China Human Rights Briefing October 6-12, 2011Comments Off on China Human Rights Briefing October 6-12, 2011
China Human Rights Briefing
October 6-12, 2011
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• Co-founder of Hunan China Democracy Party Released: On October 10, Bo Xiaomao (柏小毛), who co-founded the Hunan Province branch of the China Democracy Party (CDP), was released after serving 12 years in prison for “subversion of state power.” Bo has been imprisoned a total of 18 years for his democracy activism.
• “Operation Free Chen Guangcheng” Galvanizes Chinese Activists: Since several activists fell out of contact when trying to see lawyer and activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚) in Shandong Province, online activist communities in China have spoken out even more passionately than usual about Chen’s plight. This cyber-activism has brought greater attention to his house arrest, and seemingly led more activists to risk heading to Dongshigu Village to see Chen and to discuss measures in place to harass visitors.
• CHRD Calls for Freedom for Liu Xiaobo & Liu Xia: On October 6, CHRD issued a statement urging the Chinese government to release Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), the writer and dissident, and end the unlawful house arrest of his wife, Liu Xia (刘霞). Since October 2010, when Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he has continued to languish in prison, and Liu Xia has been largely cut off from the outside world as she has endured house arrest.
• Democracy Activist Freed After 12 Years
• Sichuan Cadre Arrested for Assisting Villagers Resist Land Seizure
• Henan Military Veterans Detained After Petitioning Over Salary, Benefits
• 80-Year-Old Petitioner Held in Black Jail for Third Week, Allegedly “Complained to Foreigners” in Beijing’s Embassy Row
Harassment of Activists
• “Operation Free Chen Guangcheng” Obstructed, Activists Go Missing
• Activist Details Intense Measures in Place to Prevent Visits to Chen Guangcheng
• Hubei Petitioners Face Heightened Controls Around Anniversary of Xinhai Revolution
Local People’s Congress Elections Watch
• Over 900 Guangdong Voters Call for Re-Vote; Bail Application for Arrested Candidate Rejected
• Beijing Police Harass, Monitor Independent Candidates Running for District People’s Congress
• CHRD Calls for Release of Liu Xiaobo, End of Unlawful House Arrest of Liu Xia
Democracy Activist Freed After 12 Years
Bo Xiaomao (柏小毛), co-founder of the Hunan Province branch of the banned China Democracy Party (CDP), was released from prison on October 10 after completing a 12-year sentence for “subversion of state power.” That morning, Bo’s younger sister received a call about his release from Chishan Prison, where Bo was held, and she spoke briefly with Bo on the phone. Bo was required to report to a local police station before returning home.
For his democracy activism, Bo has served two prison sentences totaling 18 years. He was first sentenced to seven years in prison for “counterrevolution,” a crime removed from China’s Criminal Law in 1997, for participating in the 1989 democracy rights movement in Beijing, and was released in 1995. Bo then became secretary-general of the CDP in Hunan during its planning stage, was arrested in October of 1999, and sentenced to 12-years’ imprisonment for “subversion.” (HRCC)[i]
Sichuan Cadre Arrested for Assisting Villagers Resist Land Seizure
CHRD has learned that, on September 14, Zou Fulun (邹富伦), a cadre with the Culture and Sports Bureau in Xingwen County in Sichuan Province, was formally arrested on charges of “extortion” by the Xingwen County Procuratorate. In the past two years, Zou has been assisting villagers in Taoziping Village in their efforts to resist the forced seizure of land by the local government. Zou, well-versed in Chinese law and central government policies, has been instrumental in providing strategic support to the villagers. He was taken into custody on August 29, and is being held in the Changning County Detention Center. (CHRD)[ii]
Henan Military Veterans Detained After Petitioning Over Salary, Benefits
Eleven discharged military veterans were detained after petitioning in Beijing around National Day over issues of salary and benefits. Following their forced return to Qixian County in Henan Province, 11 of the 18 total petitioners were detained on October 2 in the Henan Qixian County Detention Center, though without any legal documentation. Five were subsequently issued administrative detentions ranging from one week to 10 days for “illegal petitioning and disturbing social order,” and sent to the Qixian County Detention House. Authorities threatened the petitioners, warning them that the next time they go to Beijing to petition they will not simply be detained but sent to Re-education through Labor. (CHRD)[iii]
