Detained Sichuan Villager Liu Shenggui Faces Criminal Trial

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Detained Sichuan Villager Liu Shenggui Faces Criminal Trial

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, September 4, 2007) – Liu Shenggui (刘升贵), a villager and leader in rural protest from Data Township, Yibin County in Sichuan Province, has been detained since being taken away by police from his home on June 27. According to Tianwang Human Rights Center, on July 27, the Yibin County Procuratorate released a notice arresting Liu for the crime of “disturbing social order.” The arrest notice was sent to Liu’s home on August 7. It is unclear whether any trial date has been set.

In 1995, local government in Data Township took over ownership of a power plant built and funded by the community forty years previously. The villagers claimed that they never received any compensation from the government and their electricity bills subsequently soared. Since the takeover, villagers have been involved in a lengthy conflict with the government, and several villagers involved in leading protests have been imprisoned. For example, in 2003, Xu Yuanzheng (徐元正) and Liu Beixing(刘北星)were sentenced to, respectively, four and three years in prison for “organizing mass disturbance of social order.” In June 2007, the villagers participated in an act of mass civil disobedience, refusing to pay hefty electricity bills, and clashed with police dispatched to pressure villagers to pay. Liu is one of the organizers of the act of civil disobedience who were detained after these clashes in June.

For more information, please view:

“Mass arrests to crush protests over power plant” /Article/Class9/Class15/200707/20070718063355_5047.html

“Formal Arrest Notice for Detained Protest Leader Liu Shenggui Issued” (in Chinese) /Article/Class18/Class66/200709/20070904233704_5562.html

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