China Human Rights Briefing Weekly October 5-12, 2010

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China Human Rights Briefing Weekly

October 5-12, 2010

To download this week’s CHRB as a .pdf file, please click here

Highlights

  • Liu Xiaobo Awarded 2010 Nobel Peace Prize: On October 8, the Nobel Committee announced it had awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned activist, writer and intellectual Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波). CHRD hailed the news, saying the award “honors all Chinese human rights defenders—Chen Guangcheng, Hu Jia, Gao Zhisheng, and countless others—who have suffered a great deal for advocating human rights.”
  • Discussion of Nobel Prize in Media, Online, and Between Cell Users Censored: While Chinese authorities moved to clamp down on the news domestically through media and internet censorship, small groups of citizens gathered to celebrate the announcement. CHRD also received reports that cellular service providers block messages containing words such as “Liu Xiaobo.” Chinese websites hosted overseas which posted news of the award reported malicious attacks in the days following the announcement.
  • National Security Officers Mobilize to Harass, Detain Supporters of Liu Xiaobo: Police across the country have targeted activists, dissidents, and other supporters of Liu in the days following October 8, detaining some and harassing many. CHRD believes at least several dozen individuals have been summoned for questioning, threatened with punishment for celebrating Liu’s achievement, or taken into detention.

Contents

CHRD Congratulates 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo

Harassment of Activists

Police across China Spring into Action in Wake of Nobel Announcement, Threaten and Detain Supporters

Arbitrary Detention

Mother of Child Sickened by Tainted Vaccine Seized while Petitioning in Beijing

Jiangsu Province Man Detained for Petitioning

Release Upcoming for Liaoning Democracy Organizer after Seven-Year Sentence

Henan Petitioner Beaten by Interceptors, Forcibly Returned to Detention in Hometown Black Jail

Group of Shanghai Petitioners Prevented from Attending Expo; Two Remain in Detention

Fujian Activist Fan Yanqiong Remains in Poor Health Following Release on Medical Parole

Baihutou Village Representative Given 15 Days of Detention for Removing Demolition Announcement

Freedom of Expression

Chinese Authorities Censor Nobel Peace Prize Information; Wife of Nobel Laureate Incommunicado

Hackers Target Independent Websites Posting News Related to Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Prize

Court in Beihai City Threatens Journalist over Microblogs from Baihutou Demolition

Shanxi Activist Detained 10 Days for Reporting on Clash between Security Guards and Citizens

Citizens’ Actions

Veteran Guizhou Activist Distributes Articles about Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize

CHRD Congratulates 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo

CHRD hails the Nobel Committee’s announcement and congratulates the imprisoned activist, writer and intellectual, Liu Xiaobo (刘 晓波), on being awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize honors Liu for his decades-long dedication to promoting democracy and human rights in China. Mr. Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence for “inciting subversion of state power,” primarily for his support of Charter 08, a citizens’ manifesto calling for democratic reform published in December 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For the full text of CHRD’s statement on the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, please click here.

Harassment of Activists

Police across China Spring into Action in Wake of Nobel Announcement, Threaten and Detain Supporters

Internet-savvy Chinese citizens have been able to circumvent official censorship and learn of the Nobel Committee’s decision to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波). While some have gathered in small groups to celebrate the momentous occasion, approximately several dozen of Liu’s supporters, primarily activists and dissidents, have been seized by National Security officers across the country and taken into detention. CHRD has compiled a partial list based on information from trusted sources; however, we have been unable to independently confirm the status of these individuals. Some may already have been released, while others may remain in detention. Also included in this list are a selection of reports received by CHRD regarding harassment, soft detention, or other steps taken by police to limit the freedoms of individuals in relation to the Nobel announcement.

