China Human Rights Briefing July 1 – August 31, 2007Comments Off on China Human Rights Briefing July 1 – August 31, 2007
China Human Rights Briefing
A monthly newsletter of CRD
Special July and August Edition, 2007
The Chinese government pledged to improve human rights in its bit for hosting the 2008 Olympics, but reality indicates the contrary. This summer, the government intensified putting behind bars activists who openly criticized its inconsistent performance, linking human rights to the Olympics. On August 8, Beijing authorities marked the one-year countdown to the 2008 Olympics with national celebrations and fanfare. On the eve of the countdown, however, police placed a number of activists under house arrest and detained and forcibly returned many petitioners. Forty intellectuals and activists drafted a letter calling on the government to live up to the spirit of the Olympics. A number of those who signed the letter have been questioned and threatened by police. One activist collecting signatures for another open letter linking human rights to the Olympics is arrested.
The government is also tightening control of the media before the 17th Party Congress this fall. The CCP Propaganda Department requested news agencies to avoid “negative reporting” before the Congress and ordered news agencies to maintain discipline over their employees and exercise more content control. Internet writers such as Chen Shuqing, Lu Gengsong and He Weihua were respectively sentenced, detained, or put under psychiatric detention. A number of websites were closed down allegedly for their sensitive content. Virtual police in Jiangxi demonstrated the government’s determination to warn users to exercise self-censorship. Yet, the Chinese courts are to hear two lawsuits filed by internet users against internet companies complicit with the government in restricting online freedom.
We have a very interesting year ahead. As the countdown clock to the Olympics ticks, we will watch closely, counting the Chinese government’s scores in its human rights performance.
September 9, 2007
Table of Contents:
Freedom of Association and Assembly
Detention, Trial, Imprisonment and Torture
Harassment; Right to Travel Denied
Olympics-Related Actions and Human Rights Violations
Continued Crackdown on Petitioners
Citizens Taking Actions in Defense of Human Rights
Policies and Legal Regulations
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of Association and Assembly
Following protests, villagers in Data Township, Yibin County, Sichuan Province, clashed with police at the end of June. The clash started when police and officials came to enforce an order for villagers to pay for power from a plant they had built themselves four decades ago. Police raided the villages, arrested scores of people, and drove many into hiding. Over two weeks later, at least nine villagers were still being detained by the Yibin County Public Security Bureau, and may face criminal charges. Several others have been released. Details: Sichuan Villager Faces Criminal Trial.
CHRD received information from Tianwang Human Rights Center that China banned HIV/AIDS activist Li Dan and New York-based Asia Catalyst group from holding a meeting on Aug. 2-3 on the legal rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, which was scheduled to open in the Pearl River Hotel in Guangzhou. Authorities informed the organizers that the combined factors of HIV/AIDS and legal issues and foreigners’ participation were too sensitive.
Boxun and Radio Free Asian report that, on August 19 and 20, local authorities cancelled a capacity-building discussion forum in Henan Province. On August 16, Dongzhen-Nalan Cultural Communication Co. released a statement saying that because of pressure from Kaifeng City government, Henan Province, its AIDS project and its Dongzhen Community Activity Centre in Weishi County had to be suspended. According to Dongzhen-Nalan’s staff, police went to their office on August 15 and ordered them to close down as they were engaged in “illegal association”. The police removed items from the office, and told the staff to leave Kaifeng within two days or else there would be danger. This news comes from Boxun and Radio Free Asia. For more information, please see (in Chinese): https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/200708/20070816103031_5409.html
In 2005, Shanwei villagers paid a heavy price when they were bloodily suppressed after protesting against the confiscation of farm land for a power station. Recently, the power station erected poles for electricity cables, again on the villagers’ land, and this prompted protests by villagers on August 24. The authorities dispatched over a thousand armed police officers with their armoured vehicles to the village and fired teargas. Many villagers were injured and a group was taken away. The collarbone of one villager was broken by a stray bullet while another villager was seriously injured by the police and was sent to the hospital. For more details, please read CHRD statement (in Chinese): 广东汕尾东洲维权村民再遭镇压，维权网呼吁国际社会严重关注
Xiamen resident and Diaoyu Island activist Li Yiqiang was released on bail in early August, but was still likely to be charged over June demonstrations against plans for a toxic chemical plant in the city, according to VOA report. After his release, Li said he was “fine” but refused to reveal more details about his detention, including what questions he was asked and what charges he might face. Li, 39, was arrested on June 3 on suspicion of organizing the June 1 and 2 protests in Xiamen against construction of a PX chemical factory, the largest white-collar demonstration on the Mainland in years. See story in Chinese https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/200708/20070816232904_5416.html
