China Human Rights Briefing March 30- April 9, 2006Comments Off on China Human Rights Briefing March 30- April 9, 2006
China Human Rights Briefing
CRD, March 30- April 9, 2006
April 9: Internet Writer Trial for “Inciting Subversion of the State” Set to Open on April 12
The “inciting subversion of the state” case again the internet writer Li Jianping is set to open for court trial at the Zibo Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, Shandong Province, on April 12. Li Jianping, born on March 7, 1966, is a businessman and an independent writer who posted articles on democratic ideas online. He was arrested on May 27, 2005, and was under criminal detention before he was indicted on “suspicion of defamation” on June 30, 2005. His charge was upgraded to “inciting subversion of the state” on August 30, 2005. The case was twice returned from the Zibo Municipal Procuratorate to the Zibo PSB for further investigation. On March 9, Zibo Municipal Procuratorate filed prosecution with the Zibo Intermediate Court. Li Jianping has been detained at the Zibo Municipal Detention Center. Li’s lawyer has submitted his opinion in writing defending his client’s innocence on February 27, 2006. CRD urges the court to conduct the trial openly and fairly in accordance with procedures prescribed in the PRC Criminal Procedural Law and the Criminal Code, as well as relevant provisions in the PRC Constitution and ICCPR, which China signed in 1998.
April 9: Bulletin on Detentions, and Arrests, etc. (In brackets are the identity, date when the individual was first disappeared/detained/arrested, and the location, where known)
(I) Detention without charge or warrant: Chen Guangcheng (human rights activist, March 11, Shandong), Chen Xiaoming (housing rights activist, Feb. 15, Shanghai), Ma Yalian (housing rights activist, Feb. 15, Shanghai), Tian Bocheng and his wife (housing rights activists, mid Feb., Shanghai) Fu Yuxia (housing rights activist, Feb 15, Shanghai)
(II) Formal detention/arrest: Zhu Bingjin (HIV/AIDS activist, March 10, Jilin)
(III) Death after release: Du Ronglin (housing rights activist, March 19, Shanghai)
– Detained Shanghai petitioner died after release: Shanghai businessman Du Ronglin, male, in his 50s, a victim of forced eviction and an active petitioner, is reported to have died on March 19, 2006. He had been detained on February 22, 2006, for participating in the hunger strike called by the Beijing lawyer Gao Zhisheng in early February to protest police brutality against human rights activists. Du helped to circulate information used in the organizing of protests by petitioners during the Shanghai People’s Congress meeting in March. He contacted his friends to let them know he had been released on March 17. However, two days later, the Shanghai Changning Zhongxing hospital notified his family that he had died. According to the medical report, the cause of death was internal bleeding in his brain and abdomen, resulting from external impact. In a letter Du wrote before his death, obtained by his family, he described how he had been treated during his detention: he was beaten in the belly, and his head was pushed down and banged on the edge of the seat in the van several times due to the van’s movement while he was driven to the detention center. He also recorded that he was not the original target for detention, but the police had told him since his name was different only by one character from the name of the person they had been looking for, it made little difference to them to detain him.
– Zhu Bingjin, the HIV/AIDS activist based in Jilin Province who has been in police custody since March 10, has been deprived of his medication since he was detained and thus due to a worsening hepatitis B condition and other health problems his life could be in danger. Zhu was tested positive for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B in 2002.
– Detention without charge or warrant: Shanghai petitioners Fu Yuxia, Chen Xiaoming, Han Zhongming and Ma Yalian remain in detention since February 15, 2006, two days after they met with a US consular official in Shanghai at the home of Fu Yuxia. Their families have not been able to obtain any information about their whereabouts. About ten family members tried to contact the Xinhua News Agency, asking the official newspaper to report the cases April 3. They were stopped and pushed out of the news agency’s Shanghai branch office by more than 10 policemen. Some were taken to the police station for questioning and then released.
April 9: Releases since March 21
Former Tiananmen prisoner Yu Zhijian was released on bail to await trial (qubao houshen) at the request of his sister on the evening of March 21, 2006. Reached by phone, he said he had not been treated badly by police during his detention. He was detained on February 18 for “investigation into the situation of the hunger strike.” Two days later, the grounds for his detention were changed to “criminal investigation on suspicion of ‘inciting subversion of the state.’” He was detained in cell No. 9 at the Liaoyang City Police Detention Center. He was granted bail in accordance with the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law. The bail can last for up to a year. He has not been formally charged. During this time, he is not allowed to travel outside his residential district and he must report to the police on a regular basis.
Ouyang Xiaorong, who disappeared after a police raid of the Beijing lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s office in Beijing on Feb. 16, where Ouyang Xiaorong was helping coordinate the hunger striker that Mr. Gao led. Mr. Ouyang had traveled to Beijing to assist Mr. Gao. Ouyang disappeared after he was picked up by police with two other assistants to Gao. The other two, Wen Haibo and Ma Wendu, were released into residential surveillance, but Ouyang has gone on missing. In a message posted at one website today (April 10), Mr. Ouyang said he would stay in low profile and thanked friends for being concerned about his safety.