In Beijing:

  • A group of activists and netizens were seized by National Security officers after gathering at a public park in Beijing. They include: Xu Zhiyong (许志永), Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), Liu Jingsheng (刘京生), Wang Guoqi (王国齐), Wu Gan (吴淦, known online as “Butcher,” 屠夫), He Yang (何杨), A Er (阿尔), Xiao Lu (小路), Tiantian (天天), Gao Jian (高键), Peng Mo (彭墨), Zhang Yongpan (张永攀), and Zhao Fengsheng (赵枫生).
  • CHRD has also received reports that three students from People’s University were detained for unfurling a banner in support of Liu Xiaobo on Tiananmen Square.
  • On October 8 and again on October 10, police in Beijing increased the number of guards outside the home of Charter 08 drafter and constitutional scholar Zhang Zuhua (张祖桦). Zhang has been closely followed by police whenever he leaves his home.
  • On the afternoon of October 12, Beijing activist Fan Yafeng (范亚峰) was prevented by police from leaving his home to take part in an interview, and again that evening he was prevented from attending a dinner. Fan reports he is being guarded by 20 police officers, and that they have roughly handled him in recent days.
  • On October 11, Beijing human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强) reported that he has been held under soft detention at home by police. (CHRD)[1]
  • Beijing democracy activist Zhou Tuo (周舵), one of the “four gentlemen of Tiananmen Square” together with Liu, reported that he has been placed under soft detention at his home by police on October 9 and as a result unable to attend a dinner gathering on that evening. (CHRD)[2]
  • Liao Shuangyuan (廖双元) and Wu Yuqin (吴玉琴), members of the Guizhou Human Rights Forum, have been missing since October 8, when a dinner they were attending in Beijing in honor of Liu Xiaobo was broken up by police. (CHRD)[3]
  • Additionally, Beijing dissidents Cha Jianguo (查建国) and Gao Hongming (高洪明), along with scholar Wang Guangze (王光泽), were warned by police not to participate in activities to celebrate Liu’s achievement. Similarly, Shanghai-based activist and secretary of Independent Chinese PEN Jiang Danwen (蒋亶文) was warned by police to not even discuss the prize. (CHRD)[4]

In Shanghai:

  • Shi Feike (石菲客)
  • Wang Xiaoyu (王晓渔)

In Jinan City, Shandong Province:

  • Sun Wenguang (孙文广) and friends

In Guizhou Province:

  • Huang Yanming (黄燕明)
  • Chen Xi (陈西)
  • and other members of the Guizhou Human Rights Forum

In Guangxi Province:

  • Wang Debang (王德邦)

In Sichuan Province:

  • On the morning of October 11, Deyang City, Sichuan Province activist Li Yu (李宇) was summoned and interrogated for two hours about text messages he sent to friends heralding Liu’s achievement. Police threatened him not to “take the lead in organizing any activities” related to the award.
  • Also in Sichuan, activist Li Guohong (李国宏) reported on October 10 that police have been stationed outside of his home. In Chongqing Municipality, activist Mu Jiayu (穆家裕) has been under similar guard since the prize was announced. (CHRD)[5]
  • On October 12, CHRD learned that Sichuan Province activist Chen Yunfei (陈云飞) was prevented from leaving his home to meet fellow dissidents by police. (CHRD)[6]
  • On October 12, Sichuan Province democracy activist Wang Sen (王森) reported that he was summoned by National Security officers and has been closely monitored at his home. (CHRD)[7]

Arbitrary Detention

Mother of Child Sickened by Tainted Vaccine Seized while Petitioning in Beijing

CHRD learned on October 11 that Ms. Sun Hongli (孙红丽), of Zibo City, Shandong Province, has been detained by officials from the Beijing Liaison Office of the Shandong Provincial Government. Ms. Sun was in Beijing to petition on behalf of her child Song Haoran (宋浩然), who has suffered convulsions after receiving a vaccination. Ms. Sun believes the vaccination to be the cause of her child’s illness. Officials have confiscated Ms. Sun’s identification card and, at the time of writing, were preparing to forcibly return her to her hometown. (CHRD)[8]