Detention, Trial, Imprisonment and Torture
CHRD confirmed that reproductive and housing rights defender Mao Hengfeng was deprived of family visits for more than a year after being detained by police in May 2006. When family members were first allowed to visit her, on June 28, 2007, they found her health condition to have severely deteriorated. Mao Hengfeng told her family she was beaten and force-fed by authorities during her hunger strike. More details: Mao Hengfeng Tortured in Jail
Democracy activists Zhu Yufu was tried on charge of “beating police, and hindering public duty” and sentenced to two years in prison by the Shangcheng District court in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on July 10, 2007. Mr. Zhu’s son, Zhu Ang, was sentenced on the same charge to one year in jail with an 18-month delay of serving the term. About 40 friends and supporters who attended the trial reported that it was conducted unfairly. For more, see Zhu Yufu Sentenced to Two Years
CHRD has confirmed that Sun Buer, a key member of the Pan Blue Alliance in Wuhan, was taken away by police from his home at the end of May 2007 and he has been under incommunicado detention. Until now his family has received no information about his whereabouts. Another member in Hunan, Zhang Zilin, 21, was charged with “extortion and racketeering” on June 22, 2007. His lawyer Mo Shaoping and his assistant were first delayed but then finally granted permission to visit him at the Xupu Detention Center in a remote mountain town in Huaihua City, Hunan Province, on August 29. The lawyers said Zhang showed no sign of being mistreated, but police interrupted the one and a half hour visit several times. The case is sent to the local procuratorate, which will decide whether to proceed to court trial probably next month. For more details about Zhang Zilin’s case please visit CHRD case file (in Chinese): 张子霖
CHRD received information that Zhejiang activist Chi Jianwei told family he had been so seriously tortured at the detention center that he requested a transfer to prison before his appeal period ended. He told his family that he was beaten at the detention center when the family was finally allowed to visit him at prison on July 1. He said he was forced to confess after high-voltage lights were shined in his eyes, and police and inmates repeatedly kicked and beat him. Family found him covered with wounds. He said he was chained in heavy shackles which were normally used on death penalty inmates, which caused his legs to swell and he had difficulty walking. Chi was charged with “using an evil cult to hinder law enforcement” and sentenced to three years in prison on March 27, 2007. He was transferred to Zhejiang No. 2 Prison on May 31. Chi was detained on October 19, 2006. Police searched his home and claimed that they found Falun Gong publicity CDs. For details about Chi, visit CHRD case file (in Chinese): 池建伟
Journalist Sun Lin (a.k.a. Jie Mu) and wife He Fang were formally arrested by the Nanjing Public Security Bureau, Xuan Wu district branch office. They were charged with “storing explosive materials.” In a meeting with his lawyer, Mo Shaoping, Sun Lin denied the charge. Police claimed that they found weapon at Sun’s home, but his lawyer has not been allowed to see the evidence. However, from files he has reviewed, the lawyers only saw records that weapons were found at Sun’s relatives’ residence. The couple was detained on May 30. Sun reported for the U.S.-based news Web site Boxun News. On May 29, police raided the restaurant run by Sun’s wife and detained more than 20 people working there. For more information about Sun, visit CHRD case file (in Chinese): 孙林（孑木）
CHRD was informed that Cai Aimin was sentenced to one year and nine months to Re-Education through Labor camp for “disturbing public security.” Cai was detained on May 25 when he was assisting farmers traveling to Beijing to protest the corrupt local government which confiscated farm land without providing fair compensation. He is now serving his term at Zhengzhou No. 3 RTL camp. His family was informed in June but is not allowed to visit him. Cai was sent to RTL briefly in March 2007. For more details about this case, see CRD Protests Detention of Cai Aiming
According to a report by Min Sheng Guan Cha (民生观察), Chen Shuqing, a member of the Chinese Democratic Party Zhejiang Branch, was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” by the Intermediate People’s Court in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, on August 16. He was sentenced to four years of imprisonment. Chen said at the Court that he would appeal. For more information about this case, please visit CHRD case file (in Chinese): 陈树庆
CHRD confirmed reports that, on August 22, six farmers from Yilin county, Guangxi were sentenced to between 18 months and 3 years imprisonment for “attacking government and (communist) party departments”. From April to May, tens of thousands of villagers rioted over years of Guangxi government’s brutal enforcement of family planning policies. About 10 towns in Bobai County and Rong County residents protested against local official who over the years had forced abortion on women, demolished houses and imposed huge fines and arbitrary detention of family members who violated the policy. Villagers eventually torched government offices, turned over or burned government vehicles, and smashed family planning office signs.