Also resurfaced from secret detention is Qi Zhiyong, who lost a leg in the June 4th massacre and is now engaged in various types of human rights activism. Qi was reportedly released on March 28. He had been taken away from his home by police on February 26 for participating in the hunger strike. His family was not informed of the location or cause of his detention.
Anhui activist Hou Wenbao was released on bail to await trial on March 30, 2006. His father said police allowed him to take Hou Wenbao home for “education.” But police confiscated about 1,740 yuan collected by the family to pay for legal counsel. The money was from domestic donations made for Hou’s defense after he was detained on March 1. His family had sought help because they worried that they would be unable to afford a lawyer for Hou. During the detention, Hou’s father had gone to the police detention center to request to visit his son and give him some clothes and daily necessities. But these requests were denied. Hou Wenbao told journalists (RFA) that during his one-month detention he was forced to work making rubber gloves for 18 hours a day. Prisoners were beaten if they did not finish their assigned quota.
After her release, Mao Hengfeng was warned about contacting overseas organizations, she was told that she had just been released from “police surveillance” and may be detained again soon. Police warned her that he might be put back into detention because she told foreign media and overseas organizations about being beaten during the previous detention. Police told her that, from now on, her case will be “dealt with” according to the new Public Order Administration Punishment Law. According to this law, the first time a person is detained would be for 10 days, the second time for longer, and the third time would be forced labor at a Reeducation Through Labor camp. Mao was told that she might also be subjected to a fine. Her husband, Wu Xuewei, was also warned for contacting overseas organizations during Mao’s recent “surveillance.” Police also warn them that their eldest daughter, who will soon reach 18, will be detained if she gets involved.
(For information on these cases, please see previous China Human Rights Briefings from CRD)
April 7: Detained Hunan Journalist May Still Face Charge, though Case Returned for Further Investigation
Hunan Journalist Yang Xiaoqing, male, 36, detained in January 2006, may face criminal charges. He was detained because he persisted in investigating and reporting on corruption in the Hunan provincial government. He also reported on problems in rural schooling in the province. His lawyer Zhang Xingshui said on April 4 that he had not received any legal document about any charges yet. He hopes that Yang Xiaoqing will be released on bail. Yang’s wife, Gong Jie, a journalist herself, is hiding from Hunan authorities fearing further persecution. On April 7, she told journalists that her husband’s case had been returned by the local procuratorate to the local PSB for further investigation due to insufficient evidence. Yang worked for China Production Economy Newspaper (中国产经新闻报). The refusal of the procuratorate to indict Yang may support his lawyer’s request for his release on bail, pending further investigation.
April 7: Guizhou Journalist’s Trial Postponed
The trial of detained journalist Li Yuanlong, who has been charged with “subversion of state power,” has been postponed until after the end of April. The trial had been scheduled to open on April 7. Li Yuanlong, a journalist for the newspaper Bijie Daily of Guizhou Province and an Internet writer who posted online articles critical of the government, was detained by the Guizhou Province State Security Bureau in September 2005. On February 9, 2006, he was charged with “subversion of state power.” The decision to delay the trial may indicate disagreement among authorities and court officials about either the charge against Li or the sentence. The detention and the charge of subversion have drawn international attention. Also, authorities tend to reach internal agreement as to the charges or terms of punishment before such trials open. (For more information on this case, please visit Article_Class.asp?ClassID=25)
April 4: Independent Former People’s Congress Deputy Blocked from Participating in EU Conference on Rural Self-Governance
Yao Lifa, male, a former People’s Congress deputy in Qianjiang City, Hubei Province, was blocked from participating in an academic conference organized jointly by the EU, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Civil Affairs: International Conference on “Village Self-Governance in China: Past, Present and Future” (http://www.chinarural.org/euchinaprog/english/PrintView.asp?NewsId=859), Beijing, April 5-7. On April 4, when he arrived at the conference in Beijing, Yao was told by an EU official that his invitation had been canceled due to pressure from local government authorities.
Yao Lifa has been active in promoting free and fair rural elections. He recently lobbied activists, academics and NPC members to co-sign a March 31 letter to the Standing Committee of the NPC, demanding investigation of corruption involved in the recent recall of an elected village committee chief in Taishi Village, Guangdong Province. A website (http://www.chinaelections.org/newslist.asp?classid=141) that monitor elections was ordered by Chinese authorities to suspend its operations in early March.
April 3: Internet Prisoner Subjected to Forced Labor with Adverse Health Effects
Lawyer Li Jianqiang said Shi Tao had been forced to work on gem stones in prison, which are used to make jewelry, and his lungs and skin have both been affected by the dust of the stones. He is in need of medical attention. The lawyer and Shi’s family have requested that prison authorities stop forcing him to do this kind of work, but their requests have been ignored. (For more information on the case of Shi Tao, please visit Article_Class.asp?ClassID=19)
(Unless otherwise attributed, all the information in this Briefing is collected and checked by CRD contacts)
Managing editor: Zhong Yan