China Human Rights Briefing October 16-31, 2008

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China Human Rights Briefing

Reporting human rights development from the grassroots

October 16-31, 2008

Please click here for the full China Human Rights Briefing in PDF


· CHRD congratulates the imprisoned human rights defender, Hu Jia, for being awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament. The European Parliament recognized Hu for his contribution to the fight for human rights despite a warning from the Chinese government that the award would “damage EU-China relations”. CHRD urges the international community to continue supporting China’s human rights defenders and speaking out against China’s human rights violations, especially now during the financial crisis when there is a great temptation to look the other way in exchange for stronger trade ties with China.

· In the past two weeks, CHRD has documented several cases in an alarming trend of local government and police tacitly approving, if not actively colluding with, the actions of developers to forcibly and violently evict individuals from their property, demolish their homes, and appropriate their land without adequate compensation.

Freedom of Association

Guizhou Activists Warned against Organizing Human Rights Forum on 60th Anniversary of UDHR

On October 22, a group of activists from Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, were warned against organizing “the Fourth Guizhou Citizens’ Forum on Human Rights” on December 10, the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Guizhou police told the activists that the event is “illegal” and that the invitations they had sent out to about two-hundred participants are similarly “illegal”. (CHRD)[i]

Lecturer Sent to Re-education through Labor for Planning to Meet Elderly Nationalists

CHRD learned on October 28 that Zhu Juru (朱菊如), a lecturer at Xinyu City College in Jiangxi Province, was sent to one year of Re-education through Labor (RTL) by Xinyu RTL Management Committee reportedly for “inciting subversion of state power”. Zhu is currently held at Jiangxi No. 2 RTL camp in Bajing Township, Gao’an City, Jiangxi Province. On August 9, Zhu was taken into custody by Xinyu police when he was preparing to visit a group of elderly Nationalists to discuss issues such as open competition between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party. (CHRD)[ii]

Persecution and harassment of rights activists

Husband Barred from Visiting Detained Activist Liu Jie

On October 20, the husband of Liu Jie (刘杰), a human rights defender currently serving 18 months of Re-education through Labor (RTL), was barred from visiting her on a day scheduled for family visits at the Harbin Drug Rehabilitation Center. The Center told Liu’s husband that Liu would not be allowed to see him because she was being punished for “disobedience”. (CHRD)[iii]

Detained Petitioner-Activist Zheng Dajing Needs Urgent Treatment

On October 8, Zheng Dajing (郑大靖), a petitioner and human rights defender from Hubei Province detained in an illegal “black jail” since September 2007, was finally granted access to medical attention. He was diagnosed with a plethora of illnesses—swelling of the stomach, esophagitis due to acid reflux and duodenal ulcer. The physical examination was done at Zheng’s expense, so he was unable to afford a thorough check-up to assess the extent of damage to his head and cbhest, areas that were reportedly injured during repeated beatings at the jail. (CHRD)[iv]

Detained Writer Chen Daojun to be Tried on November 5

On October 30, the lawyer of Chen Daojun (陈道军), an internet writer from Chengdu who has been detained since May 9, reported that Chen is to be tried for “inciting secession” by Chengdu City Intermediate People’s Court at 11 a.m. on November 5. (CHRD)[v]

Democracy Activist Yao Lifa Disappeared, Feared Detained

On October 31, Yao Lifa (姚立法), a democracy activist from Qianjiang City in Hubei Province, disappeared on his way to work. Yao’s wife received a text message from Yao, “Take care.” Since then nobody has been able to contact him. Village elections are underway in many parts of Qianjiang, and villagers have been petitioning about local government violations of election procedures. Yao has been active in providing legal advice to the villagers and exposing violations. It is believed that Yao may have been taken into custody to prevent him from further aiding the villagers. (CHRD)[vi]

“Black Jails:” China’s Growing Network of Illegal and Secret Detention Facilities