Government sent fully-armed riot police to suppress the protests. During the violent police-citizen clashes, it is reported that at least five people were killed and several dozen were injured. However, authorities denied that there were any deaths and claim that most of the injured were police officers and officials. Police detained more than 200 people, some of whom were released. One of the sentenced farmers said he could not afford to appeal, since local lawyers would not defend them, but they are too poor to afford even accommodations for lawyer from other provinces to help.
CHRD obtained information that Shandong Legal Daily journalist Qi Chonghuai was detained two months ago and ill-treated in detention, according to his wife. Qi was taken away without any documentation on June 25 after police broke down the door of their rental house, searched the premises and confiscated the family’s bank book which only has 500 yuan balance. Qi’s detention was related to photos and an article he posted online which exposed local government corruption and the construction of expensive luxury government office buildings. Police verbally told Qi’s family that he is detained for suspected “economic crimes” and “fake journalism,” but they did not issue a warrant. Qi reported to his volunteer lawyer in August that in detention police slapped his face continuously 15-16 times to force him to confess to the crime. Qi has been journalist for 13 years, and has reported repeatedly on government and business corruption.
CHRD has obtained infromation that eleven residents of Guangan City, Sichuan province were sentenced to between 6 months and two and a half years imprisonment for “Disturbing social disorder” (Xun xin zi shi zui). Those sentenced include Ye Lihua and Shi Xianqing, whose names were listed in an official Xinhua report on August 14. The 11 residents had protested against a local hospital and government after the Guangan No. 2 Hospital refused to treat a three-year-old boy who accidentally swallowed pesticide in November 2006. The hospital told the family the boy could only be treated if the family paid 820 yuan, which the family did not have. By the time they gathered enough money, the boy had already died. The family demanded compensation from the hospital and relatives went to report the hospital to the municipal government but were beaten up by security guards. About 2000 residents, including school children, protested at the hospital. Locals reported that three people died and ten were injured in clashes with police who were sent in to quell the protests, but the real number of injuries is not clear.
Environmentalist Wu Lihong was sentenced to three years imprisonment on August 10. The court also ordered a fine of 3000 RMB and payment of 45,000 yuan of so-called “extorted money”. Only four family members were allowed in the court room, which was packed by more than 60 people who appeared to be court staff, while supporters, friends, and reporters were kept out. Wu, 39, was arrested on April 13, 2007, on suspicion of “extortion” by the Yixing City police. He was convicted by the Yixing City Court for the same crime. He was previously scheduled for a court hearing on June 12, but his lawyer noticed that Wu had injuries during visit. Wu responded that he was beaten at the detention center. For more see: Environmentalist Wu Lihong Sentenced to 3 years
Lu Gengsong, a Hangzhou-based freelance writer and human rights defender, was arrested at home by the local Public Security Bureau on August 24. Lu’s family later received two notices from the Bureau: one about taking Lu for questioning, and the other about his detention on suspicion of “inciting subversion of the state power”and “illegal possession of state secrets.” Lu’s wife, Wang Xue, was also taken into police custody for questioning as a “criminal suspect” for 3 hours. Lu formerly taught in the Zhejiang Higher Professional School of Public Security but was expelled in 1993 because of his participation in pro-democracy activities. For more information, please CHRD statement on the detention: Pro-democracy Activist Detained for “Inciting Subversion”
Harassment; Right to Travel Denied
Writer Liao Yiwu, who wrote a long poem titled “Massacre” about the 1989 crackdown, had his passport application rejected for the 9th time by the Fuling District Public Security Bureau of Chongqing Municipality on July 9. The police again claimed that his traveling overseas would “damage the country’s image and endanger state security”, citing Article 8 of People’s Republic of China Citizen Immigration law. Liao was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for writing poetry and making a documentary film about the crackdown of the pro-democracy movement in 1989. Liao submitted an administrative appeal with the help of his lawyer Teng Biao:
