China Human Rights Briefing Weekly, January 4-10, 2011

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China Human Rights Briefing Weekly

January 4-10, 2011

China Human Rights Briefing January 4-10, 2011


  • Hong Kong Activist and Legislator Szeto Wah Passes Away: On January 2, Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator and activist Szeto Wah (司徒华) passed away at the age of 79. Among those honoring his memory this week were a group of mainland Chinese dissidents, activist, and intellectuals, who circulated a public message commemorating his dedication to the cause of democracy in China and his work to ensure that the events of June 4, 1989 were not forgotten.

Arbitrary Detention

Guizhou Petitioner Released after Four Months of Detention in Guangzhou

On January 7, Ma Shengfen (马胜芬), a Guizhou Province-based petitioner, was released from Guangzhou City’s Yuexiu District Detention Center in Guangdong Province after serving four months for “obstructing official business.” Ma was seized by police on September 8, 2010. She believes her criminal detention came as retaliation for her persistent petitioning for resolution of a labor dispute, and for trying to file numerous administrative litigation lawsuits against the Guangzhou City government for mistreatment she faced while petitioning. (CHRD)[i]

Veteran Henan Petitioner Detained in Black Jail over Three Weeks

On January 8, CHRD learned from Henan Province-based petitioner Wang Qunfeng (王群凤) that she has been detained in a number of black jails operated by the Lushi County government since December 14, 2010. Wang, who was petitioning in Beijing, was talked into returning to her hometown by the director of the local branch of All-China Women’s Federation. Once she returned to Lushi County in Henan Province, however, Wang was detained by Lushi government officials and has since been shuttled between a number of black jails housed in local hotels. Wang has been petitioning for more than 10 years, first to obtain payment for her father’s medical treatment, and later seeking redress for abuses and retaliation she suffered as a result of her initial petitioning. She has been sent to Re-education through Labor on three occasions, and detained and beaten numerous times. (CHRD)[ii]

Mother of Young Worker Imprisoned for “Subversion” Sent to RTL for Petitioning

On January 5, CHRD learned that Wang Shuqing (王书清), mother of 21-year old Shandong worker Xue Mingkai (薛明凯), was sent to one year of Re-education through Labor by police in Jining City, Shandong, in October 2010. Wang, who was detained for petitioning about her son’s case, is currently detained in the Shandong Women’s RTL Camp. Xue has been missing since mid-November 2010 after losing a job due to police pressure. Xue was released from prison in early November 2010 after serving 18 months for “subversion of state power.” He was charged with “subversion” after allegedly planning to organize a political party called the “China Democratic Workers’ Party” with online friends in the summer of 2006, and then contacting and joining an overseas democracy organization in early 2009. (CHRD)[iii]

Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Elderly Guangxi Villager Remains Hospitalized One Month after Police Beating

CHRD learned on January 7 that 63 year-old Li Mingguang (李明光), a resident of Laofang Village, Liuzhou City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, remains hospitalized more than a month after sustaining serious injuries in an attack led by a local police chief. Li is receiving treatment at Liuzhou Worker’s Hospital, where police have placed him under 24-hour surveillance. Fellow Liuzhou villagers have lodged complaints with the Liuzhou Procuratorate about the police beating, but so far they have received no response. On December 4, the head of the Liunan District, Liuzhou City, Public Security Bureau led approximately thirty others into the home of villager Li Fanghua (李芳华), where they beat Li and his relatives, including Li Mingguang. Li Fanghua was detained for six days following the attack, and his cousin Li Mingquan (李明全) was administratively detained for five days. The attack is believed to be in retribution for a petitioning journey to Beijing undertaken by Li Fanghua and four other villagers regarding the seizure of twenty thousand mu (approximately 3300 acres) of land by local officials, who the villagers claim acted illegally. (CHRD)[iv]

Forced Eviction and Demolition

Anhui Residents Report Local Officials’ Use of Explosives, Other Harassment in Forced Eviction

A group of 20 residents of a Hefei City, Anhui Province building have been documenting the actions of local officials in recent days as they attempt to hold out against a pending forced eviction. The residents report that, beginning on January 4, Mingguang Road subdistrict office officials in Hefei’s Yaohai District have been setting off fireworks and explosives outside of their building, which have damaged glass doors and concrete walls. On January 6, the officials cut off the residents’ sole supply of running water, and that same day erected a construction wall to isolate the building from the rest of the neighborhood. Residents report that they have alerted the police to the ongoing harassment. (CHRD)[v]