Jiangsu Province Man Detained for Petitioning

According to an October 11 report by Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW), Jiangsu Province petitioner Jiang Guoping (蒋国萍) was seized on October 8 and sent to seven days of administrative detention for petitioning and displaying protest banners outside of the Wuxi City government offices. Jiang lost his job after he applied to protest in 2003 following a labor dispute with his employer. After years of petitioning, he was seized in Beijing at the beginning of the Olympic Games in August 2008 and detained in a psychiatric institution in Wuxi City for 45 days. He was detained in the same institution once again during 2009 for attempting to expose his earlier experience. (CRLW)[9]

Release Upcoming for Liaoning Democracy Organizer after Seven-Year Sentence

CHRD has learned that democracy and labor activist Ning Xianhua (宁先华) is scheduled to be released from prison on December 15 after serving a seven year term for “subversion of state power.” Ning, who is currently incarcerated in Nanshan Prison in Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, was taken into detention in 2003 for his role as an organizer for the banned China Democracy Party in Liaoning. He was originally sentenced to 12 years in prison, but had his term shortened to seven years on appeal. Ning’s co-defendant in the case, Kong Youping (孔佑平), is serving a 10-year sentence in Liaoning’s Lingyuan Prison. (CHRD)[10]

Henan Petitioner Beaten by Interceptors, Forcibly Returned to Detention in Hometown Black Jail

On October 6, petitioner Liu Xianzhi (刘先枝), of Henan Province, was seized in Beijing and forcibly returned to her hometown of Nancao Township. She is currently being detained in a black jail operated by local government officials. Liu was reportedly beaten by interceptors who kidnapped her in Beijing and sustained injuries to her head and neck. (CHRD)[11]

Group of Shanghai Petitioners Prevented from Attending Expo; Two Remain in Detention

On October 5, a group of 10 Shanghai petitioners were seized by police as they entered the grounds of the Shanghai Expo. The petitioners were taken to a nearby police station and questioned; following the interrogation, all were allowed to leave except for Ma Yalian (马亚莲) and Sun Jianmin (孙建敏). Ma and Sun were separately taken to black jails in Shanghai, where they are currently being held. Ma expects to remain in illegal detention for an extended period of time, as police seek to prevent her from traveling to Beijing during the upcoming 5th plenary session of the 17th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party as well as from attempting to return to the Shanghai Expo, which remains open through the end of the month. (CHRD)[12]

Fujian Activist Fan Yanqiong Remains in Poor Health Following Release on Medical Parole

On October 5, a group of friends including Guangdong human rights defender Tianli (天理, real name Chen Qitang [陈启棠]) paid a visit to recently-released Fujian activist Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼) at her home in Nanping County. Tianli delivered an oxygen therapy machine to Fan, who has been having trouble breathing, and a doctor accompanying the group examined Fan. Fan stated that her health recently had been extremely poor, that she had been feverish, and was having difficulty performing everyday tasks. Fan, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, heart disease, and other ailments, was released from prison on medical parole on August 25. Fan and two other activists, Wu Huaying (吴华英) and You Jingyou (游精佑), were convicted of “slander” and imprisoned for posting articles and video online urging government officials to investigate the alleged rape and murder of a young woman in Fujian Province. (CHRD)[13]

Baihutou Village Representative Given 15 Days of Detention for Removing Demolition Announcement

On the afternoon of October 5, police in Baihutou Village, Beihai City, Guangxi Province seized village representative Gao Jianbo (高建波) outside of his home and took him into custody. According to family members, Gao has been sent to 15 days of judicial detention and is currently being held in the Beihai City Detention House. A detention notice issued by the police states that Gao is being held for removing an official proclamation related to pending forced demolitions from the wall of his home. Gao is the latest Baihutou villager to be detained for resisting forced demolitions being carried out in the village; village chief Xu Kun (许坤) and others have either been arrested or sentenced to prison by local officials in recent months. (CHRD)[14]

Freedom of Expression

Chinese Authorities Censor Nobel Peace Prize Information; Wife of Nobel Laureate Incommunicado

As expected, Chinese officials have pulled out all the stops to prevent citizens from learning that the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) earlier today.

