Submission to UN on Wang Rongqing – August 25, 2008Comments Off on Submission to UN on Wang Rongqing – August 25, 2008
Questionnaire completed by Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Alleging Arbitrary Arrest or Detention of Wang Rongqing, citizen of People’s Republic of China
To: The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
1. Family name: Wang (王)
2. First name: Rongqing (荣清)
3. Sex: Male
4. Birth date or age (at the time of detention): 65
5. Nationality/Nationalities: People’s Republic of China
6. (a) Identity document (if any): Identification card
7. Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention):
Wang is a member of China Democracy Party Zhejiang Branch. Wang 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
1. Date of arrest: Wang was apprehended on June 25.
2. Place of arrest (as detailed as possible):
At 8 p.m. on June 25, a number of local and National Security police from Hangzhou City Public Security Bureau (PSB) apprehended Wang at his home. They also searched his home and took some items away
3. Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out:
Hangzhou City Public Security Bureau in Zhejiang Province
4. Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority?
5. Authority who issued the warrant or decision:
No warrant was issued when Wang was first apprehended.
1. Date of detention: Wang was formally detained on June 31, 2008 and formally arrested on July 31
2. Duration of detention (if not known, probable duration):
Wang has been detained for 2 months (between June 25 and August 25 (the time of writing))
3. Forces holding the detainee under custody:
Hangzhou Public Security Bureau (PSB) in Zhejiang Province
4. Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention):
Hangzhou City Jianggan District Detention Center
5. Authorities that ordered the detention:
6. Reasons for the detention imputed by the authorities:
Wang has been detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”
7. Relevant legislation applied (if known):
“Inciting subversion of state power”, a crime stipulated by Article 105(2) in the Chinese 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:
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 Wang Rongqing is arbitrary because it violates at least A and B.
Wang’s detention violates Category A because he has been detained as a result of exercising his right to freedom of association. Wang is a member of China Democracy Party Zhejiang Branch. Wang 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. In late May 2008, following the Sichuan earthquake, Wang together with other members of China Democracy Party Zhejiang Branch were summoned and warned against “meeting friends for tea” to discuss the relief effort. Wang’s arrest is strongly believed to be related to his activities associated with the China Democracy Party, as another member of the Party, Xie Changfa, was also formally detained on identical charges of “inciting subversion of state power” around the same time on June 25.
Wang’s detention also violates Category A. Wang is incarcerated for “inciting subversion of state power,” a crime frequently evoked to punish free expression (see CHRD report, Inciting Subversion of State Power”:A Legal Tool for Prosecuting Free Speech in China, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class11/200801/20080108225721_7032.html). The legal provisions in the PRC Criminal Procedural Law (Article 61) and PRC Criminal Law (Article 105) justifying this pattern of persecution of speech violate Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression.
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
No remedies have yet been taken.
Most of Wang’s friends are members of China Democracy Party whom have either been detained or under tight residential surveillance and monitoring during the Olympics. They have been unable to mobilize or to act to seek Wang’s release.
Wang’s brother, Wang Rongyue (王荣跃) believes that his brother has been detained for political reasons and thus there is nothing (including the hiring of a lawyer) can be done to secure Wang Rongqing’s release. However, according to a lawyer in touch with the family, Wang’s family is too intimidated by the police to hire a lawyer for Wang Rongqing. Reportedly, the Hangzhou authorities have already appointed a defense lawyer to him.