Police Raid Home of Human Rights Defender and Charter 08 Signatory Xie QiangComments Off on Police Raid Home of Human Rights Defender and Charter 08 Signatory Xie Qiang
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders- March 11, 2010) On March 10, Beijing police interrogated human rights defender Xie Qiang (谢强) for the second time in as many weeks. Nine days earlier, on March 1, police raided his home, seizing computers and personal property. Xie, a signatory to and promoter of Charter 08, is currently under “soft detention” at his home in the capital.
“Police deliberately chose the occasion of the People’s Congress meeting in Beijing to harass and intimidate Mr. Xie, apparently to send a stern warning to all Charter 08 supporters and human rights activists,” said Renee Xia, CHRD’s International Director.
Nine officers from the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and the Haidian District National Security Unit arrived at Xie Qiang’s Haidian District home at approximately 10 pm on March 1 and searched the premises for roughly two hours. The officers confiscated two computers, Xie’s passport and Hong Kong and Macau Travel Permit, five notebooks, a digital camera, notes, business cards, and copies of books and magazines, including two copies of Charter 08, belonging to Xie.
After the search, Xie Qiang was taken to the Xiangshan Police Station and interrogated for more than two hours. Police questioned Xie about his involvement in the drafting of human rights reports, his attendance at a human rights conference held in Thailand in January 2010, and his views on Charter 08 and the jailed writer-activist Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波). Though police presented Xie with documents authorizing the search of his home and his summons, he was not given a copy of these documents. He was once again called in for questioning on the afternoon of March 10, and subjected to what he described as two hours of “oppressive” interrogation.
CHRD demands an immediate end to Xie Qiang’s “soft detention” and the return of all of his confiscated possessions. The officials responsible for infringing upon Xie’s rights to freedom of expression and association, enshrined in Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution, must be held responsible. The Chinese government must end its continuing persecution of Charter 08 supporters and human rights defenders.
Mr. Xie is originally from Loudi in Hunan Province. A former civil servant, he has studied law and begun advocating for human rights, devoting himself to promoting the growth of civil society and furthering the cause of democratic reform in China in recent years. Xie has written articles for websites including Minzhu Zhongguo (民主中国) and Boxun (博讯), and took part in activities organized by Chinese Human Rights Defenders. He has been active in drafting and circulating public letters and petitions on behalf of Liu Xiaobo and other Charter 08 supporters. He is the author of two reports on human rights abuses in China, and has organized support for human rights defenders persecuted by the government.
Press contacts for this release:
Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin), +852 8191 6937 or +1 301 547 9286
Jiang Yingying, Researcher (English and Mandarin), +852 8170 0237