On October 19, CHRD published a press release on “black jails”, a year after releasing the report, “Black Jails” in the Host City of the “Open Olympics,” in October 2007. CHRD finds that the black jails documented in the 2007 report are still in operation while others have since sprung up in the capital and elsewhere in the country. (CHRD)[vii]

Persecution and harassment of petitioners

Petitioners Kidnapped and Forcibly Returned to Hometown

In the morning of October 17, Qing Zhao (卿昭) and Jiang (蒋老师), two former teachers from Yongzhou City in Hunan Province, were kidnapped in front of the State Bureau for Letters and Visits in Beijing. Together with Xie Fulin (谢福林), a petitioner from Changsha City in Hunan Province, the three had gone to the State Bureau to prepare for collective petitioning by a group of Hunan petitioners in the afternoon. Qing and Jiang were dragged into a van by the interceptors, believed to be staff of the Yongzhou City Ministry of Education, and driven away. Xie escaped. Qing and Jiang were forcibly returned to Yongzhou City and are now under residential surveillance. (CHRD)[viii]

Petitioner Wages Legal Battle upon Release from RTL Camp

On September 18, Zhang Shufeng (张淑凤), a petitioner from Yinhe Township, Shunyi District, Beijing, was released after serving seven months in RTL Camp. Zhang continues to be closely followed and monitored by security guards at her village and policemen from Renhe Police Station in Shunyi District.

On September 29, Beijing Xuanwu District Court heard the case of Zhang against the Beijing RTL Management Committee for the decision to send her to RTL. However, the court adjourned ten minutes after the hearing started when the defense lawyer complained that the case is outside of the bounds of an administrative lawsuit. It is unclear when the court will reconvene.

In October 2007, Zhang was sent to RTL for “spreading false information on the internet”, but was permitted to serve the sentence outside of the RTL camp. However, on March 11, Zhang was sent to an RTL camp to serve the remaining term for petitioning during the “Two Meetings”[ix] in March. (CRLW)[x]

Teacher’s Representative Detained for Petitioning

Between October 7 and 14, Xiong Daoxin (熊道信), a teachers from a citizen-managed school who had been dismissed by Zhouji Office, Qianjiang City, Hubei Province, was detained in a local “black jail”. With other dismissed teachers from citizen-managed schools, Xiong had been planning to petition in Beijing during the third Plenary Session of the 17th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee between October 9 and 12. However, staff from Zhouji Office discovered the plan, kidnapped Xiong and detained him at a hostel managed by a factory in Qianjiang City. Xiong was released after he signed an agreement promising that he will not petition in Beijing.

On October 24, Xiong was threatened by the Assistant Chief of the Qianjiang National Security Police that if he continued to petition and receive foreign interviews, the government would withdraw the RMB 100 living allowance given to all dismissed teachers in Qianjiang. (CHRD)[xi]

Petitioner Kidnapped on Way to Apply to Protest during Para-Olympics

CHRD learned on October 26 that Huang Liuhong (黄柳红), a petitioner from Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was kidnapped in Beijing on September 11 on her way to apply to protest during the Para-Olympics. Huang and three family members, including a four-month-old boy, have since been detained in separate locations in Liuzhou. Liuzhou government officials deny knowledge of the whereabouts of Huang’s family. (CHRD)[xii]

Petitioner Detained for 56 Days during Olympics

CHRD learned on October 30 that Ye Jin’e (叶金娥), a victim of forced land appropriation from Zhuantang Township in Xihu District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, was illegally detained in an “education class” for fifty-six days to prevent her from petitioning during the Olympics. On July 26, Ye was kidnapped by a number of individuals including local officials and plainclothes policemen from Zhuantang Township. She was first held at the Xihu District Party Academy, where dozens of other petitioners were also held, then Zhejiang Provincial Academy of Forestry Science. On August 1, Ye was force-fed after she went on a hunger strike to protest her illegal detention. Ye was guarded by two female guards and barred from leaving her room during her detention. Ye was released on September 20. (CRLW)[xiii]

