China Human Rights Briefings November 7-13, 2009

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China Human Rights Briefing

November 7-13, 2009


Harassment of Activists

Obstruction of Justice

Arbitrary Detention

Freedom of Expression

Access to Justice

Citizens’ Actions

Law and Policy Watch

Harassment of Activists

Sichuan Activist Chen Yunfei Twice Briefly Detained, Interrogated for Anti-Corruption Billboard

On November 12, Sichuan activist Chen Yunfei (陈云飞) was stopped by police outside of the Provincial Party Committee headquarters in Chengdu and taken in for questioning because he was wearing a billboard with the slogan “Please make public the private holdings of Communist Party Officials.” Police released Chen after interrogating him at the Huanghua Neighborhood Police Station, but later that afternoon Chen was picked up at home by officials from Xindu District’s Qingliu Police Station, who once again took him in for questioning. He was released later that evening. (CHRD)[i]

The day before, November 11, Chen had submitted an administrative lawsuit to a court in Pengzhou City, Sichuan, in which he demanded that Pengzhou City Education Bureau follow relevant regulations and disclose information about student fees. According to Chen, who had been investigating schools in the area affected by the May 12, 2008 earthquake, Pengzhou schools were charging exorbitant fees and denying local children the right to education. (CHRD)[ii]

Obstruction of Justice

Seeking Justice in Court, Father of Tainted Milk Victim Detained Briefly

On November 5, Beijing police officers handcuffed, searched, and briefly detained Wang Gang (王刚), the father of a child who fell ill after drinking tainted milk powder. Wang is currently pursuing a lawsuit against the company responsible. Wang was held for more than two hours at the Yangfang Police Station under the Haidian District Public Security Bureau (PSB) after being seized and roughly handled on the way back from a children’s hospital with his wife and child, where they had travelled to obtain a doctor’s report. Wang’s lawsuit was originally scheduled to be heard on November 10, but on November 5, he learned that the court had decided to temporarily cancel the hearing. Court officials did not provide a reason for their decision. (CHRD)[iii]

Arbitrary Detention

Guizhou Activists Liao Shuangyuan and Wu Yuqin Detained

On November 13, police from the National Security Unit under the Guiyang PSB took away activists Liao Shuangyuan (廖双元), male, and Wu Yuqin (吴玉琴), female, both in their 50s. The two had attended a meeting in a public park in Guiyang of the Guizhou Human Rights Forum, a loose circle of local activists who meet often to discuss human rights and give out educational materials, particularly around the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10. Their current whereabouts are unknown. Local officials have summoned and threatened other members of the group recently, including Chen Xi (陈西), Du Heping (杜和平), and Tian Zuxiang (田祖湘), warning them that they would soon take action to stop the Forum’s activities. (CHRD)[iv]

Activist Liu Zhengyou Formally Detained, Family Receives Notice

On November 12, Liu Zhengyou’s (刘正有) wife obtained a formal notice regarding her husband’s criminal detention on suspicion of “fraud.” The notice was issued by the Huigoing Branch of the Zigong Public Security Bureau. Liu was taken away by police on November 11. According to Liu’s wife, the length of Liu’s detention was not indicated on the notice; when she asked a police officer about this, she was told it had not yet been set, and that Liu could be held for a few days or for a month. (CHRD)[v]

Heilongjiang Petitioner Escapes after 106 Days of Detention

Sun Chengxin (孙成新), a 77-year old former worker from Heilongjiang Province, has dedicated the last 25 years of his life to petitioning after his daughter was illegally denied admission to nursing school when school officials sold her place to another student. On August 17, 2009, Sun was seized by police and a government official while petitioning at the Heilongjiang Provincial Department of Forestry’s Letters and Visits Office and detained in a detention center operated by the Northern Heilongjiang Department of Forestry. Sun’s high blood pressure was exacerbated by his prolonged detention, and when he was taken to a hospital for treatment on October 20, he took the opportunity to escape following the completion of his treatment ten days later. Sun reports that officials offered to release him earlier if he would sign a pledge stating that he would stop petitioning, but he adamantly refused. (CHRD)[vi]

