Urgent Plea to End Arbitrary Detention of Chen GuangchengComments Off on Urgent Plea to End Arbitrary Detention of Chen Guangcheng
Urgent Plea to the Standing Committee of the NPC, the Standing Committee of the Shandong People’s Congress, the SPP, the Shandong People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Supervision, and the Shandong Supervision Bureau
Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and Standing Committee of the Shandong People’s Congress:
People’s Republic of China Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Shandong Province People’s Procuratorate:
People’s Republic of China Ministry of Supervision and Shandong Province Supervision Bureau:
From late 2004 to early 2005, in order to pursue career advancement and acquire funds, three districts and nine counties in Linyi city, Shandong province, launched a large-scale, barbaric population planning campaign, taking people into custody, beating people, imprisoning people, forcing people to undergo tubal ligation, forcing people to have abortions, holding forced education sessions, and collecting education fees. A large group of women and their husbands and families came under violent attack and economic suppression, some of which even led to families breaking up.
Chen Guangcheng, a man who is blind in both eyes, a civil rights defender, a villager from Dongshigu village in Shuanghou town, Yinan county, Linyi city, has long been engaged in rights defense work for the disabled. After he learned about the barbaric population planning campaign taking place in the Linyi region, he and his wife launched an investigation in January 2005 into the illegal local population planning campaign, and demanded the local government to strictly enforce the Population and Family Planning Law of the People’s Republic of China and to govern in accordance with the law. At that time they also provided legal aid to rural victims. In July of that year, when Chen Guangcheng sought help from friends in Beijing, a group of scholars and lawyers went to Linyi, conducted an investigation into the illegal actions of the local government, and posted the results of the investigation on the Internet. The National Population and Family Planning Commission sent personnel to Linyi to investigate and confirmed through a press conference that Linyi’s population planning included serious violations of law, and publicly announced that “a group of law-violating personnel have been investigated.” The combined efforts of Chen, some victims, and many others, caused the rights-violating violent population planning acts of Linyi to be exposed to the world, which compelled local authorities to restrain their rights-violating actions, and forced them to give a certain amount of compensation to some of the victims.
The lawful rights defense activities of Chen Guangcheng and the villagers drew the fear and hatred of local authorities. As a result, Linyi city and Yinan county authorities did not hesitate to employ state machinery and various resources to cover up the truth by obstructing further rights defense efforts by victims, and to shirk the legal responsibility that they should have borne. From August 2005 until now, they have used surveillance, threats, restrictions on personal freedom, and other illegal methods to suppress Chen Guangcheng and other rights defenders and sympathizers.
Beginning on August 12, 2005, Chen Guangcheng and his wife were placed under house arrest in their home in Dongshigu village, Shuanghou town, Yinan county, Shandong province. On August 25, Chen Guangcheng took advantage of the negligence of the personnel executing his house arrest to flee his village and rush to Shanghai and Nanjing, and finally to Beijing. In Beijing, he was surrounded by Linyi officials many times, and nearly held hostage several times. On the afternoon of September 6, 2005, while in the home of a friend in Beijing, six plainclothes security officers claiming to be public security officers from Yinan county, Shandong province, took Chen Guangcheng away, and locked him up in the Yinan County Detention Center without any legal process whatsoever. Chen Guangcheng went on a hunger strike for 26 hours. On September 7, police returned Chen Guangcheng to his home and placed him under strict surveillance, depriving him of his freedom of movement. On September 9, Chen Guangcheng’s home telephone and computer were cut off, his computer was taken away, and his relatives and friends were prohibited from entering Chen Guangcheng’s home. The next day, his cell phone signal was cut off, and Chen Guangcheng lost contact with the outside world. On the afternoon of September 23, Chen Guangcheng was detained again, and public security personnel ransacked his home until 10 p.m. From September 6 on, the Linyi police’s illegal house arrest of Chen and his family extended for 186 days!
On October 4, 2005, Xu Zhiyong and three others went to Linyi, Shandong, to visit Chen Guangcheng, and lawyer Li Fangping and university professor Xu Zhiyong were beaten by local cadres and thugs. On October 24, when Chen Guangcheng’s friends traveled from other areas to visit Chen Guangcheng, local police prevented them from seeing him and Chen Guangcheng was beaten severely by local cadres and thugs. On December 27, Chen Guangcheng’s wife, Yuan Weijing, was also beaten by these guards.
On March 11, 2006, local police took into custody Chen Guangcheng and three other villagers, Chen Gengjiang, Chen Guangdong, and Chen Guanghe, under the pretext of interrogating them about traffic obstruction and, without legal process, illegally detained Chen and the three villagers beyond the time limit established by law for interrogation. From March 12 to March 14, Yinan county public security personnel visciously tortured Chen Guangcheng, depriving him of sleep for three days. For this reason, he went on a hunger and water strike to protest.
