URGENT ACTION PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST JAILED IN CHINA

On 15 January, Chinesepro-democracy activist Zhou Yongjun was sentenced to nine years' imprisonmentfor fraud. Amnesty International believes that his conviction is politicallymotivated.  According to his lawyer, Zhou Yongjun is planning to appealagainst his sentence.

His sentence was handed downby the Shehong County People's Court, in Sichuan province.

Zhou Yongjun was stopped whenhe attempted to enter Hong Kong from Macau in September 2008 on a falsepassport. Hong Kong police questioned him about a fraud allegation, butreleased him for lack of evidence after approximately 48 hours. He wasthen handed over to police from Shenzhen municipality in the Chinese mainland.Hong Kong does not yet have an extradition agreement with mainland China.

Press reports published on21 January quoted a lawyer as saying concerns remain about the jurisdictionof the case as the alleged fraud was apparently committed in Hong Kongand therefore Sichuan authorities should have no jurisdiction over it.According to a Hong Kong-based lawyer who has been working on the casealong with mainland lawyers, information withheld by the Hong Kong authorities,including details of the 48 hours of questioning by Hong Kong police couldhave been used to assist in Zhou Yongjun’s defence.

Zhou Yongjun was held incommunicadofor more than seven months in Shenzhen municipality in Guangdong provincebefore being formally arrested on 8 May 2009. People who said they werein detention with him in Shenzhen municipality have told Zhou Yongjun'ssister that he was ill-treated, and possibly tortured.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELYin Chinese or your own language:demanding that the Chineseauthorities release details of the evidence against Zhou Yongjun and demonstratethat China has jurisdiction over the criminal offence on which he was charged;urging them to guarantee thatwhile he remains in custody, he will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated,and will have access to his family, legal assistance of his choosing andany medical care he may require;urging the Hong Kong Secretaryfor Security to explain the legal basis for having handed Zhou Yongjunover to the Shenzhen police in the absence of any extradition agreementwith China.PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE4 MARCH 2010 TO:Procurator of the SuiningCity People’s ProcuratorateJIA Xiansheng JianchazhangSuiningshi Renmin JianchayuanQishandongluHedongxinquSuiningshi 629000SichuanshengPeople's Republic of ChinaFax: +86 825 2242826Salutation: Dear ProcuratorDirector of the SichuanProvincial Department of Public SecurityZENG Shengquan TingzhangSichuansheng Gong'anting9 Jindunlu Chengdushi 610041Sichuansheng People's Republic of ChinaFax: +86 28 86301177Salutation: Dear DirectorAnd copies to:Secretary for Security(responsible for Immigration Department)Mr LEE Siu-kwong F6 Main and East WingsCentral Government OfficesCentralHong KongFax: +852 28685074Email: sbenq@sb.gov.hkSalutation: Dear SecretaryAlso send copies to diplomaticrepresentatives accredited to your country. Please check with yoursection office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the firstupdate of UA: 278/09 (ASA 17/058/2009). Further information: ttp://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/058/2009/en

ADditional Information

In October 2009, the head ofthe Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said that whilethey could not comment on individual immigration cases, "(a)nyonewho travels with a false document will be treated accordingly. He'll besent back to wherever is appropriate. That is established policy."

China resumed sovereignty overHong Kong on 1 July 1997, but a “one country, two systems” model remainsin place. An extradition agreement is being negotiated with the mainland,but has not yet been finalized.

Zhou Yongjun was formally arrestedon 8 May and indicted for fraud by the Shehong County People’s Procuratoratein Sichuanprovince on 3 August. In theindictment, he was accused of writing to the Hong Kong-based Hang SengBank, under the nameWang Xingxiang, to ask formoney to be transferred between bank accounts. His family and lawyer arguethat the Hong Kongpolice had investigated ZhouYunjun's supposed involvement in this case, and had released him becausethere was no evidenceto connect him to it. As HongKong is outside mainland Chinese jurisdiction, he should not be broughtto court in China unless the Chinese authorities can demonstrate he ischarged with a recognizable crime over which they have jurisdiction. Zhou Yongjun is a former studentleader of the 1989 pro-democracy protests. He was jailed for two yearsfor his involvement inthe 1989 pro-democracy protests.When he was released, he was exiled to the US. He returned to China in1998, and was sentto Re-education Through Labourfor another three years for "illegally crossing the border."Further information onUA: 278/09 Index: ASA 17/005/2010 Issue Date: 21 January 2010

Source: Amnesty International: Working to protect human rights worldwide

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