On July 7, police from the Beijing Public Security Bureau’s National Security unit took lawyer Gao Zhisheng and his daughter from their home to a hotel, where they were questioned for several hours. The questioning appeared to have to do with Gao’s involvement in handling a legal case. Police warned him not to take any lawyerly work. He was also told not to publish any articles or give interviews. Violations, police warned, would mean going back to prison. Police apparently took his daughter with him and questioned him in front of her in order to pressure him by way of threatening the family. For more information about Gao, see CHRD case file: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class18/Class57/Index.html
Environmental activist, Sun Xiaodi, who campaigned to expose uranium pollution in Gansu Province, was again summoned by the police on August 19 while seeking medical treatment in Beijing. He was warned by the police “not to release news to the outside world again, or else he would be immediately arrested.” Around the same time, Sun’s wife, who is not detained, was once again harassed by people dispatched by the local authorities. Sun protested his wife’s harassment to Gansu National Security. For more information on Sun’s situation, please visit:
On August 24, Yuan Weijing (袁伟静), the wife of Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚) who was imprisoned for exposing extensive violence in the implementation of the government’s population policy, was intercepted at the Beijing airport and prevented from leaving for the Philippines to receive the prestigious Magsaysay Award on behalf of her husband. Beijing security officers confiscated her passport and her belongings, and then handed her over to policemen from Shandong (her home province) who detained her and forcibly took her back to her village in Linyi, Shandong. When she protested, police used violence to restrain her. For more information, see CHRD statement: “Police bar wife of imprisoned rights defender from leaving China to collect award”
Shanghai human rights lawyer Zheng Enchong and his wife Jiang Meili were physically prevented by police from attending a church service at 6:30am Sunday, July ??. A brief clash took place when Zheng refused to obey. One policeman aggressively pushed and grabbed Zheng while around 8-10 officers from both Shanghai municipal and Zabei district bureaus watched nearby. Zheng went on a hunger straight for more then 10 hours protesting the police violation of his religious freedom and harassment over the past two months since his deprivation of political rights, which followed his three-year imprisonment, ended. For more information, read: Zheng Enchong detained at home
CHRD confirmed reports that, on August 1, cyber activist and writer He Weihua was forced to undergo psychiatric tests at the Hunan Provincial Mental Hospital, followed by one-month confined treatment at the Department of Mental Illness in the No. 2 Xiangya Hospital in Hunan. He is now commuted to the unit where he is allowed visits and move freely. His family has been too afraid to provide details of his arrest. On July 19, He Weihua was arrested in Shenzhen near the border to Hong Kong by police from Hunan. Police showed him a warrant for detaining him on suspicion of “inciting subversion against state power.” On July 23, he was taken back to Hunan, detained at the local detention center, where he suffered beating and other violent assault by guards or inmates. When his family agreed with the police to send him to psychiatric testing and treatment, it came as a relief. He accepted the arrangement in order to escape torture at the detention center. He Weihua had received a verbal warning on July from police that he must stop writing “nonsense articles” otherwise he would be put into a psychiatric hospital. He Weihua wrote and posted an article on the Internet in early July criticizing government’s economic polices as reflected in the local pork price hike. He predicted that the government would collapse over its meat prices. Earlier on June 22, Mr. He’s house was searched and his laptop computer confiscated due to his article criticizing child slave labor discovered in Shanxi brick kilns. In 2004, Mr. He was placed in a psychiatric hospital for one month for posting articles on the Internet.
