Yao Lifa and Lu Banglie, Two Activists Promoting Democracy at Grassroots, Disappear, Feared Detained by Police

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(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, October 10, 2007)- Yao Lifa (姚立法) and Lu Banglie (吕邦列), two activists promoting local democratic elections in Hubei Province, disappeared several days ago in two separate incidents. Yao is said to have been taken into custody by Hubei police.

Mr. Yao’s son, Yao Yao, who is visiting Columbia University, has not been able to reach his father on his cell phone, his only means of communication. This morning, October 10, Yao Yao obtained information from his father’s friends, who said that Yao Lifa was taken into custody by police on October 1 and has since been out of contact. Yao may be detained until the end of the 17th Party Congress on the 23rd of October, friends said. Yao Yao worries about his father’s safety.

Friends cannot locate the whereabouts of Lu Banglie either. His home phone seemed to have been set to the busy signal for the last several days, and there has been no answer from his cell phone.

Mr. Yao and Mr. Lu are outspoken critics of local election irregularities. They were both elected as representatives to the local People’s Congresses and then blocked from seeking re-election because of their activities promoting free and fair elections around the country. The two have become symbols of China’s grassroots push for democratic governance at rural-township level. Both have been constantly harassed and kept under surveillance by the police. <!–
D([“mb”,”u003cspan>&nbsp; u003c/span>u003c/p>nnnnu003cp>Yao, 49, from Qingjiangn City in Hubein Province, is a primary schoolnteacher by profession. He started running for elections in 1987 and was electednrepresentative to the People's Congress of Qingjiang City from 1999 to 2004. Inn2006, he published a book, u003ci>I Accuse: the Road to Politics by a Member of thenPeople's Congressu003c/i>u003cspan>, exposing thenpersecution of many independent candidates running for election to local People'snCongresses. The book was banned. u003c/span>u003cspan>Yaou003c/span>u003cspan> has been intimidated, harassed and summonednby the police for again running as an independent candidate in 2006. Mostnrecently, in September 2007, Yao and a large number of teachers demanded thenadministrative removal (u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-family:SimSun” langu003d”ZH-CN”>行政罢免u003c/span>u003cspan>)nof Yu Zhengsheng (u003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”font-family:SimSun” langu003d”ZH-CN”>俞正声u003c/span>), a u003cspan>member of the CCP Politburo and the Party Secretarynof Hubei Province. Because of his leadership in this action, u003c/span>u003cspan>Yaou003c/span>u003cspan> had been warned and summonedu003c/span> by thenpolice several times before his disappearance. This action, analysts say, may benthe real reason for his disappearance and is likely to lead to criminalndetention. u003c/p>nnnnu003cp>Lu, a farmer from Zhijiang in Hubein Province, was reportedly beaten on October 12, 2005 for trying tonassist Taishi villagers in Guangdong Provincenin impeaching a village chief suspected of corruption.&nbsp;&nbsp;u003c/p>nnnnu003cp>Click u003ca hrefu003d”/Article/Class9/Class10/200710/20071009115344_5927.html” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>hereu003c/a>nto read more about Yao and u003ca hrefu003d”/Article/Class9/Class13/200604/20060412003053_857.html” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>hereu003c/a>nto read more about Lu. u003c/p>nnnnnnu003cp>For more information, please contact CHRD at u003ca hrefu003d”mailto:networkcrd@gmail.com” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>networkcrd@gmail.com”,1]
);

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Yao, 49, from Qingjiang City in Hubei Province, is a primary school teacher by profession. He started running for elections in 1987 and was elected representative to the People’s Congress of Qingjiang City from 1999 to 2004. In 2006, he published a book, I Accuse: the Road to Politics by a Member of the People’s Congress, exposing the persecution of many independent candidates running for election to local People’s Congresses. The book was banned. Yao has been intimidated, harassed and summoned by the police for again running as an independent candidate in 2006. Most recently, in September 2007, Yao and a large number of teachers demanded the administrative removal (行政罢免) of Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声), a member of the CCP Politburo and the Party Secretary of Hubei Province. Because of his leadership in this action, Yao had been warned and summoned by the police several times before his disappearance. This action, analysts say, may be the real reason for his disappearance and is likely to lead to criminal detention.

Lu, a farmer from Zhijiang in Hubei Province, was reportedly beaten on October 12, 2005 for trying to assist Taishi villagers in Guangdong Province in impeaching a village chief suspected of corruption.

Click here to read more about Yao and here to read more about Lu.

For more information, please contact CHRD at networkcrd@gmail.com <!–
D([“mb”,”u003c/a> or Yao Yao at u003ca hrefu003d”mailto:mjmedia.yao@gmail.com” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>nmjmedia.yao@gmail.comu003c/a>,n1-212-280-7636, 1-917-294-5020u003c/p>nnnnu003cp>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;font-family:SimSun;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>______________________________u003cWBR>______________u003c/span>u003c/b>u003c/p>nnu003cp>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>Chinese Human Rights Defenders (u003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>CHRDu003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>nu003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>)nis a non-political, non-government network of grassroots and internationalnactivists promoting human rights protection and empowering grassroots activism innu003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>Chinau003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>.nu003cspan>&nbsp;u003c/span>u003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>CHRDu003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>'snobjective is to build NGO capacities, monitor rights development, and assistnvictims of abuse.u003cspan>&nbsp;&nbsp; u003c/span>u003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>CHRDu003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>nadvocates non-violent and rule of law approaches.&nbsp; u003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>CHRDu003c/span>u003c/b>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:10pt;color:rgb(51, 153, 102)”>nconducts investigation and research, provides information, organizes training,nsupports a program of small grants, and offers legal assistance.u003c/span>u003c/b>u003c/p>nnnnu003cp>u003cb>u003cspan styleu003d”font-size:9pt;color:blue”>To unsubscribe, please &quot;Reply&quot; to this mailnwith &quot;unsubscribe&quot; in the &quot;Subject&quot; line.u003c/span>u003c/b>u003c/p>nn”,0]
);

//–> or Yao Yao at mjmedia.yao@gmail.com, 1-212-280-7636, 1-917-294-5020

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