, CHRD; “Li Wangyang’s Family Urgently Seeking Legal Assistance” (李旺阳家属急求律师仗义援助), June 7, 2012, CHRD; “Family Requests Relevant Experts Perform Autopsy on Li Wangyang” (李旺阳家属强烈要求由相关专家对李旺阳进行尸检), June 6, 2012, CHRD; “Special Alert: June Fourth Victim Li Wangyang’s Corpse Taken Away by Police” (特别关注:六四受害者李旺阳的遗体被警方强行运走), June 6, 2012, CHRD; “Shaoyang Democracy Activist, June Fourth Victim Li Wangyang Suddenly Passes Away” (邵阳民主人士,六四受难者李旺阳突然离世), June 6, 2012, CHRD
 
[9]“Labor NGOs in Guangdong Facing Strict, Large-Scale Regulations, Many Organizations Encountering Pressure” (广东劳工NGO面临大整肃,多家机构遭打压), June 10, 2012, CHRD

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