Yang Chunlin (杨春林)

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Yang Chunlin (杨春林)

Yang Chunlin • 杨春林



 Recent Detention

Crime: Inciting subversion of state power

Length of Punishment: 5 years’ imprisonment, 2 years’ additional deprivation of political rights

Court: Jiamusi City Intermediate People’s Court

Trial date: February 19, 2008

Sentencing date: March 24, 2008

Dates of Detention/Arrest: July 6, 2007 (detained); August 13, 2007 (arrested); July 6, 2012 (released)

Place of Detention: Xianglan Prison (Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province)

Appeal Sentencing Date: September 19, 2008

Appeal Sentencing Court: Jiamusi Intermediate People’s Court

Appeal Ruling: Upheld original ruling


Yang Chunlin became involved in human rights activities after he was laid off from his work in Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province. He was detained in July of 2007 and formally arrested that August on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” for collecting signatures to endorse the open letter, “We Want Human Rights, Not the Olympics,” in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. The letter was reportedly signed by more than 10,000 people, mostly Heilongjiang farmers who had been fighting forced eviction, and who sympathized with other victims of land lost in cities where officials had used the Olympics as a pretext to requisition land and demolish housing without adequate compensation.

While in detention, Yang, born on July 29, 1956, was reportedly tortured and coerced to confess. During his trial in 2008, Yang was subjected to degrading and inhumane treatment, including being hooded, shackled, and placed in leg irons. Yang was also detained four times in 2006 for helping farmers seeking compensation for lost land and participating in a hunger strike called by the Beijing human rights lawyer Gao ZhishengYang Chunlin was released from prison on July 6, 2012, but is subject to two years deprivation of political rights.

Further Information

Olympics Prisoner Yang Chunlin Tortured, March 31, 2008, CHRD

Submission to UN – Questionnaire completed by Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Alleging Arbitrary Detention of Yang Chunlin, March 30, 2008, CHRD

’Olympics Prisoner’ Yang Chunlin Sentenced to Five Years in Prison, March 24, 2008, CHRD

Open Letter Organizer Seized by Police for Demanding Rights as Olympics Approach, February 28, 2008, CHRD

’Olympics Detainee’ Yang Chunlin Ill-treated during Trial, February 21, 2008, CHRD

Activist Yang Chunlin Tried for Demanding Human Rights Prior to the Olympics, February 19, 2008, CHRD

Detained Heilongjiang Activist, Yang Chunlin, Allegedly Tortured and Ill-treated, October 7, 2007, CHRD

Heilongjiang activist, Yang Chunlin, denied access to lawyer, at risk of torture and ill-treatment, September 21, 2007, CHRD

Heilongjiang Activist Yang Chunlin Arrested for Organizing Open-Letter Campaign: ‘We Want Human Rights, not the Olympics’, August 31, 2007, CHRD

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