China Human Rights Briefing April 10-20, 2006

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April 20: Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng May Face Charge, Three Villagers Remain Detained

On April 18, Linyi villagers Chen Guangjun and Chen Guangyu, who had been detained for 37 days, were released on bail to await trial. Linyi County PSB prohibited them from returning to the village. Both have left the detention center and are staying in Linyi City and Yinan County respectively. Chen Guangcheng, the blind human rights activist, who was under house arrest since September 7, 2005, and detained on March 11, is now detained at a government-run vacation site called Victoria Holiday Village in Yinan County (where he was detained for one day after he was abducted in Beijing on September 6, 2005). By April 20, Chen Guangcheng had apparently been detained for 40 days without a detention warrant being issued or a charge being laid against him. But lawyers for Mr. Chen fear that he may face criminal charge for “providing information to overseas organizations.” Three other Linyi villagers, Chen Gengjiang, Chen Guangdong, and Chen Guanghe, also remain in detention in Yinan County. (For more information, visit Article_Show.asp?ArticleID=442)

April 20: Shanghai Police Detain Journalists at Press Conference, Harassing Hemophiliacs Infected HIVs and their Families

Shanghai police raided a press conference held by HIV-positive hemophiliacs and their families, detaining several journalists (including one from AP) and surrounding the hotel where the people were staying. Three days earlier, on World Hemophilia Day (April 17), about 40 people, including hemophiliacs from a dozen provinces and cities who were infected with HIV in the mid-1990s due to unsafe blood products produced by the Shanghai Biological Products Institute (a pharmaceutical company), had gone to the Institute to try to discuss the lack of any policies for providing treatment for sufferers who now have AIDS and related tuberculosis. This was the fifth time of their gathering to demand talks with the company. The Beijing AIZHIXING Institute ( has called the police action a violation of citizens’ right to expression and assembly, urging the immediate release of journalists. (Today, April 21, about 30 HIV-positive hemophiliacs and family members started a hunger strike to protest police harassment and the Shanghai pharmaceuticals’ unaccountability.) Meanwhile, Zhu Bingjin, HIV/AIDS activist based in Jilin Province, detained on March 10, remains incarcerated and faces charges of “disturbing social order.” (More information about Mr. Zhu’s detention can be found at Article_Show.asp?ArticleID=542)

April 17: Detained NYT Journalist May Face New Charge

According to multiple sources, No. 2 Branch of Beijing Municipal Procuratorate is considering filing new charges against Zhao Yan, former news assistant to the Beijing Bureau of the New York Times. In early April, CRD discovered that the procuratorate had sent Zhao’s case back to the Public Security Bureau for further evidence, which meant it was possible that a new charge might be filed against him. This judicial maneuver, now made public, is unlawful according to Zhao’s lawyer Mo Shaoping, who received a call from the authorities on April 17. Zhao, 44, was previously charged with suspicion of leaking state secrets and fraud, but these charges were dropped on March 17. However, Zhao has remained in custody, where he has been since September 2004. (For more information about Zhao Yan, visit Article_Show.asp?ArticleID=893, and Article_Class.asp?ClassID=22)

April 17: Procedurally Flawed Trial of Internet Writer Li Jianping

Internet writer Li Jianping went on trial at Zibo Municipal Intermediate People’s Court on charges of “inciting subversion of the state” on April 12, 2006. During the trial, prosecutors introduced their only evidence against Mr. Li: copies of 31 articles published online, but neither the titles nor the contents of the articles were ever mentioned. Though the defendant was asked to confirm his authorship of these articles, neither he nor his lawyer were given any chance to question the evidence or to present a defence. The court claimed that the trial was “public,” which means that it did not regard the case as one involving “state secrets” or personal privacy. However, family members who attended the trial were carefully checked and their background investigated before they were admitted to the court. The court only allowed about 20 people who had official permission to attend, including family members of the defendant and the lawyer. No recording or note-taking were allowed during the court session. The trial was not open to independent journalists. CRD called the trial “justice aborted” and urged the Zibo court to hold a retrial or continue the trial to complete its unfinished business openly and fairly. (Article_Show.asp?ArticleID=955)

April 16: More Details about Ouyang Xiaorong’s Disappearance

Ouyang Xiaorong told friends some details about his “disappearance” days after he resurfaced. He was abducted by police from the Beijing PSB on February 16, 2006. After questioning for 24 hours, he was deported to Kunming, Yunnan Province, where he was put under “residential surveillance” by local PSB at an undisclosed location for one month. He was released to his parents, both middle school teachers, in Tengchong, Yunnan, on April 7. Mr. Ouyang had gone to Beijing in mid-February to assist the lawyer Gao Zhisheng to coordinate a hunger strike protest against police harassment of human rights activists.

April 10: Henan will Bar Lawyers from Representing Clients in “Sensitive” Cases

The Henan Daily (, published by the Chinese Communist Party Committee of Henan Province, reported on April 10 that Henan Provincial Judicial Department recently promulgated regulations intended to tighten controls over lawyers defending clients in “sensitive” collective cases. According to the new regulations, made public in an ordinance called “Opinions Concerning Strengthening Guidance and Supervision of Lawyers Taking on Important, Sensitive, and Collective Action Cases” (
《关于加强对律师办理重大、敏感、群体性案件指导监督的意见》), lawyers must not suggest that clients seek resolution of their cases by interfering with the normal operations of government authorities or using abnormal means, and must not participate in such actions. The Opinion bans lawyers representing clients in such cases from using the media to draw national or international attention to their clients’ cases and from otherwise trying to influence public opinion. It forbids lawyers from “mobilizing groups to confront the government or fomenting mass incidents.” The Opinion also forbids lawyers from “making comments that may influence the cases and public opinion,” or from “contacting international organizations and the media.”

(Unless otherwise attributed, all the information in this Briefing is collected and checked by CRD contacts)

Managing editor: Zhong Yan

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