Shandong judicial authorities refuse to renew the license of lawyer Li Jianqiang in June 2007. Authorities didn’t give any explanation verbally or in writing, making it impossible for Li to appeal against the decision. For more information, read Human rights lawyer denied license
On July 6, the Chinese paper Metropolitan Consumer’s Morning Post reported a kiln with child slave labor in Xinijing’s Changji Manasi County, Quwan village. The kiln lured migrant workers to the factory and then hired gang members to beat? them inside. The paper said 66 rural migrant workers including children were over-worked and mistreated. They were beaten if the managers were not satisfied with their work. On May 28, after an escaped worker reported to the police, 33 people were rescued. The fate of the others is unclear.
Olympics-Related Actions and Human Rights Violations
Since July 16, a group of villagers in suburban Beijing launched a sit-in protest in front of the Huihua Real Estate Development Corporation, a construction firm contracted to build the Olympic stadium. The protesters were originally residents of the Dadun village in Bejing’s Chaoyang district, the site of the Olympic sports compound. The construction company was created by the Residential Committee of Datun village. The villagers had complained about forced evictions, unfair land compensation, misuse of funds, and bad quality of resettlement housing, without results. The protest lasted for at least two weeks (UPDATE?). For more information, see http://www.msguancha.com/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=587
On July 23, around 300 people including Ye Guoqiang, the brother of imprisoned housing rights activist Ye Guozhu, and other activists demonstrated in front of the Beijing city government office. Protesters said that unfair compensation had reduced them to homelessness, poverty, or loss of livelihood. Some protesters tried to block traffic in order to draw attention, but they were immediately taken away by police. For more details about the protest see: http://www.msguancha.com/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=576
For more details about the “Olympic prisoner” Ye Guozhu, see: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class48/Class80/200705/20070531231431_4506.html
- Beijing Christian Xu Yonghai was put under house arrest by police from August 1-8 to prevent him from participating in human rights activities and meeting media. He launched a hunger strike for 4 days. On August 8, when he tried to go out to buy medicine, police brought him in for questioning for 7 hours, keeping him until the end of the day. June 4th victim and disability rights activist Qi Zhiyong was also put under house arrest for several days until the end of August 8. Activist Hu Jia, who has been under a new round of house arrest since May 18, also found more police surrounding his house.
- From midnight on August 5 until the early morning of August 6, Beijing police carried out a “clean-up” of Beijing southern train station where a lot of petitioners gather from across the country to seek justice. Police took away many people living in guest houses there and sent them out of Beijing. On August 8th, many police stood guard in front of Supreme People’s Court Letter and Visit Department, only allowing people go in but not allowing people to go out until the end of the day.
- On August 10, police and the city management bureau forcibly evicted 17 families who live next to the CCTV building. CCTV bought the area to expand the TV station to prepare for Olympics reporting. Residents refused to move because the compensation rate was far less than the land was worth.
- On August 1st, Wu Yinan, a 15-year-old girl from Ningxia accompanied her mother to Tiananmen Square to appeal against local corruption and the local village office that robbed their house. Wu was detained by police and forced back to her hometown, Huinong, while her mother escaped. In Huinong, police kept the girl in psychiatric detention in order to force her mother to return.
- A petitioner from Santai, Sichuan Province who traveled to Beijing was beaten, injuring his eye, and forced back to his hometown, where he was sentenced to two years Re-education Through Labor on July 27.
- On August 7, Jilin resident Wu Yuhua, came to Beijing to appeal on behalf of his son who was beaten and seriously injured by his school teacher. His appeal was not heard but he was detained by police and forced back to Jilin, where he was put under administrative detention for “disturbing traffic”.
- Song Suohua, from Shanxi, was sent back home from Beijing on August 10th. Song came to seek redress for her nephew who was beaten and disabled by county officials and for four other family members who were murdered in a dispute with local government over road building.
- On August 15, a Heilongjiang petitioner told CHRD there is an illegal detention center in the basement of the Mongolian hotel behind the Beijing Art Museum. Many petitioners were detained there in the period before the Olympic one year count down. Due to the terrible conditions of the place and dirty water, a few petitioners detained there died. The Heilongjiang petitioner escaped from there, but according to his experiences there are several similar “arbitrary jails” located throughout Beijing to detain petitioners.
