Human Rights Defender Li Jinfang Summoned by Police, Home Raided and Property ConfiscatedComments Off on Human Rights Defender Li Jinfang Summoned by Police, Home Raided and Property Confiscated
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, July 1, 2010) Fifteen police officers raided the Xianghe County, Hebei Province home of human rights defender Li Jinfang (李金芳) this afternoon, confiscating 74 items, including human rights-related documents, computer equipment and financial documents. Several officers took Li and her teenage daughter Ar Dan (阿丹) to the Shuyang police station for approximately five hours of questioning. Following her interrogation, police told Li that she was a “criminal suspect,” and that she was therefore required to report to the police if she planned to leave Xianghe County. She was also told that her bank account had been frozen.
“Li Jinfang has worked tirelessly to defend human rights and promote the rule of law, and police in Xianghe have responded by flouting these very ideals by harassing and threatening her,” said Renee Xia, CHRD’s International Director. “Targeting Li’s personal finances—including the money she has saved for her daughter’s college education—and seizing belongings critical to her work are a particularly debilitating form of harassment, clearly designed to thwart her ability to continue her human rights activism.”
Li and her daughter moved into their current apartment (No. 4, 10th Floor, Unit 5, Building 3, Wo Jia Gong Fang) about one week ago, after local police pressured her previous landlord into forcing the family out of their previous home, also in Xianghe County. Police arrived at their door at approximately 3 o’clock this afternoon, and proceeded to spend roughly three hours going through the apartment. They did not produce a search warrant.
National Security officers from the Langfang City Public Security Bureau were reportedly present along with Xianghe County police during Li’s interrogation. Li was questioned about her human rights work and her relationship with Chinese Human Rights Defenders; her daughter was questioned separately. The police did not provide Li with a written summons (chuanhuan) notice as required by Article 92 of the Criminal Procedure Law, but instead told her that she was being “orally” summoned.
Li Jinfang joins a growing list of grassroots activists who have been subjected to similar raids and interrogations in recent months. Between March and May, police targeted Beijing-based human rights activists Xie Qiang (谢强), Gu Chuan (古川), and Wang Debang (王德邦), and in May, police raided the Anhui home of workers’ rights advocate Zhou Weilin (周维林) (for more information on these four, please see the links below). The fact that these actions have been taken in a short time span against individuals living in different parts of the country suggests that the decision to crack down on grassroots human rights activism may be coming not from local officials but from higher authorities.
CHRD condemns the Chinese government’s harassment and intimidation of Li Jinfang. We demand that police return all personal belongings confiscated from her home, and immediately unfreeze her bank account. The Chinese government must cease harassing human rights defenders and conducting lawless raids of their homes.
Li Jinfang, a native of Hebei Province, is the wife of dissident and democracy activist Qin Yongmin (秦永敏), who is currently serving a 12-year sentence for “subversion of state power.” After witnessing the harassment, persecution, and imprisonment of her husband, she devoted herself to the promotion of human rights. Since 2007, she has been actively involved in grassroots human rights activities, including documenting rights abuses.
Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin), +852 8191 6937 or +1 301 547 9286
Wang Songlian, Research Coordinator (English and Mandarin), +852 8170 0237
David Smalls, Researcher (English), +1 347 448 5285
“Police Raid Home of Human Rights Defender and Charter 08 Signatory Xie Qiang,” March 11, 2010, https://www.nchrd.org/2010/03/11/police-raid-home-of-human-rights-defender-and-charter-08-signatory-xie-qiang/
“Police Raid Home of Beijing Activist Gu Chuan as Pressure on Human Rights Defenders Increases,” April 9, 2010, https://www.nchrd.org/2010/04/09/police-raid-home-of-beijing-activist-gu-chuan-as-pressure-on-human-rights-defenders-increases/
“Beijing Activist Wang Debang Interrogated by Police, Home Searched,” May 13, 2010, https://www.nchrd.org/2010/05/13/beijing-activist-wang-debang-interrogated-by-police-home-searched/
“Anhui Workers’ Rights Activist Zhou Weilin Summoned, Computer Confiscated by Police,” China Human Rights Briefing, May 25-31, 2010, https://www.nchrd.org/2010/06/02/china-human-rights-briefing-may-25-31-2010/