China Human Rights Briefing May 10-17, 2011

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China Human Rights Briefing

May 10-17, 2011

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

 

Highlight

  • Procuratorate Approves Arrest of Beijing Activist Ni Yulan: CHRD learned this week that human rights activist and former lawyer Ni Yulan (倪玉兰) has been formally arrested. The precise charge is not known, but is believed to be “creating a disturbance,” the charge given when Ni was taken into criminal detention along with her husband on April 7. Ni is the eighth activist to be formally arrested as part of the ongoing crackdown on civil society; for an updated list of affected individuals, please click here.

 

Table of Contents

Arbitrary Detention

Updates on Disappearances and Detentions Related to the “Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown

Handicapped Shandong Housing Rights Activist Li Zhixue Detained for “Inciting Subversion”

Heilongjiang Residents Detained after Presenting Grievances in City Park

Guangxi Petitioner, Victim of Violence during Clash over Land Grab, Seized in Beijing

Jiangsu Petitioner Held Nearly Two Months in Black Jails and Detention House

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

Jiangxi Petitioner Hospitalized Following Police Beating

Harassment of Activists

Candidates in Jiangxi Election Disappear, Face Police Harassment ahead of Voting

Guangxi Court Hears Case Brought by Veterans Injured During Detention for Petitioning

Professor Ai Xiaoming Receives Phone Interference, other Harassment

Police Force Farmers Organizer Out of Beijing

Citizens’ Actions

Open Letter Published on National Disabled Person’s Day Urges Government to End Hiring Discrimination

Arbitrary Detention

Updates on Disappearances and Detentions Related to the “Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown

  • CHRD has learned that the Xicheng District Procuratorate in Beijing has approved the arrest of human rights activist and former lawyer Ni Yulan (倪玉兰). The charge is believed to be “creating a disturbance;” however, Ni’s daughter has not yet received a formal arrest notice. Ms. Ni and her husband, Dong Jiqin (董继勤), were taken into detention on April 7 and later criminally detained for “creating a disturbance.” As far as family and friends know, Mr. Dong has not yet been arrested. Ni is the eighth person formally arrested in relation to the “Jasmine Revolution” crackdown. (CHRD)[i]
  • On the afternoon of May 15, police in Beijing allowed Lu Qing (路青), wife of detained artist and activist Ai Weiwei (艾未未), to meet with her husband in an unknown location. The two spoke for approximately 15 minutes, as police monitored and restricted their conversation. Ai wore his own clothes and was not handcuffed; the meeting appeared to be designed to demonstrate that he was alive and in good health. Police have yet to issue any formal documentation which might authorize Ai’s detention. There is still no news regarding Ai’s colleagues, Wen Tao (文涛), Hu Mingfen (胡明芬), Liu Zhenggang (刘正刚) and Zhang Jinsong (张劲松), who disappeared around the same time Ai was seized by the police. (CHRD)[ii]

Handicapped Shandong Housing Rights Activist Li Zhixue Detained for “Inciting Subversion”

On May 10, police in Jining City, Shandong Province criminally detained handicapped housing rights activist Li Zhixue (李志学) on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.” The formal detention notice did not state where Li was being held. Li became involved in housing rights issues after his home was demolished, and has helped other victims of forced demolitions to defend their rights through petitioning and filing lawsuits in the past couple of years. It is believed that Li is being detained for persistent petitioning, but further details regarding his detention are not currently available. (CHRD)[iii]

Heilongjiang Residents Detained after Presenting Grievances in City Park

On the morning of May 16, police in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province gave local activist Zhao Jingzhou (赵景洲) seven days of administrative detention for “disrupting public order;” another local activist, Yu Yunfeng (于云峰), was given 10 days of administrative detention also for “disrupting public order.” Zhao was seized by police after writing his experience as a victim of forced eviction on a wall near Harbin’s Flood Control Monument, while Yu was taken in around the same time after giving a speech near the monument. Police also brought in Zhao’s wife Chen Huijuan (陈惠娟) for questioning that evening and searched the couple’s home, confiscating a desktop computer as well as a laptop computer. (CHRD)[iv]

Guangxi Petitioner, Victim of Violence during Clash over Land Grab, Seized in Beijing