On May 8, when the lawyer retained by Chen Guangcheng’s family asked the local police to meet with Chen Guangcheng, local police actually flatly denied that they had detained Chen Guangcheng, and the police prevented the other lawyers from meeting with the three arrested villagers Chen Guanghe, Chen Gengjiang, and Chen Guangdong.
By June 10, 2006, the Yinan County Public Security Bureau had held Chen Guangcheng in illegal detention for 89 days. During that time, the Yinan county public security bureau did not provide his family any information on his situation, such as the reason for, or location of, his detention, and ignored repeated inquiries from Chen Guangcheng’s family. Now it has been verified that before April 2, Chen Guangcheng was illegally held in Yinan county’s Victoria Resort, and that before he was formally transported to the Yinan County Detention Center from April 2 to June 11, he was illegally held in custody at a people’s police training center by dozens of town government and public security personnel.
At the same time, local police also have created disturbances, cooked up charges, and abused their authority, on many occasions summoning for questioning and detaining various local rights defenders and sympathizers. So far, villagers Chen Guangdong, Chen Guanghe, and Chen Gengjiang have been detained and arrested on charges of suspected “intentional destruction of public property.”
On June 11, 2006, Chen Guangcheng’s wife Yuan Weijing received a notice from the Yinan police sent by registered mail. The notice said that Chen Guangcheng had been criminally detained by the Yinan County Public Security Bureau on June 10 on charges of “intentional destruction of property” and “gathering people to disturb traffic order,” and that he was at that time detained at the Yinan County Detention Center. What needs to be clarified is that the Yinan police’s criminal detention of Chen Guangcheng was carried out only after 6 months of house arrest and 89 days custody in a detention center without any legal process.
A group of rights defenders in Beijing had planned to hold a conference to “call attention to Chen Guangcheng” for volunteers on the afternoon of June 19 to announce relevant information to the outside world. But authorities from Linyi, Shandong, did everything they could think of to stop the conference.
On June 20, news spread from Beijing that Chen Guangcheng’s elderly mother and three-year-old child had been kidnapped in Beijing. On the morning of June 21, police from Linyi, Shandong, sent the elderly woman and the child to Chen Guangcheng’s hometown in Yinan county, and placed them under house arrest in the county town Communist Party school, which is the house of Chen Guangcheng’s relative, arranging for many individuals to guard them and not allowing the elderly woman or the child to go out, not even to see a doctor for an illness.
On June 21 the Yinan County Public Security Bureau announced the arrest of Chen Guangcheng. On June 23 the lawyers supplying Chen Guangcheng with legal services, Li Jinsong and Li Subing, were surrounded and attacked by about 20 unidentified assailants at the entrance of Chen’s home village. They were beaten and forcibly pushed into a car as the cars that had followed them stood by. Cheng Hai and Meng Xianming, the two lawyers providing legal services to the other villagers, were also surrounded and attacked by more than 10 unidentified assailants as they were there carrying out their work, preventing the lawyers from being able to work and posing a great threat to their safety.
Afterward, when Huang Kaiguo, Li Kechang, and Cheng Hai, the three lawyers providing legal services to the three arrested villagers, arrived in Yinan county, Shandong, they were followed by an unmarked car in Yinan county and openly beaten in the street by unidentified thugs. After the lawyers were attacked, they immediately dialed 110 and 120, but police took the lawyers away for questioning. What’s strange is that the police found various reasons to lock up the three beaten lawyers at the public security bureau, and would not allow them to leave, preventing these lawyers from being able to perform any work. What’s even more hateful is that, at 9:41 p.m. that night, dozens of thugs burst into the public security bureau, openly seized the lawyers’ camera equipment, and forcibly smashed them to pieces in front of the police. But the local police did absolutely nothing even as the thugs committed criminal acts.
We believe that Linyi authorities’ protracted illegal restrictions on the personal liberty of Chen Guangcheng and other local rights defenders constitute a severe violation of China’s Constitution, relevant laws, and the international human rights standards that the Chinese government has already committed to.
We believe that the central government and judicial agencies at various levels bear irrefutable responsibility for the long-term lack of resolution of these serious problems. We ask that the central government carry out its constitutional obligation of respecting and protecting human rights, and that judicial agencies exercise their right to judicial independence, as declared by law, to impartially consider the illegal actions of local law enforcement agencies’ arbitrary detention of Chen Guangcheng, quickly restore the personal liberty of Chen Guangcheng and the other villagers, and in accordance with the law investigate the legal responsibility of those who violated people’s rights.
