China Human Rights Briefing February 27 – March 5, 2006Comments Off on China Human Rights Briefing February 27 – March 5, 2006
China Human Rights Briefing
(February 27 – March 5, 2006)
March 5: Rural Land Rights Activist Facing Trial
Huang Weizhong, male, 46, a farmer from a village in Putian City, Fujian Province, who led hundreds of people in protests against low levels of compensation for expropriation of farm land, may face trial in a couple of weeks. His lawyer, Lu Guang, told CRD that police at the Chengxiang District PSB of Putian City ended investigation and submitted his case to the Chengxiang District Procuratorate in Putian City for prosecution for the crime of “gathering crowds and disturbing social order” in early February. The prosecutors’ office must make a decision whether to prosecute (or drop the case or send the case back to the police for more evidence) on March 7.
Originally abducted and taken back to Fujian by Putian police when he went to petition on the compensation issue in Beijing on November 9, 2005, he has been in custody since then, but was only formally arrested in January 2006. His lawyer, Lu Guang, of Dingtai Law Firm in Liaoning Province, thinks the court hearing will be held in about two weeks’ time. Huang is now detained at the No. 2 Putian Detention Center. Lu, who visited him in mid-January, said he thought Huang had been beaten as he was bleeding from his mouth and had bruises. Huang is reportedly forced to work 14 hours a day in the detention center.
Farmers from a dozen of villages in Chengxiang District, Putian City, have resorted to petitioning and lawsuit to seek redress for lost land since 2003 without getting any responses from authorities. Other farmers in Putian have also been taken in for questioning, sometimes detained for more than 24 hours. Huang’s brother, who hired the lawyer, handed in documents suing local police for arbitrary detention to the Ministry of Public Security and the Fujian Province Public Security Bureau in late December 2005 without getting any response. Family has been barred from visiting Huang at the detention center.
March 5: Bulletin on Hunger Strikers and Petitioners Missing, in Custody, or Detained
Still missing: Hu Jia (since Feb. 16, Beijing), Qi Zhiyong (Feb. 16, Beijing), Ouyang Xiaorong (Feb. 16, Beijing).
In custody: Mao Hengfeng (since Feb. 13, Shanghai), Zhao Xin (Feb. 21, Yunnan), Yan Zhengxue (Feb. 12, Zhejiang), Chen Xiaoming (since Feb. 15, Shanghai), Ma Yalian (since Feb. 15, Shanghai), Tian Bocheng and his wife (since mid Feb., Shanghai)
Formally detained: Yu Zhijian (Taken away on Feb. 18, formally detained on Feb. 20, Hunan), Hou Wenbao (Taken away on March 1, formally detained on March 2, Anhui), Wang Lizhuang (Detained on Feb. 21, formally noticed on Feb. 28, Shanghai).
(For more information, see Article_Show.asp?ArticleID=331 and previous weeks’ “Briefing” Article_Class2.asp?ClassID=10 )
Police in Shanghai have been rounding up activists who have joined the hunger strike protest or tried to petition authorities, among them protesters against forced evictions Chen Xiaoming; Tian Bocheng and his wife; and Ma Yalian. The homes and computers of Chen and Ma were searched. Mao Hengfeng, a Shanghai-based activist who campaigns for reproductive rights of women faced with China’s family planning policies, has been detained since February 13. A “surveillance” decision on her was issued by Shanghai PSB, but the police refused to tell Mao’s lawyer where she was being held.
On February 21, police searched the residence of Wang Lizhuang, 48, a professor at the Shanghai Television University, and detained him. Formal notice was not given to his family until Feb. 28, however. Police confiscated various documents, including a letter he drafted for Shanghai housing petitioners addressed to the UN General Secretary Kofi Annan, and writings published in overseas media. His family, including his sister Wang Liqing, are under close watch by police. Wang has been supporting efforts by protesters against forced evictions in Shanghai, and assisting in the case of imprisoned lawyer Zheng Enchong.
Zhao Xin’s family reached Yananpolice by phone on Feb. 25 and spoke to Zhao on Feb. 26. They learned that Zhao was in police custody at the Huanglihe Waterfall Resort, about 70 kilometers outside Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province.
On March 4, Gao Zhisheng, who has been leading the hunger strike protest since early February, was reportedly harassed by three secret policemen who were following him and then taken away in a police car (License Plate No. A34863) into a local police station to “register a written record” (做笔录), a standard procedure after someone reported an offense, in Beijing. But he was let go after spending about two hours at the police station.
