Activist Formally Arrested for Applying to Protest during the Olympics

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(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, November 11, 2008) – CHRD learned that Ji Sizun (纪斯尊), an activist detained since August 11 after he applied to protest at the “Protest Zones” in Beijing, has been formally arrested for “forging official seal” by Fuzhou Public Security Bureau (PSB) in Fujian Province.

CHRD also learned that Fuzhou PSB appointed Ji a lawyer. The PSB earlier rejected a lawyer hired by Ji’s friends because the lawyer did not have the authorization of Ji’s family, whom could not be contacted since Ji’s detention. Ji’s friends and fellow activists are worried that the appointed lawyer will not defend the activist in good faith.

Ji’s friends have been barred from visiting him at Fuzhou No. 2 Detention Center, where he is currently held, and therefore unable to obtain information regarding his situation in detention.

CHRD fears that Ji might be mistreated in detention and face a harsh sentence following an unfair trial.

CHRD calls for Ji’s immediate and unconditional release.

CHRD believes that Ji has been detained solely for applying to hold a peaceful demonstration. The authorities have violated Ji’s right to assembly, guaranteed in Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which China has signed, as well as Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution.

On August 9, Ji, 59, from Yananbei Road, Xiangcheng District, Zhangzhou City, Fujian Province applied for a permit to protest against social and political problems at the official “Protest Zones” at Beijing PSB. Ji, accompanied by a dozen domestic and foreign journalists, was told by the police that since it was Saturday and outside of their office hours, Ji’s application could not be approved. On August 11, Ji returned to the same office at Beijing PSB to hand in his application again, but he “disappeared”. It was later discovered that he had been detained by the police.

For more information, please see:

Olympics “Protest Zones” Applicant Sent to Re-education through Labor (September 24, 2008)
Olympics Crackdown Continues as Another Activist Is Sent to Labor Camp (August 31, 2008)
China Breaks Promises of Freedoms of Assembly and the Press during Olympics (August 16, 2008)

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