Detained Environmentalist Sun Xiaodi Denied Visitation Rights, Ill in RTL Camp

In an interview with Hu Jianhong (胡建红), wife of imprisoned environmentalist and anti-corruption activist Sun Xiaodi (孙小弟), CHRD learned that Sun is currently unable to receive adequate medical treatment for a tumor, nor has he been allowed to receive visits from family members since July. Hu reported that Sun had been transferred sometime in late August to Gansu Province Number One Re-education through Labor (RTL) Camp, roughly 100 km from Lanzhou, where she lives. She travelled to the camp in September but was told by officials there that she could not meet with Sun because of “special circumstances.” She has not seen her husband in more than three months, and reports that RTL camp doctors refuse to operate on a tumor Sun is suffering from without a payment of 12,000 RMB from the family. Sun and Hu’s daughter, Sun Haiyan (孙海燕), who is also detained in an RTL camp, is in poor health as well, said Hu. (CHRD)[vii]

Detained Activists Wang Guilan and Shen Peilan Released in Recent Days

On October 28, Enshi City, Hubei Province petitioner-turned-activist Wang Guilan (王桂兰) was released following one year and three months of RTL. However, since Wang was deemed not physically fit to enter an RTL camp, she has spent the past fifteen months at Enshi Detention Center, and as a result was not provided with an official document stating that she had served the full term of her detention upon her release. Wang, who has been repeatedly detained and beaten over the years for her petitioning and her activism to defend other petitioners’ rights, was sent to RTL on August 20, 2008, for accepting a phone interview by a foreign journalist during the Olympics. (CHRD)[viii]

In a related story, Shanghai petitioner-turned-activist Shen Peilan (沈佩兰) was released on November 8. Shen was administratively detained for ten days for “disrupting public order” for allegedly organizing a protest of petitioners in May as well as meeting with debarred Shanghai lawyer Zheng Enchong (郑恩宠). (CHRD)[ix]

Chongqing Petitioner Detained, Allegedly Given Unknown Injection by Local Officials

In a November 6 interview with CHRD, 69 year-old petitioner Huo Zhihong (霍之洪), from Chongqing, described being detained and forcibly injected with an unknown substance by local officials during the National Day period. According to Huo, a resident of Changgang Village, Shijiao Town, Qijiang County, Chongqing, he was seized on September 14 in Beijing and held in a succession of black jails in the capital before being returned to Chongqing on September 20. Once in his hometown, Huo was detained in a local health clinic, where a guard, apparently acting on the orders of officials, injected an unknown substance into Huo’s right hand while he was sleeping. Huo was then taken for a mental health evaluation, and believes the injection may have been part of efforts by local officials to have him declared mentally ill so that they might detain him in a local psychiatric institution to prevent further petitioning. Officials later threatened his family that if Huo continues to petition in Beijing, he may be arrested and imprisoned. (CHRD)[x]

Three Hebei Villagers Detained Following Protests over Land Requisition

CHRD learned on November 7 that three villagers, Zhong Jiucheng (种九成), Zhong Qing (种庆) and a woman whose name has not been verified, have been seized by police in South Liugezhuang Village, Baoding City, Hebei Province. Their current whereabouts are unknown, and though family members have filed missing-persons reports, no official information has been made available. Residents of Liugezhuang Village have been active for years in opposing the illegal requisition of village land by local officials, and it is believed that the detention of these three villagers may be related to recent protests against construction by the Great Wall Motor Vehicle Company on land belonging to the village. Zhong Jiucheng, one of the three detained villagers, was said to be instrumental in leading the most recent round of protests, in late October. (CRLW)[xi]

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Hangzhou Petitioner Recounts Detention, Beating in Beijing Black Jail

CHRD recently interviewed Liu Xunlian (刘训连), a petitioner from Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province. Liu has been petitioning since the forced demolition of his home in 2007, and has been detained and tortured on numerous occasions. Most recently, in August 2009, Liu was seized in the capital by officials from the Beijing Liaison Office of the Zhejiang Provincial Government and detained in the Jingzhe Guesthouse on South Madian Street in Beijing’s Haidian District. Liu was held in an underground room for four days, deprived of food and water, and beaten, suffering two broken ribs. Police then forcibly returned Liu to Hangzhou on August 20, and detained him in the Gongshu District PSB station for 10 days for “intercepting and attacking an official’s vehicle.” (CHRD)[xii]