Feng Dacheng (冯达成) a petitioner from Fangchenggang City, Guangxi Province, was seized by police from Jianguomen Police Station in Beijing on May 15, 2011. His current whereabouts are unknown. Feng was wounded when police opened fire with rubber bullets on villagers during a clash over a land requisition on April 21, 2010. He was shot 11 times and spent 40 days recovering in the hospital. Villagers, including Feng, believed their land had been illegally requisitioned and were seeking to prevent local officials and developers from seizing it. During the confrontation, over a dozen villagers were injured (eight were badly injured), four were arrested and later imprisoned for “obstructing official business.” According to police in Beijing, Feng has been detained on suspicion of “obstructing official business” and is a “wanted criminal” in Guangxi Province in connection to the April 21 incident, but precise nature of the accusation against him is not known. According to another victim of the April 21 incident, Feng is being targeted by local police in order to scare other victims away from petitioning. (CHRD)[v]

Jiangsu Petitioner Held Nearly Two Months in Black Jails and Detention House

Petitioner Hao Xiuxia (郝秀侠), of Jiangsu Province, was seized outside the Letters and Visits Office of the Military Commission of the CCP Central Committee in Beijing on February 5 and forcibly returned to her hometown of Xuzhou City. Once there, she was held for four days without food or water in a police station and later a black jail operated out of a local guesthouse. She was then moved to another guesthouse, where she was illegally detained until March 7. During this period of illegal detention, Hao was violently beaten by the men guarding her on one occasion. On March 7, police declared that Hao had “disrupted social order” by petitioning in Beijing, and transferred her to a detention house for 12 days of detention. Following this detention, Hao was once again placed in a black jail, and only after she went on an eight-day hunger strike was she finally released on April 1. Hao has been petitioning since 2004, after the murder of her son, which she believes was not properly investigated by the police. (CHRD)[vi]

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

Jiangxi Petitioner Hospitalized Following Police Beating

CHRD has learned that Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province petitioner Guo Jinying (郭金英) has been hospitalized after being beaten by a Xinyu City PSB official in Beijing. Guo had traveled to Beijing to petition on April 22; she was seized by police and detained for five days before being transferred to Jiujingzhuang, a central black jail, on May 9. She was then picked up by interceptors from the Liaison Office of the Xinyu City government in Beijing, and while she was being illegally detained by these individuals in the liaison office she was sexually insulted and beaten, sustaining injuries to her head and neck. On May 12, she returned to Xinyu, and was taken to the hospital by relatives. Guo began petitioning after local officials destroyed her family’s vineyard last summer. (CHRD)[vii]

Harassment of Activists

Candidates in Jiangxi Election Disappear, Face Police Harassment ahead of Voting

On May 12, Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province residents Liu Ping (刘萍) and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平) went missing. Liu and Wei are campaigning to be elected as representatives to the Xinyu City People’s Congress from Xinyu’s Yushui District. Liu and Wei were harassed by police a day earlier while speaking to residents of the district and distributing information about the upcoming election, set to take place on May 15 and 16. Reportedly, police forcibly sent the two home, but friends have been unable to contact the pair since then. Another candidate, Li Sihua (李思华), was prevented from leaving home by police on the afternoon of May 12. It is believed that police are interfering to prevent Liu, Wei, and Li from speaking to voters ahead of the election and from appearing at polling places, in order to ensure that they are not elected. (CHRD)[viii]

Guangxi Court Hears Case Brought by Veterans Injured During Detention for Petitioning

On the morning of May 11, a suit brought by elderly veterans Liang Faguang (梁发光) and Liu Hailin (刘海林) against the Xinxu Town government was heard by the Beiliu City Court in Beiliu City, Guangxi Province. The hearing ended without a verdict. On April 22, Liang and Liu were seized and detained by police and government officials from Xinxu Town who suspected they were planning to petition. Liang and Liu were roughly handled in the process and sustained injuries to their necks and hips. The pair have been involved in ongoing efforts to secure better benefits and medical insurance for themselves and other veterans of the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Hundreds of veterans’ advocates arrived in town on May 10 and 11 to show their support for Liang and Liu, but local officials prevented the vast majority of them from reaching the courthouse. (CHRD)[ix]

