Fujian Activist Detained for Alleging Official Misconduct

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Fujian Activist Detained for Alleging Official Misconduct

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders- June 30, 2009) – On June 26, Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), a human rights defender from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, was taken into police custody after she posted articles online alleging official misconduct and cover-ups in the case of a young woman’s death in Minqing County, Fujian Province. A petitioner who reportedly assisted her, Chen Huanhui (陈焕辉), and his wife, Xue Yun (雪云), were also taken into detention on June 28.

“Like other grassroots activists, Fan’s years of rights activism have made her a thorn in the side of local officials”, said Wang Songlian, CHRD’s Research Coordinator. “It is typical behavior by the authorities to use the law to retaliate against activists like Fan, in this case angry that evidence she has released alleging their illegal behavior is receiving wide attention on the internet.”

On June 26, Fan was seized by over a dozen Fujian policemen while investigating another case at the home of a petitioner Huang Caipiao (黄财漂). According to Huang, the police did not present any identification or legal warrant before they took Fan away. Huang’s home and the home of his relative, where Fan was staying during her investigation, were both searched. Police confiscated some of their belongings, including a computer and Huang’s petitions, again without any legal warrant.

On June 28, Chen and Xue were seized at their home by Fuzhou police and taken to Fuzhou City Public Security Bureau (PSB) Mawei District Detention Center. Chen’s home was searched and his computer and some documents were forcibly confiscated. Chen sent SMS messages to friends notifying them of his detention in which he stated that Fan was also being held in the same location. Chen’s family later told CHRD that they had received a formal detention notice, stating that Chen had been criminally detained on suspicion of “libel” and is currently held at Fuzhou No.2 Detention Center.

On June 29, Fujian police searched Fan’s home and confiscated two computers, two bank deposit books and three hundred print copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. According to Fan’s husband, the police showed a search warrant, but he has not yet received Fan’s detention warrant.

Police told Chen’s family that Chen is being detained for assisting Fan in posting articles online regarding the suspicious death of a young woman, Yan Xiaoling (严晓玲), in Minqing County, Fujian Province. These articles alleged that Yan died after she was gang raped by men connected to county officials and that the authorities have sheltered those involved by ignoring the parents’ repeated demands for a criminal investigation. The articles have received wide attention by netizens in China.

Background

Fan, a 48-year old woman, has become a locally well-known human rights defender based in Nanping County, Fujian Province. For over a decade, Fan has petitioned for redress of her own grievances and dedicated herself to helping other petitioners, exposing official corruption, and documenting rights abuses. Fan has also worked with the imprisoned Fujian activist Ji Sizun (纪斯尊). For her efforts, Fan has been repeatedly threatened by the authorities as well as the local triads.

For more information, please see:

福建警方大肆抓捕虐待被疑披露严晓玲强奸致死案人员 (June 28, 2009), https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class53/200906/20090628220841_16074.html

福建维权人士范燕琼被抄家,陈焕辉夫妻被刑拘 (June 30, 2009), https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class2/200906/20090630005214_16097.html

Media contacts:

Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin): +852 8191 6937

Wang Songlian, Research Coordinator and English Editor (English, Mandarin and Cantonese): +85…

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