Freedom of Expression

Blog of Shenzhen Activist Li Tie Blocked

On November 9, internet authorities blocked the blog of Shenzhen dissident Li Tie (李铁), Censors also deleted postings made by Li on various discussion forums. It is believed Li’s blog was targeted for censorship because of postings he had made advocating domestic reforms, as well as the results of an informal survey of people’s opinions of the political situation in China. (CHRD)[xiii]

Website of Beijing House Church Blocked

CHRD learned today that the website of Beijing’s Shouwang Church,, has been blocked by internet authorities. Not only was the house church’s official website inaccessible, but search results for “Shouwang Church” (守望教会) on Baidu and returned only a handful of results, none of which were relevant to the church. When a similar search was performed on, over 500,000 results were returned, demonstrating the degree to which information about the Shouwang Church is being restricted domestically. Shouwang Church’s website has been closed once before, in April of this year. (CHRD)[xiv]

Access to Justice

Lin Hongnan, Lawyer for Detained Fujian Activist, Warned of Losing License Ahead of Trial

On the eve of the November 11 trial of Fujian activists Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), Wu Huaying (吴华英), and You Jingyou (游精佑) for “making false charges,” the Fuzhou Department of Justice warned Wu’s lawyer Lin Hongnan (林洪楠) that his license may be suspended and he may lose his right to practice law for one year. According to the official notice provided to Lin, he may be punished by officials for providing copies of documents containing “state secrets” to Wu’s family, and of leaking information about the trial to overseas websites. From the timing of this threat, it is clear that local officials are targeting Lin in retaliation for his work on behalf of Wu Huaying. (CHRD)[xv]

Freedom of Religion and Association

Shanghai House Church Banned by Authorities

CHRD has learned that officials from the Minhang District Civil Affairs Bureau in Shanghai issued an announcement on November 10 banning the Wanbang Church, a Shanghai house church. According to the announcement, which was posted on the Minhang District Civil Affairs Bureau’s website, the house church was banned for holding activities without formally registering as a social organization. House churches, like many civil society organizations, are unable to formally register with government offices due to their lack of official recognition. As a result, they are forced to operate “illegally,” and are thus liable to be targeted at any time, as this recent action against the Wanbang Church demonstrates. (CHRD)[xvi]

Beijing House Church Service Disrupted, Leader Placed under House Arrest

On November 8, members of Beijing’s Shouwang Church met at Haidian Park to hold their weekly Sunday service. However, security guards at the park would not let them enter, and when church members attempted to hold their service outside of the gates, the guards used electronic devices to create noise and disrupt the meeting. Furthermore, local police placed church leader Jin Tianming (金天明, also known as Jin Yongtai [金永泰]) under house arrest, preventing him from leading the service. This is the second consecutive week Haidian Park guards have disrupted the church’s activities. (CHRD)[xvii]

Citizens’ Actions

Recently-Released Shanghai Activist Shen Peilan Applies for Administrative Review

Shanghai petitioner-turned-activist Shen Peilan (沈佩兰), who was released on November 8 after ten days of administrative detention for “disrupting public order,” has filed for administrative review of her detention, claiming that the Minhang Branch of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau did not provide her with appropriate documents authorizing her detention. Shen states in her application for review that she never received a formal detention notice or a formal release notice, nor did her family receive any formal notices from the police. (CHRD)[xviii]

Chongqing Grain Workers, Detained for Petitioning, File for Administrative Review

CHRD has reported on numerous occasions about petitions and protests by former grain workers in Pengshui County, Chongqing, who have been denied retirement benefits since being laid off between 1999 and 2001. On November 10, 2009, CHRD learned that a group of ten petitioners- Liang Mingyuan (梁明远), Huang Xiaogang (黄小刚), Luo Jianfei (罗建飞), Long Pinxing (龙品兴), Xiong Yonglin (熊永林), Huang Xiaohua (黄晓华), Deng Subi (邓素碧), Zhang Guixiong (张贵雄), Xie Chaohong (谢朝鸿), and Liu Chunsheng (刘春生)- were administratively detained for between 5 and 15 days in June, 2009 by Pengshui County police. The ten have since collectively filed for administrative review with local courts. The current status of their administrative review is not known. (CHRD)[xix]

Law and Policy Watch

New Supreme Court Regulations Require Officials to Defend Refusals to Provide Information

