Submission to UN on Wang Bingrong – January 31, 2011Comments Off on Submission to UN on Wang Bingrong – January 31, 2011
Communiqué on behalf of Wang Bingrong, citizen of People’s Republic of China, Alleging Arbitrary Arrest or Detention
1. Family name: Wang (王)
2. First name: Bingrong (兵荣)
3. Sex: Male
4. Birth date or age (at the time of detention): 28 years old at the time of detention
5. Nationality/Nationalities: People’s Republic of China
6. (a) Identity document (if any): ID Card
7. Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention):
Farmer, arrested after taking part in village elections and raising concerns about election misconduct.
1. Date of arrest:
Wang was taken into criminal detention on March 27, 2010, and formally arrested on April 16, 2010.
2. Place of arrest (as detailed as possible):
Wang was taken into detention at the Chuangxin electronics factory on Chaojing North Road in Quanzhou County Seat, Quanzhou County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
3. Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out:
The individuals who seized Wang were not wearing police uniforms, and did not present any legal documentation which might have justified their actions. While leaving the factory, one flashed a police ID card at the boss after Wang’s fellow employees demanded to know why he was being taken away. These individuals are believed to be police from Baibao Township.
4. Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority?
1. Date of detention:
Wang Bingrong has been in detention since March 27, 2010.
2. Duration of detention:
Wang Bingrong was sentenced to two years in prison on August 12, 2010.
3. Forces holding the detainee under custody:
Quanzhou County Public Security Bureau, Quanzhou County Procuratorate
4. Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention):
Present place of detention: Quanzhou County Detention Center.
5. Authorities that ordered the detention:
Quanzhou County Public Security Bureau, Quanzhou County Court
6. Reasons for the detention imputed by the authorities:
Wang Bingrong was taken into criminal detention by the Quanzhou County PSB on suspicion of “disrupting elections.” He was convicted of “disrupting elections” by the Quanzhou County Court, and his conviction was upheld by the Guilin City Intermediate Court without an open hearing.
7. Relevant legislation applied (if known):
Article 256 of the Criminal Law of the PRC
IV. Describe the circumstances of the arrest and/or the detention and indicate precise reasons why you consider the arrest or detention to the arbitrary
On September 15, 2006, Baibao Township Government leaders took command of the Beishan Village Committee and organized the elections for representatives to the county and township people’s congresses. A local official was carrying the ballot box and going from house to house asking residents to cast their votes; when the official arrived at Wang’s home, Wang raised a number of questions about the voting procedures and the candidates for election. The official could not answer Wang’s questions, and spoke to him in a harsh tone, and the two sides began to argue. Wang was told to take his complaints to the village committee. However, the committee members responsible for the elections could not (or would not) answer his questions either, and they criticized Wang for “creating a disturbance.” Another argument broke out, and eventually the two sides came to blows- Wang and one other villager against close to 20 village committee members. The police were called to take Wang and two other villagers into custody. Baibao Township police threatened to beat Wang with a gun while detaining him, which led Wang to brandish a vegetable knife and warn them that he would defend himself if they tried to harm him. The situation rapidly escalated and county police were called in; in the confusion, Wang and the other villagers fled the scene and were able to escape arrest. The matter eventually seemed to have been forgotten or abandoned by officials: after 2006, Wang worked outside of Beishan Village, but returned every year to spend the New Year holiday with his relatives without incident.
Five years later, on March 27, 2010, Wang and his wife Wang Yanjiao (王艳娇) were at work in at an electronics factory the county seat of Quanzhou County when he was kidnapped by a group of unidentified individuals. The individuals who seized Wang were not wearing police uniforms, and did not present any legal documentation which might have justified their actions. While leaving the factory, one flashed a police ID card at the boss after Wang’s fellow employees demanded to know why he was being taken away. These individuals were believed to be police from the Baibao Township police station.
The Baibao station head told Wang’s relatives that Wang had been detained for “attacking police.” Wang was held in the Quanzhou County Detention Center. Wang’s wife received a formal detention notice for her husband on March 29, two days after he was taken into custody, which stated that he was being criminally detained on suspicion of “disrupting elections.”
According to the WGAD’s methods, deprivation of a person’s liberty is “arbitrary,” if the case falls into at least one or all of three categories:
A) When it is clearly impossible to invoke any legal basis justifying the deprivation of liberty (as when a person is kept in detention after the completion of his sentence or despite an amnesty law applicable to him) (Category I);
B) When the deprivation of liberty results from the exercise of the rights or freedoms guaranteed by articles 7, 13, 14, 18, 19, 10 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, insofar as States parties are concerned, by articles 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Category II); (i.e., rights to free opinion, speech, expression, press, assembly, association, and demonstration, etc.)
C) When the total or partial non-observance of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial, spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the relevant international instruments accepted by the States concerned, is of such gravity as to give the deprivation of liberty an arbitrary character (Category III).
We believe the detention of Wang Bingrong is arbitrary because it violates Category II of the above categories. Wang’s detention is directly related to his efforts to protect citizens’ rights to participate in elections and the concerns he raised about election misconduct perpetrated by local officials. The right to take part in the conduct of public affairs and to vote is included in Article 25 of the ICCPR.
V. Indicate internal steps, including domestic remedies, taken especially with the legal and administrative authorities, particularly for the purpose of establishing the detention and, as appropriate, their results or the reasons why such steps or remedies were ineffective or why they were not taken
Wang appealed his conviction on August 24, 2010, but neither his lawyer nor his family received any notification from the Guilin City Intermediate Court regarding the case. On September 16, a written verdict was delivered to Wang’s wife stating that the Guilin City Intermediate Court had upheld the verdict.