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Family Beaten by Urban Inspection Officers for Resisting Forcible Demolition

On October 20, Jiang Dayou (蒋大友) and his family from Committee 2, Kongjiapo Residential Committee, Beijiao Office, Suizhou City, Hubei Province were beaten by a group of Urban Inspection Officers (chengguan) for resisting forcible demolition of their home. Jiang was given the permission by the village committee and residential committee earlier this month to renovate his house Without prior notice, about sixty Urban Inspection Officers from Suizhou City came to demolish the new addition to Jiang’s house, which they claim violates building regulations. Jiang and family were beaten when they attempted to stop the demolition. (CRLW)[xiv]

Forcible Evictions and Land Appropriation

More Forced Evictions in Nanhai City

On October 23, the farm of Liang Weitang (梁伟棠), a villager at South Village within the jurisdiction of Guicheng Street Office, Nanhai City, Foshan County, Guangdong Province, was forcibly appropriated by the local government. About thirty policemen, staff at Guicheng Street Office, hired thugs and demolition workers demolished the farm. The ten mu (0.67 hectares) of farmland Liang rented from the local government was seized without Liang’s approval. The government did not negotiate with Liang about appropriate compensation. The local government in Nanhai County is notorious, having reportedly seized about 18,000 mu (1,200 hectares) of farmland from villagers without compensation in recent years. Villagers who have resisted the forced land appropriation have been persecuted and even imprisoned by local authorities. (CHRD)[xv]

Victim of Forced Eviction Released following 68 Days in Black Jail

CHRD learned on October 26 that Jin Guangming (靳光明), a victim of forced demolition and a librarian from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, was released on September 25 following sixty-eight days of illegal detention in a local black jail. At the black jail, which was fitted with iron bars and doors, Jin was coerced by the developers and members of the National Security Unit under Wuhan City PSB into signing an agreement accepting inadequate compensation for his home. Jin reported the illegal detention to Wuhan City PSB, which has not yet taken any action to hold the culprits accountable. (CRLW)[xvi]

Villagers Injured by Thugs Reportedly Dispatched by Logging Company

At around 10 p.m. on October 24, between thirty and forty thugs armed with knives and shotguns went into a village at Daiduan Township, Tonggu County, Yichun City in Jiangxi Province and attacked unarmed villagers, injuring twelve. Earlier in the day, the villagers had barred lumberjacks from entering the village’s forest. The lumberjacks were from Luhai Logging Company which reportedly bought the forest at a low price from the county government without the villagers’ consent. It is believed that the thugs were sent by Luhai Logging Company. During the attack, the villagers called the local police, whose station is about a half hour’s drive from the village, but the police did not arrive until five hours later, by which time the attackers had left. Reportedly, the provincial and city governments have initiated an investigation into the attack and taken into custody a number of individuals who participated. (CHRD)[xvii]

Activist and Local People’s Congress Representative Severely Beaten by Unidentified Men

CHRD learned on October 23 that Luo Wenyi (罗文义), an activist and member of the county People’s Congress from Jinshu Village, Zhaoshan Township, Yuetang District, Xiangtan City in Hunan Province, was beaten by thugs on October 3. Around 1 a.m., Luo was sleeping when half a dozen thugs broke into his home, tore down his electric cables and beat him. Luo believes that he was attacked for representing the villagers in a complaint to higher authorities about the village cadres’ appropriation of funds intended to compensate villagers for land forcibly appropriated by the central government. (CHRD)[xviii]