According to an October 2 Xinhua report, the Supreme People’s Court is currently seeking input on a set of draft regulations designed to address the issue of releasing government information during a trial (最高人民法院关于审理政府信息公开行政案件若干问题的规定). The draft regulations state that, when an administrative organ is the defendant in a lawsuit, and officials refuse to provide information about government actions or employees, the same officials will have the responsibility to prove that their actions are justified. Plaintiffs in cases against the government will also be allowed to request that the court investigate the actions of government officials if they believe that the officials are not providing information as requested. (Xinhua)[xx]

This set of regulations is the latest in a long list of efforts to increase government transparency; regulations governing the publicizing of government information have existed for years, but are rarely enforced. There is little hope, however, that relying on the judicial system, which remains subservient to government and party officials, will spur any changes in the degree of openness of local governments. A far better method of ensuring transparency and accountability of local governments would be to rely on an independent media to provide investigate reporting.

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

[i] “Chen Yunfei Is At the Xindu Qingliu Police Station and Cannot Return Home (陈云飞在新都清流派出所无法回家),” November 12, 2009,

[ii] “Chen Yunfei Files Administrative Lawsuit against Pengzhou Department of Education (陈云飞对彭州市教育局提起行政诉讼),” November 12, 2009,

[iii] “Protest the Detention and Rough Treatment of Jieshibaobao Family Member Wang Gang (抗议北京警方拘押并残暴对待结石宝宝家长王刚),” November 9, 2009,

[iv] “Guizhou Human Rights Symposium Volunteers Liao Shuangyuan and Wu Yuqin Taken Away by National Security Police (贵州人权研讨会义工廖双元吴玉琴被国保带走),” November 13, 2009,

[v] “Liu Zhengyou Formally Detained for Fraud (刘正有被以诈骗罪正式拘留),” November 13, 2009,

[vi] “Heilongjiang 77 Year-Old Petitioner Sun Chengxin Detained in Detention Center for 106 Days (黑龙江省77岁访民孙成新被软禁在看守所106),” November 12, 2009,

[vii] “Imprisoned Anti-Nuclear Crusader Sun Xiaodi Denied Visitation Rights (染斗士孙小弟狱中被拒绝家人会见),” November 7, 2009,

[viii] “Enshi Activist Wang Guilan Fulfills RTL Term, Is Released (恩施维权人士王桂兰劳教期满恢复自由),” November 9, 2009,

[ix] “Shanghai Activist Shen Peilan Once Again Freed (上海维权人士沈佩兰重获自由),” November 8, 2009,

[x] “Chongqing Resident Poisoned by Government, Falls Ill (重庆市访民被政府打毒针患病)”, November 6, 2009,

[xi] “Numerous Activists in Liugezhuang Village, Baoding City, Hebei Province Taken Away (河北省保定市刘阁庄村多名维权村民被抓)”, November 7, 2009,

[xii] “Zhejiang Activist Liu Xunlian Detained in Black Jails, Tormented on Many Occasions (浙江维权人士刘训连数次被关黑监狱受尽折磨),” November 9, 2009,

[xiii] “Shenzhen Activist Li Tie’s Blog Blocked (深圳维权人士李铁博客被封杀),” November 10, 2009,

[xiv] “‘Beijing’s Shouwang Church’ Website Blocked, Becomes ‘Sensitive’ Term (“北京守望教会”不仅网站被关,而且成为网络“敏感词”),” November 8, 2009,

[xv] “Just Before Trial, Fujian Lawyer Lin Hongnan Faced With Punishment, Must Stop Practiving Law (开庭在即福建律师林洪楠被面临停止执业处罚)”, November 11, 2009,

[xvi] “Shanghai’s Wanbang House Church Banned by Government (上海万邦教会遭政府打压取缔),” November 13, 2009,

[xvii] “Beijing’s Shouwang Church Sunday Services Disrupted (北京守望教会118日“主日敬拜”被骚扰纪实),”

[xviii] “Shen Peilan Applies to Minhang Branch of Shanghai PSB for Administrative Review (沈佩兰对上海市公安局闵行分局的行政复议申请书),” November 12, 2009,

[xix] “Chongqing Grain Workers Detained for Defending Rights File for Administrative Review (重庆粮食系统职工因维权被拘要求行政复议),” November 10, 2009,

[xx] “Administrative Organs Which Refuse to Provide Information Will Bear Responsibility for Justifying Actions (行政机关对拒绝提供政府信息承担相应举证责任),” November 2, 2009,

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