Chinese Court Sends to Jail Activist and “Jasmine Crackdown” Detainee Wang LihongComments Off on Chinese Court Sends to Jail Activist and “Jasmine Crackdown” Detainee Wang Lihong
Chinese Court Sends to Jail Activist and “Jasmine Crackdown” Detainee Wang Lihong
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, September 9, 2011) Beijing-based human rights defender and democracy activist, Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), was convicted of “creating a disturbance” and sentenced to nine months in prison this morning by the Chaoyang District People’s Court in Chaoyang District, Beijing.
Qi Jianxiang (齐 健翔), Wang’s son, told supporters that his mother is innocent and that the court “should not have sentenced her to even one day in prison.” Wang told her lawyers that she would appeal.
Over 200 supporters, journalists and diplomats gathered outside the courthouse to wait for the verdict, and a large number of uniformed and plainclothes police were also present. Only Wang’s family and her lawyers, Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓 原) and Han Yicun (韩 一 村), were allowed to attend the verdict hearing. Many Beijing activists such as filmmaker He Yang (何 杨), tainted milk activist Zhao Lianhai (赵 连 海) and dissident Zha Jiaguo (查 建 国) were not allowed to leave their homes or were warned beforehand. Some activists who tried to go to Beijing to show their support were stopped by local police from leaving their hometowns.
Wang, 55, was criminally detained for “creating a disturbance” on March 21 during the government’s crackdown following online calls for “Jasmine Revolution.” Wang was formally arrested on April 21. The charge against her was later changed to “gathering a crowd to disrupt traffic order,” and in mid-July the procuratorate approved her case for prosecution, but under the original charge of “creating a disturbance.” On August 12, trial proceedings opened and then concluded after two-and-a-half hours. According to her attorneys, the proceedings were marred by many procedural flaws and the case itself has all along been rife with errors in the investigation and indictment stages. The charge against Wang is tied to her support for the “Fujian Three” netizens who were convicted of slander last year, and in particular to Wang’s participation in a large peaceful protest outside the netizens’ sentencing hearing on April 16, 2010.
“Sending Wang Lihong to prison suggests that the Chinese government feels quite confident to go after the less-known activists, to whom the international community has paid little attention. Several activists in similar situation, such as Chen Wei (陈卫), Ding Mao (丁矛), Liang Haiyi (梁 海怡) and Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫), remain in detention awaiting trial after they were arrested during the ‘Jasmine Crackdown’,” said Renee Xia, CHRD’s International Director.
CHRD condemns the imprisonment of Wang Lihong and demands her immediate release. We believe that Wang is being imprisoned solely for exercising her rights to freedom of expression, assembly and to defend the human rights of others.
In 1989, Wang joined the pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing, an experience which led her to resign from her government job in 1991. Wang, a former doctor, then became a dedicated democracy activist and human rights defender. She has worked on projects such as relief efforts for the “Tiananmen homeless” and advocated on behalf of three imprisoned Fujian netizens and citizens fighting land seizures in Beihai City, Guangxi Province.
For More Information:
Individuals Affected by the Crackdown Following Call for “Jasmine Revolution,” Updated September 7, 2011, https://www.nchrd.org/2011/08/17/jasmine_crackdown/
“Let the Sun Shines on the Ground,” a documentary about Wang Lihong by Ai Xiaoming, https://www.nchrd.org/2011/09/08/3237/
Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin), +852 8191 6937 or +1 301 547 9286, firstname.lastname@example.org