Environmental Rights Activist Released from Prison

Comments Off on Environmental Rights Activist Released from Prison

Authorities must impose no restrictions on freedom of movement and expression

Chinese Human Rights Defenders

Promoting human rights & empowering grassroots activism in China

Environmental Rights Activist Released but Declining any Contacts

Authorities must impose no restrictions on freedom of movement and expression

(Hangzhou, April 30, 2007) – Tan Kai (谭凯), an environmental rights activist, based in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, was released from prison several days ago after serving out his full term of one and a half years. The date of his release is unclear, as his father, who took phone calls, confirmed the release, but declined to make any comments. He said it was inconvenient for Tan to contact friends or make public comments at this point.

“Mr. Tan should never have gone to prison for aiding villagers detained for protesting about polluting factories,” said Renee Xia, CHRD international coordinator. We are concerned that local authorities have t imposed further restrictions on him now that he is home.”

On October 13, 2004, Tan, s a staff member at a computer repair company, , was assigned to bring in a computer with a malfunctioning screen for repairs. The computer belonged to an official at the Zhejiang’s Propaganda Department and Tan was instructed not to “touch” the machine’s stored files. In the process of restoring the device, Tan perused its contents and moved a copy to his personal laptop. He did not delete the original files.

Tan Kai was arrested on October 19, 2005, together with five other members of the now-banned environmental protection group, Green Watch, which he had helped form. The five others, Lai Jinbiao, Gao Haibing, Yang Jianming, Wu Yuanming and Qi Huiming were immediately released. Tan alone was held and then formally arrested. Police investigators said the files on the computer, which he was fixing, were secret documents and used this claim in the indictment against Tan. He was sentenced by a Hangzhou local court on August 11, 2006 on charges of “illegally obtaining state secrets.” The trial was closed.

CHRD requests the local authorities in Hangzhou, to respect Tan’s basic civil liberties, imposing no restrictions, on his freedom of movement and right to speak freely. Authorities should respect his right to defend human rights and engage in human rights activities without fear for his own safety and freedom.

For more information about the case of Tan Kai, please visit his case file on CHRD website (in Chinese): /Article/ShowClass.asp?ClassID=62

Back to Top