Submission to UN on Li Jinfang, Li Zhuyang, Zeng Jinyan, Xinna, Uiles, Wu Lingling, Duan Chunfang – February 2011

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Communique on Harassment of the Relatives of Human Rights Defenders in 2010

1. Li Jinfang (李金芳) and Li Zhuyang (李竹阳), ex-wife and daughter of recently-released democracy activist Qin Yongmin (秦永敏)

● On July 1, fifteen police officers raided the Xianghe County, Hebei Province home of human rights defender Li Jinfang, confiscating 74 items, including human rights-related documents, computer equipment and financial documents (for a copy of the police report listing items confiscated, in Chinese, please click here). Several officers took Li and her teenage daughter Li Zhuyang to the Shuyang police station for approximately five hours of questioning. Following her interrogation, police told Li that she was suspected of having committed the crime of “inciting subversion of state power,” and was therefore required to report to the police if she planned to leave Xianghe County. However, the police refused to provide her with a written summons (chuanhuan) notice or a search warrant as required by law. She was also told that her bank account had been frozen. During interrogations, Li was threatened that her daughter would not be able to attend university even after completing her final exams because of her parents’ activities.
● Between November 27 and November 29, the date that Qin Yongmin was released after 12 years in prison, police asked Li for a “chat” where they interrogated her about her plans during Qin’s release, interrupted her internet and phone connections, stationed themselves outside her apartment block, cordoned off her apartment complex with police tapes, and followed her daughter (who went to greet her father outside of the jail). After November 29, police installed three security cameras outside of the home shared by Qin and his parents.
● Li’s internet service was disrupted on a number of occasions over the course of 2010.

2. Zeng Jinyan (曾金燕), wife of imprisoned activist Hu Jia (胡佳)

● Activist Zeng Jinyan, wife of imprisoned activist Hu Jia, has been subjected to police harassment and monitoring for years. In early December 2010, she was placed under very tight surveillance for the period of time surrounding the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony. Hu Jia’s mother was placed under soft detention on December 4, and forbidden from leaving her home without a police “escort.”

3. Xinna (新娜) and Uiles (威勒斯), the wife and son of Inner Mongolian scholar and activist Hada (哈达)

● On December 10, Inner Mongolia scholar and activist Hada was scheduled reach the end of his 15-year prison sentence for “separatism” and “espionage.” The days leading up to his release, however, were marked by increased police pressure on his family members. On December 3, the bookstore run by his wife Xinna was suddenly closed by police, who conducted a 13-hour search of the premises. Xinna was then taken into custody by the police, and held at the Inner Mongolia Number One Detention Center. The next day, Hada’s son Uiles was interrogated by police, after which he released a public letter detailing his experience and other instances of police harassment he has faced over the past fifteen years. After speaking to the media about his mother’s situation on December 5, Uiles disappeared. On December 10, a photograph showing Hada, Xinna, and Uiles sitting together was circulated on the internet, and a New York Times report cited a relative who said the family was together, but confined to “a luxury hotel in Inner Mongolia” by police. CHRD has been unable to contact Hada, Xinna, or Uiles, and cannot independently confirm any news related to his release from prison or the whereabouts of his family members.

4. Wu Lingling (吴玲玲), wife of human rights activist and Christian house church organizer Fan Yafeng (范亚峰)

● Beijing human rights activist and Christian house church organizer Fan Yafeng was detained by police in Beijing between December 9 and December 18 after being summoned for questioning. Fan was released on December 18, but was then placed under “soft detention” at his home. A group of activists and lawyers attempted to visit him on the evening of the 18th, but were blocked by police officers, who took four of them in for questioning as a result. His wife, Wu Lingling, was also summoned for questioning on December 12, and was placed under “soft detention” as well. The church with which Fan is affiliated, Shengshan Research Institute, was searched by police on the 12th, and officers confiscated computers, cell phones, video cameras, bankbooks, bank cards, and nearly 20,000 RMB in cash, among other items.

5. Duan Chunfang (段春芳), sister of Duan Huimin (段惠民)

● On January 2, Shanghai activist Duan Chunfang was released from the Minhang District Detention Center following a year and half of detention for “obstructing official business.” Duan reported that food and medical care in the detention center were extremely poor, and her health suffered as a result; at one point she had lost around 25 kilograms. Duan was imprisoned after she was seized by police at a local government office on July 3, 2009. At the time, she was negotiating the payment of a hospital bill incurred after she was beaten and injured by security guards keeping her under residential surveillance on June 22, 2009. Duan was later charged with “obstructing official business” (police claimed she attacked a police officer) and was sentenced to a year and a half in prison on October 23, 2009.
● Duan Chunfang is the sister of Shanghai petitioner Duan Huimin, who died in early January 2007 immediately after being released from police custody, where he had allegedly been tortured and denied treatment. Duan Chunfang and Duan Huimin started their activism after their home was forcibly demolished by the government and quickly began to help other petitioners in Shanghai to defend their rights. Duan Chunfang has been seeking investigation and official accountability of her brother’s death since.
● Duan Chunfang’s family was closely monitored during the Shanghai Expo.

 

See more UN work on case of Li Jinfang:

Update on Harassment of Human Rights Defenders affiliated with the NGO CHRD, July 2, 2010

 

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