Police Raid Home of Activist Feng Zhengfu; Authorities Try to Silence Professor by Locking Him Up in Psychiatric Hospital, more

China Human Rights Briefing
 
December 6-10, 2012
 
Contents

Arbitrary Detention
    •    Activists Sentenced Over Signature Campaign That Supported Political Reforms
    •    Five People Sent to RTL for Questioning Police Investigation of Girl’s Death
    •    Several Individuals Arrested in Connection With Intercepted Hunan Petitioners

Harassment of Activists
    •    Police Summon Shanghai Activist Feng Zhenghu 3 Straight Days, Raid Home

Freedom of Expression
    •    Authorities Try to Force Professor Into Psychiatric Hospital Over Political Expression

Special Notice
    •    On Human Rights Day, CHRD Supports Call for Freedom for Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia

Arbitrary Detention
Activists Sentenced Over Signature Campaign That Supported Political Reforms
 
Two activists were recently convicted and sentenced in likely retaliation for their roles in collecting signatures on a petition meant to support a call for political reforms that Premier Wen Jiabao made in March. Xu Guangli (许光利) of Hubei Province will serve a total of 18 months for the crimes of “intentional explosion” and “sabotaging electrical equipment,” according to a verdict issued by the Xiangxiang City People’s Court in Hunan Province on November 18. Hunan activist Yin Weihe (尹卫和) was ordered to serve seven months for the same offenses; Yin was released only a week after the verdict was handed down since he had already been held for seven months by that time. The charges against Xu and Yin, who were initially detained in the spring, allegedly stem from two supposed plans of theirs: to blow up a part of an electrical station in Xiangxiang, and to photograph a bombing of the historical residence of Mao Zedong’s family in Shaoshan.[1]
 
Five People Sent to RTL for Questioning Police Investigation of Girl’s Death
 
In a case showing how arbitrarily Chinese police lock up people in Re-education through Labor (RTL), five people in Chongqing were sent to RTL for one to two years in 2011 for questioning the reason for a girl’s death given by police and trying to investigate the case themselves. In January 2011, police claimed that Xie Yuhong (谢雨宏), a high school student whose body was found in a reservoir, had drowned. Skeptical of this conclusion, Xie’s parents and a man close to the family tried looking for clues about Xie’s death, but they ended up being seized in April 2011 and sent to RTL. Around the same time, two other individuals—including an uncle of Xie’s who said he saw her being taken away in a vehicle just before she disappeared—were given RTL punishments for providing information about the case and contacting journalists. Over half a year later, all five individuals were allowed to serve their punishments outside the RTL facility in exchange for withdrawing litigation that they had filed over their punishments.[2]
 
Several Individuals Arrested in Connection With Intercepted Hunan Petitioners
 
At least three individuals from Hunan Province have reportedly been arrested for “obstructing official business” after meeting 17 petitioners in Changsha City following the group’s forced return from Beijing in early November. One of those arrested, Deng Shengji (邓生记), had climbed through a window of the vehicle that took the petitioners back in order to rush his wife to a hospital, since she had suffered a heart attack while en route to Changsha. The petitioners reached the capital on November 3, shortly before the Party Congress opened. Lawyers have been unable to meet with the detainees, who are being held at the Changsha City No. 1 Detention Center.[3]
 
Harassment of Activists
Police Summon Shanghai Activist Feng Zhenghu 3 Straight Days, Raid Home
 
For three consecutive days, Shanghai activist Feng Zhenghu (冯正虎) was recently summoned by police for more than 10 hours a day, continuing the saga of tight restrictions in place since February even though his house arrest has apparently been lifted. From December 7 to 9, the police brought Feng to a local station each morning for questioning. Summoning Feng seems to be a tactic to further harass him after police ended his 268-day house arrest in November, and even to affect planned medical treatment on his leg, which was injured during the house arrest. While Feng was questioned, his residence was searched and police confiscated personal belongings, including a computer, cell phone and letters, adding to the huge amount of property that police have taken from Feng since February. The entrance to his residence is again being monitored around the clock by police, who are preventing anybody from visiting him.[4]
 
Freedom of Expression
Authorities Try to Force Professor Into Psychiatric Hospital Over Political Expression

Professor Wang Peijian (王培剑), who teaches at China Jiliang University in Hangzhou, has resisted being forced into a psychiatric hospital by authorities in retaliation for expressing “politically sensitive” opinions in class over the past few weeks. According to Wang, a school administrator informed him on December 7 that his classes would be suspended beginning the next day. Wang believed that this was because that he had spoken to students about his views on, among other topics, the Chinese Communist Party’s monopoly on power, the 1989 massacre around Tiananmen Square, and suppression of human rights lawyers. Wang’s brother, under pressure from university authorities, later went to the professor’s apartment and tried to convince Wang to check into to a local psychiatric hospital. However, Professor Wang, who has been previously harassed for his democracy activism, refused to go, and has so far evaded the attempt by authorities to forcibly commit him to a mental institution in order to silence him.[5]