80-Year-Old Petitioner Held in Black Jail for Third Week, Allegedly “Complained to Foreigners” in Beijing’s Embassy Row
Petitioner Hua Huiqing (华惠清), from Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, remains held in a black jail in Wuxi after initially being seized in Beijing on September 18. She and others were taken away for allegedly “complaining to foreigners” (告洋状) around the Jianguomenwai area, where foreign embassies are located. While standing across from the United Nations Development Programme office building, Wuxi interceptors duped the petitioners into thinking they were willing to help them by collecting grievance materials, but they instead roughed up and detained the group. Over 80 years of age, Hua is reportedly receiving “legal education” in an “education and training base” once used for national defense corps in Wuxi. Hua has previously been subjected to various abuses for petitioning over a home eviction and demolition. (CHRD)[iv]
Harassment of Activists
“Operation Free Chen Guangcheng” Obstructed, Activists Go Missing
On October 5, a group of nine activists fell out of contact en route to visiting the “barefoot” lawyer and activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚) in Dongshigu Village in Linyi City, Shandong Province. The group includes Liu Shasha (刘莎莎) as well as Xu Xiuchen (徐秀臣) from Xuzhou, Peng Jinyuan (彭金元), Liu Yong (刘勇), and a Xinhua journalist. Liu Yong had sent several messages while on the road to Linyi but has not been heard from since the afternoon of October 5, approximately the same time the group had said that they had hoped to reach Dongshigu. By October 6, there was no news from others in the group except one—Miao Jue (妙觉), who had indicated that police from Xuzhou and other security personnel had taken her back to Nanjing City in the evening of October 5. Last month, both Liu Shasha and Miao had been intercepted, roughed up, and robbed by thugs when on a similar quest to visit Chen. Since local authorities released Chen and put him under house arrest last year, many attempts to see him have failed, including by CNN journalists and EU diplomats as well as Chinese activists.
In addition, on the afternoon of October 7, Zhou Yiqing (周益清), manager of a business in Chongqing who was reportedly traveling alone to Shandong to try to see Chen, called CHRD and indicated he had entered Dongshigu with the help of local villagers. Zhou then went out of contact for several hours, and later reported that he had been beaten and injured but could not elaborate. (CHRD)[v]
Activist Details Intense Measures in Place to Prevent Visits to Chen Guangcheng
Since a group of activists (above) recently fell out of contact en route to visiting Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚) in Dongshigu Village in Linyi City, Shandong Province during their “Operation Free Chen Guangcheng,” the Twitter community of Chinese activists has been filled with messages of indignation and anger about Chen’s situation. But the rough treatment of Chen’s visitors has not deterred others from taking trips to Dongshigu Village. In fact, it seems to have galvanized the human rights community, generated more attention to Chen’s plight, and led other activists willing to risk beatings and abduction to try to visit the barricaded activist and his family.
After heading to Dongshigu last week, an activist and reporter with the organization Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch (CRLW), Li Xiangyang (李向阳), has revealed details of the harassment he endured. Li’s account provides significant insight into measures set up by authorities to intimidate people who approach the village with the expressed intent of seeing Chen. Li also discloses an official notice that largely functions as a warning to local residents to avoid any involvement with the lawyer and activist.
As soon as Li and two friends arrived in Dongshigu on October 7, their vehicle was surrounded by about 30 individuals. After revealing that they were looking for Chen, the group was dragged into a small, newly-built structure on the side of the road that Li concluded had been specifically built to detain people. The individuals holding and intimidating them eventually said that Chen Guangcheng was not at home. After Li said he would not seek out Chen, he was let go and pushed back into the vehicle, and the three activists drove off.
After a while, they stopped again and Li asked a shopkeeper about Chen, and the shopkeeper showed Li a notice that essentially ordered no one to speak about Chen under any circumstances, and not to give directions to Chen’s home to anyone wanting to visit him. The notice also told people to call a specific phone number if they came upon people looking for Chen. Li further observed the notice stated that those who violated the order would be dealt with severely “according to the law.”
