Activists Put under House Arrest as Clinton Arrives in China

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Activists Put under House Arrest as Clinton Arrives in China
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, February 21, 2009) – A number of dissidents and human rights activists, many of whom signatories to Charter 08, have been put under residential surveillance (or “soft detention” 软禁), questioned and followed by Beijing police as Hilary Clinton arrives in China for her first visit as the US Secretary of State.

Since the morning of February 20, several members of the National Security Unit under Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) have stationed outside the home of Zhang Zuhua (张祖桦), Beijing-based intellectual and signatory to Charter 08. Police barred Zhang from leaving his home and told him that he will not be able to leave or meet with visitors in the next few days. Police also questioned Zhang about his plans for the coming days.
Jiang Qisheng (江棋生), vice-chairman of Independent Chinese PEN and signatory to Charter 08, has been monitored by a couple of National Security policemen since the morning of February 20. Police asked Jiang not to meet with Clinton. Police also asked Jiang to travel in police cars when he goes out.
Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强), Beijing-based lawyer and signatory to Charter 08, was “invited to tea” by National Security police in the evening of February 20. Police asked Pu not to give his talk, “Working as a Lawyer in Beijing”, in a forum schedule in the afternoon of February 21 at Beijing Chuan Zhi Xing Institute, an independent think tank. After some negotiation Pu was allowed to attend the forum but has to be escorted by the police.
Li Zhiying (李智英), rights activist and signatory to Charter 08, was questioned by National Security police. Li was asked to travel in police vehicles and not to meet up with “U.S. officials”.
Yu Jie (余杰), freelance writer and signatory to Charter 08, has been monitored by plainclothes police since February 18. Since February 20, a police car is parked outside of Yu’s home. Yu is allowed to go out but has to travel in the police car.
Zeng Jinyan (曾金燕), rights activist, wife of jailed activist Hu Jia (胡佳) and signatory to Charter 08, was barred from leaving her home this morning by at least six members of the National Security police. Zeng had planned to meet with Gao Yaojie (高耀杰), an AIDS activist from Henan Province invited to meet with Clinton.
Others, such as recently released political prisoners Gao Hongming (高洪明) and Cha Jianguo (查建国), activists Li Hai(李海), Liu Di(刘荻), Wang Debang (王德邦) and Qi Zhiyong (齐志勇), have also been subjected to questioning and monitoring by Beijing police as a result of Clinton’s visit.

Media contacts for this press release:

Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin): +13015479286
Wang Songlian, Research Coordinator and English Editor (English, Mandarin and Cantonese): +85281911660

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