Submission to UN on Zhu Yufu – July 11, 2011

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Communiqué on behalf of Zhu Yufu, citizen of People’s Republic of China, Alleging Arbitrary Arrest or Detention, Persecution of Human Rights Defenders and Violation of Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression

 

I. IDENTITY

1. Family name: Zhu (朱)
2. First name: Yufu (虞夫)
3. Sex: Male
4. Birth date or age (at the time of detention): February 13, 1953
5. Nationality/Nationalities: People’s Republic of China (Han)
6. Identity document (if any): NA
7. Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention): Zhu Yufu is a pro-democracy activist and previously worked as a property manager at the Hangzhou City Shangcheng District Urban Housing Bureau.

II. Arrest

 

1. Date of arrest: March 5, 2011
2. Place of arrest (as detailed as possible): Zhu’s home in Moye Tang South Village, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province
3. Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out: Shangcheng District Branch of the Hangzhou City Public Security Bureau
4. Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority? Unknown

 

III. Detention

 

1. Date of detention: March 5, 2011
2. Duration of detention: From March 5, 2011 through the present (i.e., ongoing).
3. Forces holding the detainee under custody: Shangcheng District Branch of the Hangzhou City Public Security Bureau
4. Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention): Shangcheng District Detention Center
5. Authorities that ordered the detention: Shangcheng District Branch of the Hangzhou 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).
On March 5, police from the Shangcheng District PSB in Hangzhou City arrived at Zhu’s home and took him away. Officers also searched his home and confiscated two computers and other items.. Zhu was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” and on April 11, he was formally arrested on the same charge. Zhu was not allowed to meet with his lawyers until May 17, more than two months after he was taken into detention. He has yet to appear before a judge.
We believe that Zhu’s detention is arbitrary based on the stipulations of Category II (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. It is possible, though not confirmed, that Zhu’s detention was related to posting information online related to these calls for protests.
The charge of “inciting subversion of state power” is frequently used by the Chinese government to prosecute activists and dissidents for the nonviolent expression of their opinions and ideas. Neither the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China nor relevant regulations or interpretations define ”subversion,” or what it means to “incite” others to ”subvert” state power.
Zhu is a longtime pro-democracy activist and a co-founder of the banned China Democracy Party. He has been previously harassed and incarcerated for expressing his opinions and exercising his rights. Zhu was convicted of “subversion of state power” in 1999 and served seven years in prison for establishing the Opposition Party magazine, which carried articles about the China Democracy Party. After his release in 2006, he spoke out against the torture he suffered in prison and continued to promote democratization. He was detained again in 2007 after a confrontation with a police officer who was questioning his son, and sentenced to two years in prison for “beating police and hindering public duty.”

 

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.

 

As Zhu was only recently allowed to meet with his lawyers, it is not known whether he has begun pursuing any steps to challenge his detention. Zhu has yet to be tried for “inciting subversion of state power.”

 

See more UN work on case of Zhu Yufu:

CHRD Update to Urgent Appeal of Mr. Zhu Yufu – November 30, 2012

Zhu Yufu & Other Cases: PR China Reply & CHRD Response (June 25, 2012)

 

 

 

 

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