Yang Chunlin (杨春林)Comments Off on Yang Chunlin (杨春林)
Yang Chunlin • 杨春林
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 Zhisheng. Yang Chunlin was released from prison on July 6, 2012, but is subject to two years deprivation of political rights.