With a year to go until the 2008 Olympic Games, 40 liberal scholars, writers, lawyers and activists from the mainland have signed a mildly worded letter entitled “One World, One Dream and Universal Human Rights”. The letter called for seven measures to be taken to “end human rights violations surrounding the preparations for the Olympics” including: protection of basic rights and liberties for all; the release of prisoners of conscience; the end of illegal detention and the interception of petitioners; protection of the rights of Olympic site workers; an end to discrimination against migrant laborers and the creation of a transparent accounting and auditing system for Olympics-related expenses.The signatories said that they made their appeal out of “constructive and good will to help the government make the Games a decent, respectable event for the world”. The open letter’s English and Italian text, with an update of signed supporters can be viewed at: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class15/200708/20070810050059_5310.html Those who want to sign the letter can write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chunlin (杨春林), a resident of Jiamusi City (佳木斯市), Heilongjiang Province, was detained on July 6 and formally arrested on suspicion of “subversion of state power” on August 3. According to Mr. Yang’s family, the main reason for his arrest was that he had been collecting signatures to endorse an open letter titled “We Want Human Rights, not the Olympics.” For more information, see CHRD statement:
CHRD has confirmed that the Beijing Municipal Lawyers Association, which has been entrusted by the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee to recruit volunteer lawyers to participate in Olympics-related, human rights protection activities, suddenly dissolved its “Committee on Constitutional and Human Rights Affairs” in mid July. In its place the association set up two new committees— the “special committee on legal affairs related to public welfare” and the “special committee on constitutional studies.” Some lawyers on that committee questioned the legality of the lawyers association’s dissolution process, vowing to fight the process. The Association was apparently ordered by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Judiciary Affairs to do so. CHRD sources said that the dissolution of the committee was mainly attributed to the fact that lawyers serving on the committee had repeatedly undertaken sensitive human rights cases, including cases involving the Falun Gong, and exerted considerable influence domestically.
Continued Crackdown on Petitioners
CHRD has observed that, as par of the operation to clean up Beijing for the 17th Party Congress and the Olympics, petitioners bringing their complaints from other parts of China to higher authorities in Beijing continued to be intercepted, detained and tortured. On August 15, a group of petitioners from Fushan Prefecture, Yantai City, Shandong Province were intercepted and arrested by the Beijing police. The day after the arrest, the Yantai City police sent them to the No. 610 base in their home prefecture, a detention center for Falun Gong practitioners.
Petitioners in other parts of China met a similar fate.
On August 17, about twenty petitioners from Jingzhou, Hubei Province were intercepted and later detained by Jingzhou officials stationed in Beijing. The petitioners went without food for over a day and one was hit in the face.
On August 25, 16 Shanghai petitioners on their way to a UN agency in Beijing were intercepted and reportedly tortured by Shanghai officers stationed in Beijing. When the petitioners were sent back to Shanghai, the police refused to examine their injuries.
On August 28, about 300 workers of a private construction company were on their way to protest against their employer in Tiananmen Square when they were intercepted by the police and sent away using six public buses.
Finally, on August 28 and 29, when about a thousand laid-off workers of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China set off to petition at the bank headquarters, they were met by a hundred officers from the Public Bureau and Tactical Response Team (特警). The petitioners were promptly packed into public buses and sent away to Majia House (马家楼), formally known as the Assistance and Management Center, Beijing Branch, a detention centre where most of the aforementioned petitioners found themselves detained before ever reaching the higher authorities they had sought out.
The government has also employed new methods to deter petitioners. In Jiangbei, Harbin City, there is a Petitioners Education Center where over 500 petitioners are detained and forced to attend “classes” on petitioning. Only those who have signed a statement promising not to petition again are released. The detainees have to pay for their classes. Meanwhile, the Jiangyong County, Hunan Province government has established a bonus system to encourage law enforcement departments to suppress petitioners’ rights. If the Public Security Bureau detains one petitioner, then the Bureau receives RMB 2000; for sending one petitioner to reform through labour camp, the reward is RMB 6000; and for investigating a petitioner’s criminal responsibility, RMB10,000.
