Human Rights Defender Li Jinfang Summoned by Police, Home Raided and Property Confiscated
(ChineseHumanRightsDefenders, July 1, 2010) Fifteenpolice officers raided the Xianghe County, Hebei Province home of humanrightsdefender Li Jinfang (李金芳)thisafternoon,confiscating74 items, including human rights-relateddocuments, computer equipment and financial documents. SeveralofficerstookLiand her teenage daughterAr Dan (阿丹)totheShuyangpolice station for approximately five hours of questioning.Followingher interrogation, police told Li that she was a “criminal suspect,”and thatshe was therefore required to report to the police if she planned toleave XiangheCounty. She was also told that her bankaccount had been frozen. “LiJinfanghasworked tirelessly to defend humanrights and promote the rule of law, and police in Xianghe haveresponded byflouting these very ideals by harassing and threatening her,” saidRenee Xia,CHRD’s International Director. “Targeting Li’s personalfinances—including themoney she has saved for her daughter’s college education—and seizingbelongingscritical to her work are a particularly debilitating form ofharassment,clearly designed to thwart her ability to continue her human rightsactivism.”Liandherdaughter moved into their currentapartment (No. 4, 10th Floor, Unit 5, Building 3, Wo JiaGong Fang)about one week ago, after local police pressured her previous landlordintoforcing the family out of their previous home, also in Xianghe County.Policearrived at their door at approximately 3 o’clock this afternoon, andproceededto spend roughly three hours going through the apartment. They did notproducea search warrant.NationalSecurityofficersfrom the Langfang CityPublic Security Bureau were reportedly present along with XiangheCounty policeduring Li’s interrogation. Li was questioned about her human rightswork andher relationship with Chinese Human Rights Defenders; her daughter wasquestioned separately. The police did not provide Li with a writtensummons (chuanhuan) notice as required by Article92 of the Criminal Procedure Law, but instead told her that she wasbeing“orally” summoned. LiJinfangjoinsa growing list of grassrootsactivists who have been subjected to similar raids and interrogationsin recentmonths. Between March and May, police targeted Beijing-based humanrights activistsXie Qiang (谢强),GuChuan(古川),andWangDebang(王德邦),andinMay,police raided the Anhui home of workers’ rights advocate ZhouWeilin (周维林)(formoreinformationon these four, please see the links below). The factthatthese actions have been taken in a short time span against individualslivingin different parts of the country suggests that the decision to crackdown ongrassroots human rights activism may be coming not from local officialsbutfrom higher authorities.CHRDcondemnstheChinesegovernment’s harassment and intimidation of Li Jinfang. Wedemandthatpolicereturn all personal belongings confiscated from her home,and immediately unfreeze her bank account. The Chinese government mustceaseharassing human rights defenders and conducting lawless raids of theirhomes. BackgroundLiJinfang,anative of Hebei Province, is the wifeof dissident and democracy activist Qin Yongmin (秦永敏),whoiscurrently serving a 12-yearsentence for “subversion of state power.” After witnessing theharassment, persecution,and imprisonment of her husband, she devoted herself to the promotionof humanrights. Since 2007, she has been actively involved in grassroots humanrightsactivities, including documenting rights abuses. MediaContacts:ReneeXia,InternationalDirector (English andMandarin), +852 8191 6937 or +1 301 547 9286WangSonglian,ResearchCoordinator (English andMandarin), +852 8170 0237DavidSmalls,Researcher(English), +1 347 448 5285Moreinformation:“Police RaidHome of Human Rights Defender and Charter08 Signatory Xie Qiang,” March 11, 2010, http://chrdnet.org/2010/03/11/police-raid-home-of-human-rights-defender-and-charter-08-signatory-xie-qiang/“PoliceRaidHomeofBeijing Activist Gu Chuan as Pressure on Human Rights DefendersIncreases,”April 9, 2010, http://chrdnet.org/2010/04/09/police-raid-home-of-beijing-activist-gu-chuan-as-pressure-on-human-rights-defenders-increases/“BeijingActivistWangDebangInterrogated by Police, Home Searched,” May 13, 2010, http://chrdnet.org/2010/05/13/beijing-activist-wang-debang-interrogated-by-police-home-searched/“AnhuiWorkers’RightsActivistZhou Weilin Summoned, Computer Confiscated by Police,” ChinaHuman Rights Briefing, May 25-31, 2010,http://chrdnet.org/2010/06/02/china-human-rights-briefing-may-25-31-2010/
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.