Prisoner of conscience denied access to family

Huang Qi
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Huang Qi founded “64 Tianwang” together with his then-wife Zeng Li in 1998, and the website continues to be one of the few major mainland-based websites that report and document petitioners’ protests in China. Most of the website’s contributors were petitioners before becoming citizen journalists to report on other petitioners’ protests and arrests. 

Incidents of ill-treatment have been reported throughout his detention. Most recently, Huang Qi told his lawyer on 23 October 2018 that doctors and detention centre officers provided false reports of his blood pressure and understated the extent of his critical medical conditions. Previously on 28 July 2017, Huang Qi told his lawyer that he was made to stand for hours at a time and repeatedly questioned and insulted by officers since his detention in late 2016. Then on 3 November 2017 he said he had been beaten up by other detainees at the Mianyang City Detention Centre, Sichuan Province, on 24-26 October, with knowledge of at least one of the detention centre’s officers. 

Over the years, Huang Qi and other “64 Tianwang” contributors have been frequently detained or harassed by the Chinese authorities. Huang Qi has been imprisoned twice. He was first detained in June 2000 – the 11th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown – before being convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to five years in prison in May 2003. He was again imprisoned for three years after exposing the substandard building scandal following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan. 

According to “64 Tianwang”, the website’s citizen journalists have been questioned or placed under brief detention more than 100 times since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012, and at least 30 have been imprisoned or placed under criminal detention. Ten “64 Tianwang” journalists are currently in prison, including Wang Jing, Zhang Jixin, Li Min, Sun Enwei, Li Chunhua, Wei Wenyuan, Xiao Jianfang, Li Zhaoxiu, Chen Mingyan and Wang Shurong. 

Huang Qi’s lawyers have also faced retaliation by the authorities. In February 2018, the Guangdong Provincial Department of Justice notified Guangzhou-based lawyer Sui Muqing that he was being disbarred. The lawyer, who had previously represented Huang Qi, believes his disbarment was related to his legal representation of human rights defenders. Another of Huang Qi’s lawyers, Liu Zhengqing, was also disbarred in January 2019.

In addition to concerns about Huang Qi’s health and lack of access to a fair trial, I raise the urgent issue that 
Huang’s 85-year-old mother, Pu Wenqing, was taken away by Sichuan police in early December 2018 while 
travelling from Sichuan province to Beijing to seek help from diplomats for her son. According to sources, she was 
repeatedly threatened by the police during detention before being released on 21 January 2019. 

In addition to concerns about Huang Qi’s health and lack of access to a fair trial, I raise the urgent issue that 
Huang’s 85-year-old mother, Pu Wenqing, was taken away by Sichuan police in early December 2018 while 
travelling from Sichuan province to Beijing to seek help from diplomats for her son. According to sources, she was 
repeatedly threatened by the police during detention before being released on 21 January 2019. 

In addition to concerns about Huang Qi’s health and lack of access to a fair trial, I raise the urgent issue that 
Huang’s 85-year-old mother, Pu Wenqing, was taken away by Sichuan police in early December 2018 while 
travelling from Sichuan province to Beijing to seek help from diplomats for her son. According to sources, she was 
repeatedly threatened by the police during detention before being released on 21 January 2019. 

Pu Wenqing was taken away by Sichuan police in early December 2018 while travelling from Sichuan province to Beijing to seek help from diplomats for her son, Huang Qi. According to sources, she was repeatedly threatened by the police during detention before being released on 21 January 2019. According to Pu’s letter, state security officers stopped her from meeting and hiring human rights lawyers. Pu has shared that her own health is deteriorating rapidly, with no treatment available for the tumours spreading in her lungs. She is also suffering from diabetes and medical problems with her liver, kidney and stomach and is afraid that she will not see her son before she dies.
 

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