Even before the prize was announced, officials ordered managers at China’s four main domestic internet portals—Ten Cent, Sina, Sohu, and Net Ease –to remove pages dedicated to the 2010 Nobel Prizes. Online discussion of the Nobel Peace Prize or Liu Xiaobo continues to be actively blocked.[15]

Liu’s wife Liu Xia (刘霞), who was able to speak to international media by phone earlier in the day, was reportedly unable to be reached as the afternoon progressed. Police were stationed outside of her residential compound in Beijing throughout the day to prevent anyone from entering, and CHRD has received reports that police are forcing Liu Xia to leave Beijing.

CHRD has also learned that, in addition to internet censorship of the news, cell phone text messages related to Liu Xiaobo or the Nobel Peace Prize are being blocked by cellular carriers.

Hackers Target Independent Websites Posting News Related to Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Prize

On the afternoon of October 11, a large number of websites–including those operated by the Independent Chinese PEN, New Century News, Boxun, Charter 08, Canyu, and others–were struck by malicious attacks. These sites, which are hosted abroad, are used by Chinese netizens to post independent news and had been reporting on Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize and government efforts to clamp down on activists and others who sought to draw attention to the award domestically. Most had their homepages infected with viruses, according to a source familiar with the events. It is believed that these attacks are organized and highly sophisticated. CHRD’s website has been out of service for a number of months after suffering similar attacks earlier this summer. (CHRD)[16]

Court in Beihai City Threatens Journalist over Microblogs from Baihutou Demolition

On October 9, China Wealth magazine received a fax from the Yinhai District Court in Beihai City, Guangxi Province, warning the magazine to instruct one of its journalists to stop reporting on forced evictions taking place in Baihutou Village. According to the fax, journalist Song Fuli (宋馥李) had been posting live updates from the demolitions on his microblog account at http://t.qq.com/songfuli#M. The court accused Song of spreading “falsified information.” According to a villager familiar with Song’s reporting, the court’s accusation is baseless, and Song’s account of the demolition is entirely accurate. At the time of writing, Song has been allowed by his employer to continue posting updates on the Baihutou demolitions to his microblog. (CHRD)[17]

Shanxi Activist Detained 10 Days for Reporting on Clash between Security Guards and Citizens

CHRD learned on the evening of October 6 that Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province democracy activist Deng Taiqing (邓太清) has been detained by local police. According to his wife, Deng was seized on the afternoon of October 5. His wife discovered he was missing and telephoned the local police station, where an officer informed her that her husband had been taken in for 10 days of detention. The officer stated that Deng was being detained for posting information online regarding a clash between security guards and people attending a pro-democracy gathering in a Taiyuan park on October 2. (CHRD)[18]

Citizens’ Actions

Veteran Guizhou Activist Distributes Articles about Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize

On October 10, 72 year-old activist Mei Chongbiao (糜崇骠) took up his usual position on People’s Square in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, where he has appeared on the weekends for years to distribute articles from international media and Chinese dissidents about democracy, human rights, and world affairs. On this particular day, he presented articles about Liu Xiaobo winning the Nobel Peace Prize, which fellow activists estimated drew a crowd of “more than one hundred” citizens excited to learn of the news. Mei, the son of a decorated general who was executed by the government in the 1950s, has persevered in his efforts to educate local citizens and promote human rights and democracy in China despite repeated harassment and threats from local police. (CHRD)[19]

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

News updates from CHRD

Issues and Cases CHRD Recommends the Committee against Torture Include in its List of Issues for the Chinese Government to Address in its Fifth Periodic Report