The rights of citizens are sacred and inviolable. When the government violates the rights of citizens, the methods that citizens have to obtain relief to defend their rights are appealing to authorities using petitions, and filing administrative supervision and judicial lawsuits. At the same time, the government’s most important responsibility is to safeguard and defend human rights. This also constitutes a necessary source of the government’s legitimacy. But until now, all of the illegal and rights-violating actions of the authorities in Linyi, Shandong are in opposition to the citizens, are a declaration of war on the rule of law, and are also in opposition to the state!
In the modern administration of justice, the lawyer plays an important role in defending judicial impartiality and promoting judicial progress. As a unique profession under a society with the rule of law, its function is irreplaceable and its role indispensable, and thus the professional rights of lawyers are also sacred and inviolable. The treatment of lawyers and their professional rights reflects upon a nation’s and society’s degree of civilization and its level of rule of law. In the “Linyi population planning rights defense” case, the lawyers retained by the litigant defied hardships and dangers, respected their duties, and carried out their responsibilities. But in order to achieve their own hidden agendas, and to continue their own illegal acts and consolidate their illegal objectives, authorities in Linyi, Shandong, not only erected obstacles, exerted pressure, and intimidated and threatened to further violently obstruct and crudely interfere with the lawyers in the normal course of their performance of their duties, but ultimately progressed to the point of using the methods of organized crime and assaulted the lawyers. Such illegal actions violate the professional rights of lawyers and shake the foundation of the nation’s administration of justice; they openly and severely challenge the nation’s rule of law, and should lead to great caution and resolute resistance by the state and by society.
In response to the severe battle waged by authorities in Linyi, Shandong, in violating, in the name of the so-called “law,” the rights of citizens that are protected by the Chinese Constitution and laws, Chinese rights defense volunteers and Chen Guangcheng’s family members issue this urgent appeal to national authorities and judicial and procuratorial agencies:
We ask the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the Standing Committee of the Shandong People’s Congress, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Shandong People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Supervision, and the Shandong Supervision Bureau to promptly form a “special issue” investigation committee, in accordance with the provisions of the Chinese Constitution and laws, to immediately begin investigative procedures into and launch legal supervision of the severe violations of the human rights of Chen Guangcheng and other villagers, and of the illegal and criminal acts of using the methods of organized crime to beat lawyers.
We raise the following as the legal basis of our urgent appeal:
(1) Article 41 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary. Citizens have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints and charges against, or exposures of, violation of the law or dereliction of duty by any state organ or functionary; but fabrication or distortion of facts with the intention of libel or frame-up is prohibited. In case of complaints, charges, or exposures made by citizens, the state organ concerned must deal with them in a responsible manner after ascertaining the facts. No one may suppress such complaints, charges, and exposures, or retaliate against the citizens making them.”
(2) Article 3, Clause 3 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China: “All administrative, judicial, and procuratorial organs of the state are created by the people’s congresses to which they are responsible and under whose supervision they operate.”
(3) Article 71 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China: The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee may, when they deem it necessary, appoint committees of inquiry into specific questions and adopt relevant resolutions in the light of their reports. All organs of state, public organizations, and citizens concerned are obliged to supply the necessary information to those committees of inquiry when they conduct investigations.
(4) Article 44, Clause 1 of the Organic Law of the Local People’s Congresses and the Local People’s Governments of the PRC: “The standing committee of a local people’s congress at or above the county level shall exercise the following functions and powers … (6) to supervise the work of the people’s government, people’s court, and people’s procuratorate … and to receive and handle accusations and complaints from the people against the above-mentioned organs and state functionaries.”
(5) Articles 129 and 131 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China mandate: The people’s procuratorates of the People’s Republic of China are state organs for legal supervision, people’s procuratorates shall, in accordance with the law, exercise procuratorial power independently and are not subject to interference by administrative organs, public organizations or individuals.
(6) Article 5, Clause 3 of the Organic Law of the People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China: “Supervision should be implemented in cases regarding the lawfulness of public security organs’ investigations.”
(7) Article 13, Clause 2 of the Organic Law of the People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China: “When the people’s procuratorate finds that a public security organ’s investigative activities have circumstances of illegality, it should notify and correct the public security organ.”
(8) Article 42 of the People’s Police Law of the People’s Republic of China: “The people’s police should carry out their responsibilities and accept … the supervision of the people’s procuratorate in accordance with the law.”