In Zhengding County, Hebei Province, Underground Catholic Bishop, Jia Zhiguo, was arrested by the local police allegedly because he read a letter from Pope Benedict to his disciples. For more information, please visit (in Chinese):
Citizens Taking Actions in Defense of Human Rights
On August 5, the court convened for the first time in Shanghai to hear a suit by Du Dongjing, a Shanghai internet user, against China Telecom for blocking his website. Du had created a financial software website on a foreign server. Earlier this year, he noticed he could not log on to the website and later found out that the site was blocked by the internet ISP provider, China Telecom. On March 9, through his lawyer, Du sued China Telecom and the court accepted the case. Previously, lawsuits had been filed against internet companies for blocking websites, but courts refused to hear them. This is the first time that a court had agreed to hear such a case, giving activists hope that there would be more avenues for fighting against internet blocking. For more information, please visit (in Chinese): http://www.lawlee.net/archives/164.htm
According to a report by Chinese Youth Newspaper, on August 15, Beijing lawyer, Cheng Hai, from Zhenghai law firm sent a proposal signed by twenty-eight individuals to the Office of Legislative Affairs of the State Council (国务院法制办). The proposal argues that many of the household registry policies articulated in rules and documents issued by the Public Security Bureau actually violate China’s Household Registration Regulations (中华人民共和国户口登记条例) passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee in 1958. The Regulations are the only set of laws passed at the highest level that concern household registration. The proposal suggests that the government administration investigate these household registry policies during its on-going fifth comprehensive regulation clearing work. The proposal suggests that policies which violate the Regulations should be repealed or annulled. For more information, please visit (in Chinese):
CHRD has received information that, on August 16 Beijing lawyer, Liu Xiaoyuan, from Yitong law firm sued Sohu for violating its contract when it hid nine of his discussion articles written between June and August. Beijing Haidian District People’s Court has formally accepted to hear the case. This is the first time anyone has sued internet companies for hiding their articles.
On August 29, Lu Jun, the editor of a Hepatitis B online discussion forum, and Mr Ji, both from Wujiang City, Jiangsu Province, went to Hewlett-Packard’s China headquarters in Beijing to deliver a letter with five thousand signatures condemning a sub-contractor of HP for discrimination. The letter was an internet initiative started on August 5, concerning the firing of twenty-two Hepatitis-B carriers last November by Wujiang division of Cal-Comp Electronics after a physical examination. The letter demands that HP condemn Cal-Comp Electronics and urges the latter to improve its behavior towards Hepatitis-B Carriers. If the situation persists, the letter says, HP should sever its relationship with the sub-contractor.
For more information, please visit (in Chinese):
Zhang Qing, wife of activist Yang Maodong (also known as Guo Feixiong), wrote a letter to President Hu Jintao calling for his intervention in her husband’s case and to stop the practice of forced confession through torture and the use of criminal charges against activists like her husband. The letter said the charges against Guo were due to his work to help Taishi villagers defend their rights and his lobbying on behalf of human rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng. Full letter in Chinese: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class18/Class58/200708/20070814222119_5392.html
Policies and Legal Regulations
Official Xinhua news reported the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF) (Right? You originally had All China Federation of Women’s Association) has asked nine other state ministries including the Ministry of Public Security to join its push to adopt an “Opinion Regarding Prevention and Elimination of Domestic Violence,” which gives greater power to police in handling reported incidents of domestic violence. Independent members of Chinese civil society worry that police will have further unchecked power in yet another part of citizen’s lives, and police violence has been a far more serious problem than domestic violence. The Xinhua report said “Family violence is fast growing. The majority of vulnerable women choose to keep silent after they have suffered from domestic violence, or seek help only from women’s organizations. They do not know police could also protect them.” The ACWF reports that, in the past two years, it receives nearly 50,000 complaints about domestic violence, with a 70% increase each year, and about 40,000 families break up each year due to domestic violence. See: http://www.1010job.com/forum/ShowPost.asp?id=62438
Freedom of Expression
According to a report by Legal Daily, two virtual policemen and a virtual police guard post recently “appeared” on many government, e-commerce and news websites in Jiangxi. This is an initiative by the Jiangxi Province police to tackle obscenity and pornography on the internet. Currently, Jiangxi’s virtual police serve three main functions: to publicize internet laws and regulations, patrol the internet, and receive crime reports from internet users. The virtual police are available 24 hours a day and respond immediately to requests or reports of criminal activity from internet users. For more information, please visit (in Chinese):
According to an official report by Xinhua, on August 21, the China Internet Association issued a “Blog Service Self-regulation Convention,” encouraging bloggers to register using their real names, addresses, telephone numbers and postal information. Blog service providers are also requested to manage the “security” of the messages of those bloggers who use real names. As of the first half of 2007, there were 162 million Chinese internet users, and 31 million Chinese bloggers. About 100 million internet users often visit blogs.
