Courts Refuse to Accept Lawsuit by Detained Applicant to Olympics “Protest Zones”Comments Off on Courts Refuse to Accept Lawsuit by Detained Applicant to Olympics “Protest Zones”
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, November 12, 2008) – CHRD learned that Liu Xueli (刘学立), a petitioner and activist sent to Re-education through Labor (RTL) after he applied to protest at the “Protest Zones” in Beijing, was refused a court hearing against the RTL decision.
On November 12, Liu’s lawyers went to Xigong District People’s Court in Luoyang City, Henan Province to file an administrative lawsuit against Luoyang RTL Management Committee, which made the decision to send Liu to RTL. To the lawyers’ surprise, the Court refused to accept the case. According to “regulations” by “higher authorities”, said a court clerk, all administrative lawsuits filed by individuals challenging the decision to send them to RTL due to petitioning “cannot be accepted”. The lawyers received the same response when they went to Luoyang City Intermediate People’s Court, a court at a higher level.
When the lawyers confronted the court officials, they refused to give them a written refusal or a copy of the “regulation”, or to name the “higher authorities” which made the decision. The courts’ refusal to accept the case is a blatant violation of the Administrative Litigation Law, which stipulates that individuals sent to RTL could challenge the decision by filing an administrative lawsuit.
CHRD protests Luoyang authorities’ continued violation of Liu’s right to a free and fair trial. Liu was sent to a RTL camp without trial or access to legal counsel. Now the courts denied the only judicial remedy available to Liu. The right to a fair trial is guaranteed under the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, as well as Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
CHRD reiterates its call for Liu’s immediate and unconditional release.
CHRD believes that Liu has been detained solely for peaceful expression of opinion and petitioning. The Chinese government has violated Liu’s right to freedom of expression, a right guaranteed in Articles 19 of ICCPR, which China has signed as well as Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution. The Chinese government has also violated Article 41 of the Constitution, which guarantees citizens’ right to complain about government misconduct.
Liu, 42, is a village representative from No.2 Group, Bopo Village, Kuqu Township, Song County, Luoyang City, Henan Province. Liu has been petitioning for years after the village land was forcibly appropriated by the local government. In 2004, Liu was sent to one year of RTL for “disturbing social order”. Liu continued to petition upon his release.
In early August, together with Li Jincheng (李金成), a petitioner from Xinjiang Province, Liu submitted an application to protest at the official “Protest Zones”. They were told that their application had been approved, and that they could return in nine days’ time to obtain a written permit. However, Li “disappeared” on August 8 near the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, and nobody has been able to contact him since. On August 6, Liu was seized by the Beijing police while he was asleep. Beijing police handed him over to Henan interceptors in Beijing, who forcibly sent Liu back to his hometown in Song County where he was put under residential surveillance. Those monitoring Liu told him in late August that his case would be ‘dealt with’ in October and that he might face more serious punishment.
On September 23, Liu was sent to 18 months of RTL for “endangering public safety” by Luoyang RTL Management Committee. On September 24, the Committee changed its mind regarding the reasons and the terms of Liu‘s punishment without giving any explanation. Liu was sent to 21 months of RTL for “abnormal petitioning in Beijing,” “sending a public letter to the 17th Party Congress signed by over 10,000 petitioners,” “distorting the facts and attacking national policy,” and “being in possession of illegal leaflets.”.
For more information, please see:
Activist Formally Arrested for Applying to Protest during the Olympics (November 11)
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)