Submission to UN on Lü Gengsong – October 12, 2007

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Questionnaire completed by wife, Alleging Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of Lü Gengsong

To: The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

 

I. IDENTITY

1. Family name: Lü

2. First name: Gengsong

3. Sex Male

4. Birth date or age (at the time of detention): January 7, 1956

5. Nationality/Nationalities: People’s Republic of China

6. (a) Identity document (if any): Identification card

(b) Issued by: Hangzhou Public Security Bureau, Xihu Branch

7. Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention):

Lü Gengsong has been an Internet freelance writer since he lost his university job, who wrote articles that are critical of government policies, abuses of human rights, and the political system. He is also an activist, who tried to assist fellow activists and victims of official abuses. He is also closely associated with China Democracy Party.

Lü Gengsong graduated from Hangzhou University (now Zhejiang University) with a BA in history in 1983. Mr. Lü formerly taught in the Zhejiang Higher Professional School of Public Security but was expelled in 1993 because of his participation in pro-democracy activities. He is now a freelance writer and he authored the book A History of CCP Corrupt Officials (HK, Culture and Arts Studio, 2000) and many political commentaries.

He frequently posted news articles reporting official abuses and rights violations on the internet. A few days before his own detention, he reported on the confinement in a psychiatric hospital of fellow activist He Weihua for his articles on the social consequences of price inflation in the meat market. Mr. Lü had also attended the criminal trial of housing rights activist Yang Yunbiao on August 23, the day before he was detained.

II. Arrest

1. Date of arrest: Formal arrest on Sept 30, 2007

2. Place of arrest (as detailed as possible): At Mr. Lü’s home.

3. Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out:

Hangzhou Public Security Bureau, Xihu Branch

4. Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority?

Yes. Police produced a “Notice for Taking In for Questioning on Criminal Suspicions” (xing shi chuan huan tong zhi), which was dated August 23, 2007

5. Authority who issued the warrant or decision:

Hangzhou Public Security Bureau, Xihu Branch

6. Relevant legislation applied (if known):

PRC Criminal Procedural Law, PRC Criminal Code

III. Detention

1. Date of detention: Aug 24, 2007

2. Duration of detention (if not known, probable duration):

37 days ( Article 69, PRC Criminal Procedural Law allows 37 days of criminal detention before the local procuratorate decides whether to issue formal arrest order with criminal charge, or to release the detainee)

3. Forces holding the detainee under custody:

Hangzhou Public Security Bureau, Xihu Branch

4. Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention):

Hangzhou Public Security Bureau, Xihu Branch, Detention Center

5. Authorities that ordered the detention:

Public Security Bureau, Xihu Branch

6. Reasons for the detention imputed by the authorities:

On suspicion of “inciting subversion against state power”, and “illegal possession of state secrets.” The second charge was dropped when he was formally arrested.

7. Relevant legislation applied (if known):

PRC Criminal Procedural Law, the PRC Criminal Code

IV. Describe the circumstances of the arrest and/or the detention and indicate precise reasons why you consider the arrest or detention to the arbitrary:

According to the WGAD’s methods, deprivation of a person’s liberty is “arbitrary,” if the case falls into at least one or all of three categories (http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/detention/complaint):

A) When it is clearly impossible to invoke any legal basis justifying the deprivation of liberty (as when a person is kept in detention after the completion of his sentence or despite an amnesty law applicable to him)(Category I);

B) When the deprivation of liberty results from the exercise of the rights or freedoms guaranteed by articles 7, 13, 14, 18, 19, 10 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, insofar as States parties are concerned, by articles 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Category II); (i.e., rights to free opinion, speech, expression, press, assembly, association, and demonstration, etc.)

C) When the total or partial non-observance of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial, spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the relevant international instruments accepted by the States concerned, is of such gravity as to give the deprivation of liberty an arbitrary character (Category III).

The arrest/detention of Lü Gengsong is arbitrary because it violates at least B and C, possibly A also.

Mr. Lu was arrested and has been detained as a result of exercising his right to freedom of expression and association. Mr. Lü wrote internet articles critical of government policies and abuses of human rights. His speech and expression of political views are accused of suspicious subversive acts against the state power, which is a political crime.

Ms. Wang, Mr. Lü’s wife, who was also taken in to the police station for questioning as a “criminal suspect” for 3 hours on the say of his detention, said police had told her that the main reason for her husband’s detention had been his articles “attacking the Communist Party,” which meant he committed the crime of “inciting subversion of the state.”

Mr. Lü’s arrest and detention also violated Category C because he has been deprived of the right to legal council since he and his family are barred by police from hiring a lawyer for him and the family-authorized lawyers have not been permitted to visit him at the detention facility.

Mr. Lü’s detention possibly also violates Category A. Lü Gengsong is charged with “suspicion on inciting subversion of state power.” The legal provisions in the PRC Criminal Procedural Law (Article 61) and PRC Criminal Law (Article 105) justifying this pattern of persecution for speech are unconstitutional. There is also no legal justification for jailing Mr. Lü for suspicion on such a crime because he was not involved in any activities to incite the public to overthrow the Chinese state.

V. Indicate internal steps, including domestic remedies, taken especially with the legal and administrative authorities, particularly for the purpose of establishing the detention and, as appropriate, their results or the reasons why such steps or remedies were ineffective or why they were not taken

Two rescue remedies have been taken: public appeal and legal action.

1. Lü’s wife Wang Xue’e and their daughter Lü Piaoqi have both been proactive in reaching out for help and have provided abundant details about Lü’s case. Three of Lu’s friends in Hangzhou went to the local police station and queried the police of state security. On August 28, three days after Lu was detained, more than 1,000 intellectuals and human rights defenders all over the world petitioned the 17th CCP Congress (to be held in October) for release of Lü as well as the rectification of the corrupted legal system. Lü’s friends in Beijing arranged for Lü Piaoqi to meet French AFP journalists and the human rights officer from the British Embassy to gain international support.

2. On August 29, Lü Piaoqi traveled to Beijing to sign letter of attorney to authorize lawyer Mo Shaoping. On September 3, Wang Xue’e went to Hangzhou Public Security Bureau Xihu Branch to apply for bail pending trial, but was rejected.

3. Wang Xue’e has been visiting the Public Security Bureau nearly every other day to query the police officers who handle Lu’s case about the development of the case, passing on relevant information promptly to the media and giving interviews. Right before the 17th CCP Congress, she petitioned the Party leaders for release of Lu. Meanwhile, Lü’s friends in Hangzhou are planning to organize more intensified protests such as applying for demonstrations.

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