Harassment of Activists

Police in Wenzhou Summon Three Netizens Involved in Qian Yunhui Investigation

On January 8, three netizens who traveled to Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, as part of a “citizens’ investigation team” to look into the suspicious death of activist and village director Qian Yunhui (钱云会) were summoned for questioning by police, who also confiscated some of their personal property. Zheng Chuangtian (郑创添), Lai Yongxian (赖永献) and Liu Dejun (刘德军) had gathered at the Wenzhou City home of netizen Huang Wei (黄伟) when, around 10 pm, a group of more than ten Wenzhou police officers arrived. The officers displayed legal documents stating they were summoning the three for questioning on suspicion of “fabricating false information and disrupting society.” Police also confiscated a notebook computer, flash drive, cell phone, digital camera, and other personal items belonging to the three. Zheng, Lai, and Liu were released around 2 am that night after being separately questioned. (CHRD)[vi]

CHRD Member Zhou Weilin Summoned by Police for Investigating Taxi Drivers’ Petition

On the morning of January 4, activist and CHRD member Zhou Weilin (周维林) was seized by police outside of the Anhui Provincial Letters and Visits Office in Hefei City and summoned for questioning at a local police station. Zhou had been interviewing a taxi driver who was taking part in a collective petition along with approximately 100 other taxi drivers employed in Suzhou City, Anhui. According to Zhou, the drivers were petitioning the government because they were being discriminated against by their employers and the government as a result of not having a Suzhou hukou. Zhou was questioned and held for approximately six hours before being released. His cell phone was confiscated by police. (CHRD)[vii]

Citizens’ Actions

Mainland Chinese Activists, Dissidents, and Intellectuals Honor Memory of Szeto Wah

On January 5, CHRD obtained a copy of a message drafted by a group of mainland Chinese dissidents, activist, and intellectuals honoring Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator and activist Szeto Wah (司徒华), who passed away on January 2 at the age of 79. The message expressed admiration for Szeto Wah’s courage, wisdom, and dedication to the cause of democracy in China and his work to ensure that the events of June 4, 1989 were not forgotten. The message was signed by nearly 40 members of Chinese civil society from around the country, many of whom were involved in pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989. (CHRD)[viii]

Law and Policy Watch

Beijing Lawyer Releases Report on Forced Evictions in 2010, Calls for Amendments to ‘Entire System’

According to a January 10 Beijing News report, lawyer Wang Cailiang (王才亮), head of Beijing’s Cailiang (才良) Law Firm, has released a report on forced evictions and demolitions in 2010. The report calls not only for amendments to the regulations governing forced evictions and demolitions, but amendments to the “entire system” of forced demolitions and evictions. The report, which cites an increase in clashes between evictees and the government in 2010, notes that government representatives are increasingly taking the place of developers as adversaries of residents facing forced evictions. A new set of regulations governing forced evictions and demolitions was released in draft form in 2010 and twice opened for public comment, but has not been put into effect. (Beijing News)[ix]

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnet

News updates from CHRD

[i] “Common People Become Pigs, Law Becomes Knife in the Hand of a Butcher” (百姓成了猪,法律成了屠夫手中的刀), January 8, 2011,

[ii] “Henan Petitioner Wang Qunfeng Tricked into Detention in Black Jail” (河南访民王群凤被诱骗后囚入黑监狱(图)), January 9, 2011,

[iii] “Xue Mingkai, of Shandong, Loses Job; Mother Sent to RTL” (山东薛明凯失掉工作,母亲被劳教), January 5, 2010,

[iv] “Liuzhou PSB Head Leads Crowd in Attack on Villager” (柳州一公安局长率众殴打村民(续)(图)), January 10, 2011,

[v] “In Hefei City, Residents of Jindatang Building Resisting Forced Eviction Face Cut Water, Blocked Roads, Firecrackers and Harassment” (合肥金大塘被强拆户遭断水、封路、开门炮骚扰(图)), January 7, 2011,

[vi] “Wenzhou Police Ready for Emergency, Summon and Search ‘Citizens’ Inspection Team'” (温州警方荷枪实弹对“公民观察团”成员传唤查抄), January 9, 2011,

[vii] “Suzhou City, Anhui Province Taxi Owners Collectively Petition, CHRD Information Team Member Summoned” (安徽省宿 州市出租车主集体上访,维权网信息员被传唤(图)), January 4, 2010,

[viii] “Mainland 1989 Veterans, Intellectuals, and Dissidents Mourn Szeto Wah” (大陆八九人士和知识分子、异议人士吊唁司徒华), January 5, 2010,

[ix] “Lawyer Issues Year-End REport on Forced Evictions in China, Propose Amendments to Eviction and Demolition Regulations” (律师发布中国拆迁年度报告建议修改 拆迁制度), January 10, 2011,

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