For more information, please visit (in Chinese):
A Beijing-based independent publication China Development Brief was ordered to close down. Nick Young, a Briton, who edited the publication and the website for nearly 12 years, received an order from Beijing police to shut the online publication on July 4, 2007. The magazine was established in 1995 and served as an information exchange platform for Chinese and International NGOs. It covered issues concerning the environment, health, and labor. Beijing police said the magazine had violated social research regulations.
See CHRD Chinese bi-weekly e-news: Weiquan Dongtai, July 1-15: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/zgwq/200707/20070718091714_5049.html
CHRD learnt that on July 10, the independent publication Min Jian received notification from authorities to close down. The magazine was established in 2005 under the auspices of Zhongshan University’s Center for Citizen and Society Development Studies. The magazine has published nine issues devoted to issues of AIDS, migrant labor, community development, citizen education, etc. A well-known intellectual and activist, Liang Xiaoyan, was the chief editor. See CHRD Chinese bi-weekly e-news Weiquan Dongtai, July 1-15: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/zgwq/200707/20070718091714_5049.html
CHRD was informed that the website “Contemporary Chinese Poetry Forum” (Zhongguo dangdai shige luntan) was ordered by authorities to close down on July 11. The site, created in 2003, is edited by poet Lu Yang of Liaocheng city, Shandong province. Last April, it was shut down once because of a posting criticizing the education system. This time, the commercial server company told Mr. Lu that his forum had published articles with content concerning the 1989 student protests. See CHRD Chinese bi-weekly e-news Weiquan Dongtai, July 1-15: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/zgwq/200707/20070718091714_5049.html
CHRD has been informed that, on July 25, an online forum devoted to assisting children stay in school in Inner Mongolia (www.mglzaluus.com) was ordered to shut down. The online forum raises funds for school children from poor families. Authorities cited that the server provider did not have a specific BBS license. The website was set up in September 2004 and it has helped 99 students to stay in school and has more than 2000 members. The closure of the website is believed to be linked to its expanding membership. See CHRD Chinese bi-weekly e-news Weiquan Dongtai, July 16-31: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/zgwq/200708/20070802233916_5263.html
On July 30, a website posting complaints of official corruption Zhonghua Shenzheng Wang was shut down. Visitors could not locate the site. This was believed to be due to a recent posting about the mistreatment of a Shanghai policeman by his employer and his persistence in seeking accountability, which was reported by Hong Kong media. The website was opened almost 3 years ago: http://www.shenzheng.cn For more details see http://www.msguancha.com/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=599, also CHRD Chinese bi-weekly e-news Weiquan Dongtai, July 16-31: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/zgwq/200708/20070802233916_5263.html
In July, the state controlled Beijing TV’s “pork bun fraud” was the latest excuse for the Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department to tighten control on news reporting. The Department issued ordinances requesting news agencies to avoid “negative reporting” before the 17th Party Congress and ordering the news agencies to clean up its employees and exercise more content control. CCTV’s “life channel” feature program “Degree of Transparency” in June reported a food processing factory that stuffed pork buns with shredded cardboard, with video footage taped by a hidden camera. Media authorities denounced the program as being faked. The program’s director, producer and the reporter were dismissed or given administrative punishment. The journalist who reported the story, Zi Beijia, was a temporary hire, and was detained for criminal investigation and then, within one month, put on trial and sentenced to one-year in prison for fabricating news. Temporary reporters and summer intern programs for the CCTV stations were dismissed or cancelled. See CHRD Chinese bi-weekly e-news Weiquan Dongtai, July 16-31: https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/zgwq/200708/20070802233916_5263.html
CHRB editors: Su Hui, Wang Songlian, Zhong Yan
Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) is a non-political, non-government network of grassroots and international activists promoting human rights protection and empowering grassroots activism in China. CHRD’s objective is to build NGO capacities, monitor rights development, and assist victims of abuse. CHRD advocates non-violent and rule of law approaches. CHRD conducts investigation and research, provides information, organizes training, supports a program of small grants, and offers legal assistance.