“Olympics Security” Crackdown Sends Veteran Democracy Activist to Criminal Detention

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“Olympics Security” Crackdown Sends Veteran Democracy Activist to Criminal Detention

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, August 4, 2008) – CHRD has learned that Wang Rongqing (王荣清), a member of China Democracy Party Zhejiang Branch, has been formally arrested on “inciting subversion of state power”. [Please note this correction: Wang was formally arrested on “subversion of state power”, not “inciting subversion of state power”. — CHRD on January 7, 2009]

On July 31, Wang’s brother received the formal arrest warrant from the Hangzhou City Public Security Bureau (PSB). Wang was criminally detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” on June 25.

“Mr. Wang is yet another victim of the nation-wide crackdown on activists and dissidents in the name of ‘Olympics security’,” said a CHRD researcher who has followed the case.

Wang, 65, is a veteran democracy activist whose activism can be traced back to pro-democracy publications in the late 1970s. For his activism, Wang has been repeatedly harassed and detained by police. This is the fourth time Wang has been detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”, but the first time he has been formally charged with the crime. In 2004, Wang was detained for two weeks after he drafted and submitted to the Chinese government a Draft Law on Chinese Political Parties. In 2005, he was detained for six months for organizing the China Democracy Party Zhejiang Branch. In August 2006, Wang was again detained for a month for writing articles criticizing the repression of religious freedom in Zhejiang Province.

CHRD asks the chairman of the International Olympics Committee, Jacques Rogge, who is in Beijing, U.S. President George W. Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who are due to attend the August 8 opening ceremony of the Games, to press China to keep its Olympics commitment to promote human rights, which should include (but be not limited to) releasing Wang and others recently incarcerated for exercising basic human rights. The Chinese government must stop persecuting people solely for expressing their dissent or engaging in peaceful activities in the promotion of democracy and human rights.

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