Special Notice
On Human Rights Day, CHRD Supports Call for Freedom for Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia
 
A recent statement issued by CHRD to mark UN Human Rights Day is punctuated with a call for the Chinese government to end its persecution of prisoners of conscience, including jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), and his wife Liu Xia (刘霞), who is living under house arrest. CHRD also points out the government’s broad scale of rights violations as exemplified by the detention of petitioners in “black jails” and increasingly frequent self-immolations by Tibetans acting in desperate protest against Communist Party repression. In its statement, CHRD expresses support for campaigns underway both in China and elsewhere calling for the release of Liu Xiaobo and other political prisoners, in part as a way to encourage China’s newest leaders to move towards tangible political reforms.
 
Edited by Victor Clemens and Ann Song

[1] “Rights Defenders Yin Weihe, Xu Guangli Sentenced” (维权人士尹卫和、许光利分别被判刑), November 26, 2012, CRLW; “Hubei Rights Activist Xu Guangli Has Arrest Approved” (湖北维权人士许光利被批准逮捕), June 7, 2012, WQW; “Hunan Activist Yin Weihe Criminally Detained on Subversion Charge” (湖南维权人士尹卫和被以颠覆国家政权罪刑事拘留), May 8, 2012, CRLW; “Hunan Province Rights Activist Yin Weihe Taken Into Custody for Supporting Wen Jiabao’s Call for Political Reforms” (湖南维权人士尹卫和支持温家宝政改被抓捕), April 26, 2012, CRLW
 
[2] “After Questioning Girl’s Drowning, Five People in Chongqing Sentenced to RTL for ‘Trying to Hype Things Up Online’” (质疑女生溺水身亡,重庆五人被以“试图上网炒作”劳教), December 6, 2012, WQW
 
[3] “Changsha Rights Defender Liu Hua, Others Have Arrested Approved”
 (长沙维权人士刘华等人被批准逮捕), December 10, 2012, WQW; “Relatives of Liu Hua, Others in Changsha Protest Illegal Detentions in Front of Provincial Procuratorate” (长沙刘华等人家属到省检察院门前抗议非法关押), December 7, 2012, WQW; “Changsha Petitioner Liu Hua, Others Criminally Detained for Greeting Petitioners” (因迎接访民,长沙访民刘华等被刑事拘留), November 22, 2012, WQW
 
[4] “Shanghai Human Rights Activist Feng Zhenghu Summoned by Police For Three Consecutive Days” (上海维权人士冯正虎连续三天遭到警方传唤), December 9, 2012, WQW; “Shanghai Human Rights Activist Feng Zhenghu Summoned by Police, Has House Searched” (上海维权人士冯正虎被传唤抄家), December 7, 2012, WQW; “Feng Zhenghu Questioned After Pasting Up Posters, Authorities Cut Tree in Order to Increase Monitoring” (冯正虎贴标语被传唤 当局锯大树加强监控), June 20, 2012, CRLW; “Shanghai Rights Activists Blocked by Police When Trying to Visit Feng Zhenghu, He Maozhen Taken Away” (上海维权人士探访冯正虎遭警察阻拦,何茂珍被抓走), June 10, 2012, WQW; “Activist Feng Zhenghu’s Illegal House Arrest Proves No Lessons Learned From Chen Guangcheng Abuses,” May 24, 2012, WQW; “Shanghai Rights Activists See Feng Zhenghu, Held Under Soft Detention for More Than 70 Days, From House Window” (上海维权人士隔窗看望被软禁70余天的冯正虎), May 7, 2012, WQW; “Feng Zhenghu Illegally Held Under House Arrest for 71 Days, Shanghai Petitioners Put Out Call of Concern” (冯正虎被非法拘禁71天,上海访民呼吁各界关注), May 7, 2012, WQW; “Shanghai Rights Activist Feng Zhenghu Under Soft Detention for Over 20 Days, Petitioners Blocked From Seeing Him” (上海维权人士冯正虎被软禁20余天,访民看望被阻拦), March 16, 2012, WQW; “Petitioners Go Visit Feng Zhenghu, Feng Taken Away to Police Station” (访民看望冯正虎,而主人却被国保带到派出所), March 16, 2012, HRCC; “Shanghai Rights Activist Feng Zhenghu Has Home Searched” (上海维权人士冯正虎被抄家), March 1, 2012, WQW
 
[5] “Process of Forcibly Sending University Teacher Wang Peijian to Involuntary Commitment for Saying Things Like the Tiananmen Square Protests” (大学教师王培剑讲六·四等内容被精神病的具体经过), December 8, 2012, CRLW; “Urgent Attention: China Jiliang University Teacher Wang Peijian Facing Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment Due to Political Expression in Class” (紧急关注:中国计量学院教师王培剑因课堂政治言论遭遇强行精神病), December 7, 2012, WQW
 

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