Citizen Rights Defense Actions

Over One-Thousand Individuals Sign Letter Calling for Yang Jia’s Amnesty

On October 20, forty-four well-known individuals including artist Ai Weiwei (艾未未), Mao Yushi (茅于轼) and legal activist Yu Haocheng (于浩成) signed a public petition calling for the amnesty of Yang Jia (杨佳), a Shanghai resident sentenced to death for murdering six Shanghai policemen. Yang’s case has received wide domestic attention, as it is believed that he murdered the policemen after he was tortured while in police custody more than a year ago and when his subsequent attempts to obtain compensation and hold the torturers accountable were ignored. Over one-thousand individuals signed the petition within days of its release. (CHRD)[xix]

CHRD Congratulates Hu Jia for Sakharov Prize

On October 24, CHRD issued a statement congratulating the imprisoned human rights defender, Hu Jia (胡佳), for being awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. CHRD also expressed gratitude to the European Parliament and the European Union for their long-standing support of the promotion of human rights in China. (CHRD)[xx]

Beijing Lawyer Sues Beijing Municipal Frontier Inspection Station

On October 22, Beijing Chaoyang District People’s Court convened to hear the administrative lawsuit brought by Teng Biao (滕彪), a Beijing-based human rights scholar, against the Beijing Municipal Frontier Inspection Station. On January 18, Teng was barred from departing the Beijing Airport for a legal conference abroad. Teng’s passport was also confiscated. Teng filed an administrative review of the incident, but the Beijing Frontier Inspection Station upheld the decision on May 13. (CHRD)[xxi]

Policy/Regulation Watch

Beijing Internet Cafes Mandated to Photograph Customers

According to an article by Xinhua Net dated October 16, customers at about 1,500 internet cafes in Beijing are now required to be photographed and have their identification cards scanned when they first use the cafes’ services. The information is then forwarded to the General Brigade of Cultural Market Administrative Law Enforcement (wenhua shichang xingzheng zhifa zongdui) for its records. All internet cafes in Beijing are to be equipped with the devices needed to perform this operation by the end of the year. (Xinhua Net)[xxii]

Drafted Amendments to State Compensation Law to Include Compensation for Mental Injury

On October 23, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee deliberated on drafted amendments to the State Compensation Law. The draft outlines compensation for mental injury, which the current State Compensation Law, in effect since 1995, fails to acknowledge. It only recognizes and outlines compensation for physical injury as a result of state action. In addition, the amendments will also remove the requirement that the government unit responsible acknowledge its own wrongdoing before compensation can be processed. The amendments will also include a provision stating that if the government unit responsible for wrongdoing, which is also the government unit responsible for delivering the compensation, fails to do so, the victim can directly apply to the Court’s Compensation Committee for compensation. (Nanfang Daily and Guangming Daily)[xxiii]

Editor: Wang Songlian

[i] CHRD, “Training on Human Rights Can Only Organized by Officials, but Not by Civil Society? <“人权知识培训班”并非只准官办,而不能民办!?>”, October 29, 2008,

[ii] CHRD, “Jiangxi Xinyu Democracy Activist Zhu Juru Sent to Re-education through Labor <江西新余民主活动人士朱菊如被劳教>”, October 28, 2008,

[iii] CHRD, “Petitioner and Activist Liu Jie Barred from Family Visit for Disobedience <上访维权代表刘杰被劳教所以不听话而禁止与亲人会见>”, October 21, 2008,

[iv] CHRD, “Zheng Dajing Seriously Ill and Requires Urgent Treatment in Black Jail” <郑大靖在黑监狱中病重急需治疗>”, October 21, 2008,

[v] CHRD, “News: Chen Daojun to be Tried at Chengdu City Intermediate People’s Court <快讯:陈道军案开庭地点改为成都市中级法院>”, October 30, 2008,

[vi] CHRD, “Urgent News: Election Expert Yao Lifa Has Lost Contact with the Outside World”, November 1, 2008,

[vii] CHRD, “‘Black Jails:’ China’s Growing Network of Illegal and Secret Detention Facilities”, October 19, 2008,

[viii] CHRD, “Hunan Petitioner Qing Zhao et. al. Kidnapped at the State Bureau of Letters and Visits <湖南访民卿昭等被从国家信访局绑架走>”, October 17, 2008,

[ix] The “Two Meetings” refer to the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in March.