March 4: Lawyer for Arrested Internet Activist Asks Procuratorate Drop Case
Internet writer Li Jianping should not be prosecuted, his lawyer Zhang Xingshui argued in a letter to the Zibo Municipal People’s Procuratorate, Shandong Province, on February 18. Mr. Zhang, a lawyer from the Beijng Jinding Law Firm, asked the government prosecution office to drop the case on the basis that there is insufficient evidence. Zhang argues that Li Jianping’s articles published in online journals contain criticisms of government policies, but they do not constitute “defamation” of the government. Li Jianping was detained on “suspicion of defamation” on May 27 and formally arrested on June 30, 2005. On August 30, police ended their investigation and sent the case for prosecution for “suspected incitement to subvert state power” to the Zibo Procuratorate. On October 12 and then again on December 26, Zibo Procuratorate sent the case back to the Zibo Municipal Public Security Bureau for additional investigation. On January 26, the Security Bureau ended its investigation for the third time and sent the case for prosecution to the Procuratorate. (The full text of the lawyer’s letter can be downloaded at CRD website: Article_Show.asp?ArticleID=325 )
March 3: Internet Writer Cai Lujun Finished 3-Year Jail Term
Cai Lujun (蔡陆军), male, 38, was released after serving three years in prison. He was put under “residential surveillance” on February 22, 2003, and then under criminal detention on March 3, 2003, by the Shijiazhuang City State Security Bureau in Hebei Province at the Shijiazhuang Municipal No. 1 Detention Center. On April 8 of the same year he was arrested on suspicion of “Inciting Subversion of State Power” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪). On June 28, 2003, he was indicted by the Shijiazhuang Municipal People’s Procuratorate for the above crime. He was tried in closed court, convicted and sentenced to a 3-year term by the Shijiazhuang Municipal Intermediate Court. His defense lawyer was Wang Jiguang of Hebei Zhufeng Law Firm and his other defense was his mother Wang Huimin, a retired store clerk, who attended the trial. Between October 2002 and the time of his detention, he wrote articles online and hosted the “Democracy and Freedom Forum” (民主与自由论坛) using the aliases “Pan Min Zhu” (“Longing for Democracy”) and “Zheng Min Zhu” (“Seeking Democracy”). He and his wife live in Shijiazhuang City.
March 1: Guangdong PC Deputy Drafting Bill to Authorize Police Shooting
A Provincial People’s Congress Deputy Zhu Lieyu (朱列玉), male, 40, a lawyer of the Guoding Law Firm in Guangdong, proposes to make “attacking policemen” a crime and authorize policemen to “open fire” at those who do not cooperate with police action. Mr. Zhu told reporters that there is a need to supplement the Penalty Law (处罚法), which prescribes policemen’s duties and obligations. Mr. Zhu wants the law also to protect policemen’s rights. He will submit a bill to the Fourth Conference of the 10th Guangdong People’s Congress, proposing to pass “Guangdong Province People’s Police Law Enforcement Rights Protection Regulations.” Others have warned that this amendment would give police broad rights to use lethal weapons in situations where they lose control of large crowds. (Source: China.eastday.com 东方网)
March 1: Anhui Activist Hou Wenbao Detained
More than a dozen police and state security officers from Suzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau and State Security Unit entered Hou’s residence around 9am on March 1 and took away Mr. Hou, according to Hou’s father, who telephoned friends. They produced a warrant to take Hou away for questioning and a search warrant. They searched the residence and took with them books, a cell phone, CDs, money, as well as receipts for publication honoraria paid by overseas news organizations. Police told Hou’s father that the cause of his detention was giving interviews to overseas media and publishing articles online. On March 2, the family received notification that Hou had been formally detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” and was being held at the Suzhou Municipal No. 1 Detention Center.
Hou Wenbao (侯文豹), male, 30, lives in Suzhou City, Anhui Province. Hespent two years at a Re-education through Labor camp for organizing the “China Labor Freedom Alliance” in 1998 when he was a worker. After his release, he worked as a migrant laborer in the south and returned to Anhui Province in 2005. On December 23, 2005, he was detained briefly when he visited Yang Tianshui in Nanjing, Zhejiang Province. (Yang remains in detention and has been indicted for subversion). He announced his decision to join the hunger strike protest on the same day that he was detained. RFA reports that a local activist, Yuan Qiang, who had planned to join the hunger strike with Mr. Hou, also disappeared. (Source: CRD, RFA, Boxun)
February 28: Released Labor Activist Xiao Yunliang still on Probation, Needs Medical Attention
Xiao Yunliang was released 24 days before the end of his prison term. He was dropped by a prison van at his family’s residence in Liaoyang City unexpectedly on February 23, around 4pm. He is now under “residential surveillance” with four policemen and two police cars stationed outside, questioning anyone entering or leaving the building. His daughter, who answered the phone when reached by a CRD representative, said he had been ordered not to talk openly about his situation until March 19, which is his official release date, ashe is being treated as released on probation.
Xiao, 60, was actively involved in organizing workers’ demonstrations in Liaoyang City, Liaoning Province, in March 2002. Xiao was arrested in the same month together with a number of fellow activists including Yao Fuxin on suspicion of “illegal assembly, demonstration and protest” (非法集会游行示威). Xiao was tried on January 15, 2003, on charges of “subversion” and “organizing illegal demonstrations.” On May 9, 2003, Xiao was sentenced to four years imprisonment. He was jailed at Kangjiashan Prison in the suburb of Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. Xiao suffered from illness in jail and was denied prison visits from family members. His daughter said that Xiao came home with untreated kidney and liver problems and he needs medical attention.
(Unless otherwise attributed, all the information in this Briefing is provided by the network of CRD contacts)
For more information, contact: Zhong Yan: firstname.lastname@example.org