[1] “Local Authorities in China Step up Internet Controls, Clamp Down on Activists and Scholars” (中国当局连日进一步加紧网络封锁、控制维权人士与学者), October 12, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010122213.shtml

[2] “Dinner for Friends Organized by Zhou Duo Thwarted by Police” (周舵召集朋友聚餐活动遭警方破坏), October 9, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010092331.shtml

[3] “Guizhou Human RIghts Forum Members in Beijing to Congratulate Liu Xiaobo Missing for More than 100 Hours” (贵州人权研讨会成员在京贺刘晓波获奖失踪1百多个小时), October 12, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010121131.shtml

[4] “Activists Across the Country Threatened or Deprived of their Freedom after Liu Xiaobo is Awarded Nobel Peace Prize” (各地维权人士因刘晓波获奖被限制自由或严厉警告(图)), October 9, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010090136.shtml

[5] “Activists Across the Country Continue to be Summoned, Placed under Soft Detention because Liu Xiaobo Won the Nobel Peace Prize” (因刘晓波获得诺奖各地继续传唤、软禁维权人士), October 11, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010111521.shtml

[6] “Liu Xiaobo Wins Nobel Prize, Chen Yunfei Barred from Leaving Home” (刘晓波获诺奖 陈云飞出门受阻), October 12, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010121108.shtml

[7] “Sichuan Province Democracy ACtivist Wang Sen Summoned by Dazhou National Security” (四川民主党人王森被达州国保传唤), October 12, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010121221.shtml

[8] “Sun Hongli, Parent of Victim of Fake Vaccine in Shandong, Illegally Detained” (山东假疫苗受害家长孙红丽被非法监禁), October 11, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010112218.shtml

[9] “Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province Psychiatric Institution Victim Jiang Guoping Detained” (江苏无锡精神病院受难者蒋国萍遭拘留), October 11, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010112236.shtml

[10] “Liaoning Democracy and Organized Labor Leader Ning Xianhua to be Released from Prison on December 15” (辽宁民运主要领导人、著名工运领袖宁先华将于12月15日出狱), October 7, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010071436.shtml

[11] “Henan Petitioner Liu Xianzhi Beaten, Detained in Black Jail” (河南访民刘先枝被殴打后关进黑监狱(图)), October 7, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010072150.shtml

[12] “Many Shanghai Rights-Defending Petitioners Taken Away by Police While at Shanghai Expo” (上海多位维权公民参观世博会时被警察带走), October 6, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010061641.shtml

[13] “Fan Yanqiong’s Health Continues to Decline, Activists Pay Her a Visit” (范燕琼健康日益恶化,维权人士前往探望(图)), October 6, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010062044.shtml

[14] “Breaking News: Baihutou Village Representative Gao Jianbo Administratively Detained” (快讯:北海市白虎头村民代表高建波被司法拘留(图)), October 5, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010051456.shtml

[15] “Nobel Peace Prize About to be Announced; CCP Authorities Order Four Main Internet Portals to Delete Special Topics” (诺贝尔和平奖即将公布 中共当局命令四大门户删除专题(图)), October 8, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010081612.shtml

[16] “After Liu Xiaobo Wins Nobel Peace Prize, Independent Chinese PEN and Other Websites Attacked” (刘晓波获奖后,独立中文笔会等多家网站被攻击), October 12, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010121007.shtml

[17] “Beihai Court Warns China Wealth Magazine over Baihutou Forced Demolition Article” (北海法院就白虎头强拆报道警告《中国财富》 (图)), October 10, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010101437.shtml

[18] “Shanxi Democracy Activist Deng Taiqing Detained” (山西民主维权人士邓太清被拘留), October 6, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010062341.shtml

[19] “Son of General in War against Japan Mei Chongpiao Spreads News of Nobel Prize; Independent Poet Wang Cang Lends Support” (抗日将领遗子糜崇骠为国人获诺奖宣传 自由诗人王藏为其声援助威(图)), October 12, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/10/201010121247.shtml

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