Submission to UN on Xue Mingkai – July 14, 2011Comments Off on Submission to UN on Xue Mingkai – July 14, 2011
Communiqué on behalf of Xue Mingkai, citizen of People’s Republic of China, Alleging Arbitrary Arrest or Detention and Violation of Freedom of Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression
1. Family name: Xue (薛)
2. First name: Mingkai (明凯)
3. Sex: Male
4. Birth date or age (at the time of detention): October 8, 1989
5. Nationality/Nationalities: People’s Republic of China (Han)
6. Identity document (if any): ID Card
7. Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention): Xue is a pro-democracy and human rights activist; he has been imprisoned in the past for contacting overseas democracy organizations and allegedly planning to organize a political party.
8. Address of usual residence: Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China
1. Date of arrest: unknown, believed to be late February 2011
2. Place of arrest (as detailed as possible): Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province
3. Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out: Hangzhou City Public Security Bureau
4. Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority? unknown
1. Date of detention: March 7 or 8, 2011
2. Duration of detention: From approximately March 7, 2011 through the present ( i.e., ongoing)
3. Forces holding the detainee under custody: Jining City (Shandong Province) Public Security Bureau
4. Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention): Xue was taken into detention by police in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province at some point in late February. He was transferred to Jining City, Shandong Province on March 7 or 8 and detained in the Jining City Detention Center.
5. Authorities that ordered the detention: Jining City Public Security Bureau
6. Reasons for the detention imputed by the authorities: “inciting subversion of state power”
7. Relevant legislation applied (if known): Article 105 (2) of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China: “Whoever incites others by spreading rumors or slanders or any other means to subvert the State power or overthrow the socialist system shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance or deprivation of political rights; and the ringleaders and the others who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years.”
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
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).
Precise details regarding Xue’s arrest and detention are unclear because police have yet to provide his family with a formal detention notice or a formal arrest notice. According to his father, who spoke with Jining City Public Security officials, Xue was taken into detention in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province (where he was living at the time) in late February 2011. On March 7 or 8, 2011, he was taken to Jining City in Shandong Province and placed under criminal detention for “inciting subversion of state power.” On April 24, 2011, Xue was formally arrested on the same charge. He is currently being held at the Jining City Detention Center. However, his parents have not been able to visit him, and his mother, who had repeatedly inquired with Jining officials about her son’s situation, went missing on April 20, 2011. She was last seen outside of the Jining City Letters and Visits office.
We believe that Xue’s detention is arbitrary based on the stipulations of Category II (as set forth in paragraph B above). His arrest took place during the crackdown on civil society launched by the Chinese government following the Arab Spring and anonymous online calls for “Jasmine Revolution” protests in China earlier this year. The calls for “Jasmine Revolution” protests were used as a pretext by police to target longtime dissidents and activists. Xue has been on the radar of the authorities for a number of years because of his pro-democracy and human rights activism. Xue served 18 months in prison between May 2009 and November 2010 for “subversion of state power.” A migrant worker living in Shenzhen at the time, Xue was charged with “subversion” after allegedly planning to organize a political party called the “China Democratic Workers’ Party” with online friends in the summer of 2006 and then contacting and joining an overseas democracy organization in early 2009.
The charge of “inciting subversion of state power” is frequently used by the government to persecute activists and dissidents for the nonviolent expression of their ideas. Neither the PRC Criminal Law nor relevant regulations or interpretations define ”subversion,” or what it means to “incite” others to ”subvert” state power.
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.
It is unknown what, if any, steps Xue has been able to take to challenge his detention. He has yet to be brought before a judge, and it is not known whether he has received any legal representation at any point during his detention thus far.
Xue’s parents have tried to lodge complaints with the government but they encountered great difficulties and harassment. The parents, Wang Shuqing (王书清) and Xue Fushun (薛夫顺), were beaten in late June 2011 for trying to petition the government to complain about both their son’s criminal detention and also the beatings Wang endured during a stint in Re-education through Labor(RTL). In October 2010, Wang Shuqing was sent to one year of RTL by police in Jining for petitioning about her son’s previous imprisonment. Though given a one-year RTL
penalty in October 2010, she was released from detention early this year after being subjected to severe beatings. On June 23, 2011, Wang and her husband went to petition at the High People’s Procuratorate in Beijing about their son’s recent detention in the “Jasmine Revolution” crackdown. They were intercepted and handed over to personnel from the Liaison Office of Jining City, Shandong Province. On the morning of June 24, four or five employees came into a room at the office and beat Xue Fushun, and then put the couple in a vehicle to send them back to Shandong. Late that evening, Wang and Xue were dumped on the roadside in Dezhou City. Shortly thereafter, another vehicle came and five or six individuals got out and beat Xue with clubs. At this time, Xue is still unable to walk from the injuries he suffered.