Professor Ai Xiaoming Receives Phone Interference, other Harassment

On May 13, Beijing Aizhixing Institute reported that Ai Xiaoming (艾 晓明), documentary filmmaker and professor at Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-sen University, has been subjected to harassment and threats from unknown sources in recent days. Ms. Ai recently discovered that the keyhole to her home’s front door had been filled with glue, and she has received a high volume of silent phone calls which have disrupted her normal use of her cell phone. Ms. Ai is best known for her documentaries focused on human rights and gender issues. For example, Ai has documented the story of Yao Lifa (姚立法), an activist promoting democratic reforms at the grassroots level, the HIV/AIDS cover-up in the central provinces, as well as the deaths of schoolchildren in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which were attributed to substandard buildings. (CHRD)[x]

Police Force Farmers Organizer Out of Beijing

Police in Beijing have pressured farmers organizer Zhao Fengsheng (赵枫生) to leave the city, CHRD learned on May 15. Zhao, who helped organize a group of farmers from around the country to apply to establish a “National Chinese Farmers’ Association” in 2009, has been under tight surveillance since February of 2011. He spent more than a month in his hometown of Yongzhou City, Hunan Province between March and April, and on May 6, shortly after his return to Beijing, was taken in and admonished by police in Haidian District. Officials then leaned on his landlord to force Zhao out; he has since returned to Yongzhou. It is believed that Zhao has been forced out of Beijing due to the sensitivities around the online call for “Jasmine Revolution” in February and the upcoming anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre in June. (CHRD)[xi]

Citizens’ Actions

Open Letter Published on National Disabled Person’s Day Urges Government to End Hiring Discrimination

To mark the 21st annual National Disabled Person’s Day on May 15, Beijing Yirenping Center published an open letter signed by 1084 disabled persons protesting the government’s discrimination against handicapped individuals in public service recruitment. The letter argues that Chinese authorities are not meeting their legally-mandated responsibility to hire individuals with disabilities, and also that some government employers have instituted physical tests to deny positions to individuals with certain disabilities. (Yirenping)

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnet

News updates from CHRD


[i] “News Flash: Arrest of Human Rights Lawyer Ni Yulan Approved” (快讯:维权律师倪玉兰被批准逮捕), May 17, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_4735.html

[ii] “Ai Weiwei Meets with Family after 40 Days in Detention, Wen Tao and Others Still Missing” (艾未未被羁押40天后会见家人,文涛等人仍无消息), May 16, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/40.html

[iii] “Handicapped Jining Resident Li Zhixue Criminally Detained on Suspicion of ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power'” (济 宁残疾人李志学被以涉嫌“煽动颠覆国家政权”刑拘), May 15, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_1074.html

[iv] “Heilongjiang Activist Zhao Jingzhou Taken into Administrative Detention” (黑龙江维权人士赵景洲被行政拘留), May 15, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_2490.html

[v] “‘Guangxi April 21 Incident’ Victim Seized in Beijing” (“广西4.21血案”受害者在京被抓捕), May 16, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/421_15.html

[vi] “Jiangsu Petitioner Hao Xiuxia Detained in Black Jail, Beaten” (江苏访民郝秀侠被关 黑监狱、拘留毒打), May 10, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_10.html

[vii] “Jiangxi Petitioner Guo Jinying Hospitalized after Being Insulted and Beaten by PSB Director” (江西访民郭金英被公安局长污辱打伤住院), May 14, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_3599.html

[viii] “Jiangxi Independent Candidates Liu Ping and Others Lose Contact with Outside World” (江 西独立候选人刘萍等人与外界失去联系), May 12, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_1028.html

[ix] “Beiliu City, Guanxi Province Court Hears Case of Veteran Beaten for Petitioning” (广 西北流市开庭审理上访老兵被殴案), May 12, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_8641.html

[x] “Beijing Aizhixing Institute Closely Following Violation of Professor Ai Xiaoming’s Human Rights” (北京爱知行研究所强烈关注艾晓明教授遭遇的人权侵害), May 13, 2011, https://profiles.google.com/aizhixing2010/posts/MMEwnRtvtbh#aizhixing2010/posts/MMEwnRtvtbh

[xi] “Farmers’ Association Secretary General Zhao Fengsheng Asked by Beijing Police to Return to Hometown” (农会秘书长赵枫生被北京警方清理回原籍), May 15, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_8967.html

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