[x] CHRD, “The Hearing of Zhang Shufeng VS Beijing Municipal RTL Management Committee Lasted Less than 10 Minutes <张淑凤告北京市劳教管理委员会案庭审不足十分钟>”, October 29, 2008, CRLW, “Beijing Zhang Shufeng Monitored upon Release <北京张淑凤获释回家即遭监控>”, October 21, 2008,

[xi] CHRD, “Hubei Qianjiang Citizen-Managed School Teachers’ Representative Detained for Seven Days for Preparing to Petition <湖北潜江民师代表准备上访被关7>”, October 23, 2008,; CHRD, “Hubei Qianjiang Citizen-Managed Teachers’ Representative Threatened; Refused to be Received by the Cadres in the City Government <湖北潜江民师代表受威胁,市领导拒绝接待>”, October 24, 2008,

[xii] CHRD, “Huang Liuhong, Liuzhou Petitioner who Applied to Protest during Para-Olympics, Whereabouts Unknown <残奥会期间申请游行的柳州访民黄柳红失踪后杳无音信>”, October 26, 2008,

[xiii] CRLW, “An Interview with ‘Olympics Prisoner’: Hangzhou Ye Jin’e Talked about Her Experience in ‘Educational Class’ When She Went on a Strike <“奥运囚徒”访谈录:杭州叶金娥“法教班”内绝食抗争的经历>”, October 30, 2008,

[xiv] CRLW, “Family Beaten by Ten Urban Inspection Officers in Kongjiapo, Suizhou, Hubei Province <湖北随州孔家坡居民遭数十名城管人员殴打>”, October 29, 2008,

[xv] CHRD, “Villager Taken into Custody following Forcible Land Appropriation in Nanhai County, Guangdong Province <广东南海再次发生强占土地抓捕村民事件>”, October 23, 2008,

[xvi] Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, “A Chronicle of My Kidnap, Robbery and Illegal Detention for 68 Days <武汉靳光明:我被绑架、遭抢劫、非法关押68天实录>”, October 27, 2008,

[xvii] CHRD, “Collusion between Officials and Businessmen Resulted in the Bloody Incident in Jiangxi Tunggu <官商勾结制造的江西铜鼓血案>”, October 27, 2008,

[xviii] CHRD, “People’s Congress Representative Beaten for Defending Rights for Villagers <人大代表为民说话,维权路上惨遭暴打>”, October 287, 2008,

[xix] CHRD, “A Citizen’s Proposal to Give Yang Jia an Amnesty—the Fourth Round of Signatures <特赦杨佳之公民建议书的第四批签名>”, October 23, 2008,

[xx] CHRD, “CHRD Congratulates Hu Jia for being Awarded 2008 Sakharov Prize <维权网”祝贺胡佳荣膺2008年度萨哈罗夫人权奖>”, October 24, 2008,

[xxi] CHRD, “Beijing Frontier Inspection Station Becomes Defendant at Court after it Bars a Citizen from Travelling Abroad and Confiscating his Passport <收缴护照限制公民出境 北京边防检查站成被告>”, October 22, 2008,

[xxii] CHRD, “First-Time Users of Beijing’s Internet Cafes Are Photographed; Internet Users Concerned about Privacy <北京首次进网吧者须拍照 网民忧隐私泄漏>”, October 16, 2008,

[xxiii] Guangming Daily, “State Compensation Law Drafted Amendments Clearly Stipulates Compensation for Mental Injury <国家赔偿法修正案明确规定精神损害赔偿>”, October 24, 2008, ; Nanfang Daily, “Amendments to State Compensation Law to Compensate Victims who Deserve It <国家赔偿法修改:意欲名至实归>”, October 31, 2008,

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