(9) Article 18, Clause 1 of the Administrative Supervision Law: When carrying out the function of supervision, procuratorial agencies should perform the following responsibilities: (1) “Inspect state administrative organs’ observance and implementation of laws, measures, and decisions, and the issues pertaining to decisions and directives of the people’s government.”
(10) Article 23, Clause 1 of the Administrative Supervision Law: “On the basis of the results of inspections and investigations, supervision organs may raise supervision recommendations where one of the following situations arises: (1) refusal to implement laws or measures, or violating laws or measures, or decisions or directives of the people’s government, shall be rectified.”
We respectfully ask the ministries listed above to carry out their duties as established by law, and in accordance with constitutional law and relevant regulations, to launch quickly an investigation into the series of law-violating and rights-violating actions carried out by the Linyi authorities, and convene promptly a meeting of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to launch legal supervision of authorities in Linyi, Shandong and pass an impartial resolution, all in order to investigate the legal responsibility of the relevant responsible persons, give to the victims the outcome of an impartial process, and restore the confidence of numerous citizens in China’s establishment of rule of law.
July 13, 2006
Rights Defenders Net
People’s Livelihood Monitor
Empowerment and Rights Institute
Li Baiguang, legal worker, Beijing
Teng Biao, legal scholar, lawyer, Beijing
Zhang Zuhua, constitutional governance scholar, Beijing
Ai Xiaoming, female research scholar, Guangzhou
Zhao Dagong, freelance writer, Guangdong
Liu Zhengyou, civil rights defender, Sichuan
Wang Zhijing, freelance writer, Beijing
Jiang Tianyong, lawyer, Beijing
Du Daobin, freelance writer, Hubei
Wan Yanhai, common worker, director of “Love of Knowledge and Action Research Institute,” Beijing
Marie Holzman, China Solidarity, Paris, France
Media please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Chineserd@gmail.com
Appendix: Partial list of those suspected of being responsible for forced population planning and those suspected of persecuting Chen Guangcheng and others
Li Qun: Party Secretary of Linyi city, Chairman of Linyi Local People’s Congress. Suspected originator, organizer, plotter, and director of the forced population planning in Linyi; the person who benefited the most from carrying out the persecution of Chen Guangcheng and others who exposed the truth.
Lian Chengmin: Mayor of Linyi city.
Li Honghai: Member of Linyi Municipal Party Committee Standing Committee, Secretary of the Politics and Law Commission.
Liu Jie: Deputy Mayor of Linyi city, Director of Linyi Public Security Bureau. Suspected organizer, plotter, and director of Chen Guangcheng’s kidnapping and illegal detention, and suspected organizer, plotter, and director of the Linyi forced family planning victims’ persecution.
Yang Aihua: Director of the Municipal Population and Family Planning Committee, President of the Municipal Population Planning Association. One of the parties suspected of being responsible for the forced population planning in Linyi.
Yang Rongsan: Party Secretary of Yinan county. Suspected of being responsible for forced population planning in Yinan, suspected of being responsible for persecuting Chen Guangcheng.
Xu Feng: Head of Yinan county. Suspected of being responsible for forced population planning in Yinan, suspected of being responsible for persecuting Chen Guangcheng.
Hu Yong: Member of Yinan county Party Committee Standing Committee, Secretary of the Politics and Law Commission.
Zhou Shaohua: Deputy Secretary of the Yinan county Politics and Law Commission, suspected of directing the persecution of Chen Guangcheng, and alleged to have ordered many assaults on people.
Zhu Maochen: Director of Yinan county Public Security Bureau. Suspected of being primarily responsible for the unwarranted arrest of forced population planning victims in Yinan.
Guo Qi: Former Party Secretary of the Shuanghou township Party Committee. Suspected of actively persecuting Chen Guangcheng and others.
He Zuohai: Party Secretary of Shuanghou township Party Committee. Allegedly persecuted Chen Guangcheng even more severely than his predecessor.
Zhu Hongguo: Head of Shuanghou township.
Zhang Jian: Deputy Secretary of Shuanghou township Party Committee. Suspected of specifically directing the persecution of Chen Guangcheng and others, as he ordered beatings of people many times.
Yin Jikao: (female) Director of Shuanghou township Family Planning Office. Alleged leader of the assault on February 5.
Li Xiangan: Suspected of leading warden during Chen Guangcheng’s illegal custody. Allegedly personally led assaults and beatings many times.
Xia Fatian (pronunciation), Deputy Secretary of Shuanghou township, Yinan county.
Zhao Feng, Deputy Head of Shuanghou township, Yinan county.
Liu Shanyuan (pronunciation), leader of Yinan county public security bureau public security brigade.
(Translated by US Congressional-Executive Commission on China)