Later, Li went to the Shuanghou Town Police Station with the intention of filing a report about what had happened to him when the group was intercepted. Instead, Li was questioned intensively at the station about why he had come to the area, had his cell phone taken away, and was put under watch for about five hours. Li was then handed over to two national security officers from Yishui County in Linyi, where he is from. Li estimated that more than 200 individuals are being used to control the movements of Chen Guangcheng as well as those who come looking to see him. (CRLW)[vi]
Hubei Petitioners Face Heightened Controls Around Anniversary of Xinhai Revolution
As China marked 100 years after the founding of the Republic of China, nervous authorities in Wuhan, Hubei Province placed controls on the movement of petitioners around October 10—the anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising in the city’s Wuchang District in 1911 that sparked the Xinhai Revolution. On October 8, petitioner Zhang Chunxia (张春霞) was detained by police as she passed by the Hubei Provincial Party Committee building, and had a USB drive confiscated. The next day, a group of petitioners, including Xia Youhua (夏幼华), went to Shouyi Square, where they encountered tight security from uniformed and plainclothes police officers as well as armed police. The officers did not allow anyone to stay in the square, and armed policemen reportedly took out their guns and forced citizens onto an adjacent street. Petitioners Wan Shaohua (万少华) and Li Yuqin (李玉琴) have also had their movements restricted recently, with police taking Li away to Caidian District on October 10. That same evening, police forcibly took away Hanchuan City rights defender Yu Menglong (余梦龙) after he had met with activist Shi Shiyu (士石玉) and others in Wuhan. Yu remained out of contact at the time of writing. (CRLW, CHRD)[vii]
Local People’s Congress Elections Watch
Over 900 Guangdong Voters Call for Re-Vote; Bail Application for Arrested Candidate Rejected
More than 900 residents of a voting district in Guangdong Province jointly signed a letter submitted to the Shunde District Election Commission on October 8 over alleged illegalities in the People’s Congress election held in the Rongli electoral district. Asserting the September 20 election should be declared invalid, the letter demanded it be better publicized and that a re-vote be conducted.
In addition, a bail application submitted on October 9 for Rongli independent candidate Li Biyun (李碧云), who is in poor health, had been rejected by the next day. Li had protested the election and has been detained on the charge of “undermining elections” at the Shunde District Detention Center since voting day, when she attacked the Rongli neighborhood committee secretary. The Shunde District Public Security Bureau arrested her on September 27. On October 10, one of Li’s lawyers, Wang Quanping (王全平), went to see her in the hospital where she was getting treatment, and found Li in low spirits and with a violent cough. (CHRD)[viii]
Beijing Police Harass, Monitor Independent Candidates Running for District People’s Congress
Beijing police continue to obstruct publicity and informational events involving independent candidates running for district People’s Congress seats in the capital. On October 6, 13 candidates were prevented from attending an event to support candidate Li Sumin (刘素民) at her home in Dongcheng District. That day, police converged on Li’s home and filled the courtyard area. Candidates Ye Jingchun (野靖春), Zhang Jiang (湛江), Wang Xiuzhen (王秀珍), and Zhang Shan’gen (张善根) were not allowed to enter the district, and three police officers were also closely monitoring the movements of candidates Ye Jinghuai (野靖环), Yang Lingyun (杨凌云), Zheng Weiwei (郑威为), and Zhou Xiuling (周秀玲). On September 29, police similarly restricted the movements of several independent candidates who planned to take part in an event rallying support for candidate Han Ying (韩颖) in Haidian District. (CHRD)[ix]
CHRD Calls for Release of Liu Xiaobo, End of Unlawful House Arrest of Liu Xia
On October 6, CHRD issued a statement urging the Chinese government to release Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), the writer and dissident, and end the unlawful house arrest of his wife, Liu Xia (刘霞). A year after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, announced by the Nobel Committee on October 8, 2010, Liu Xiaobo continues to languish in a Chinese prison without regular family visits. Since October 18 of last year, Liu Xia has been under unlawful house arrest and largely cut off from communication with the outside world. (CHRD)[x]
Editors of this issue: Victor Clemens and Songlian Wang
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[i] “Bo Xiaomao, Founder of Hunan Democracy Party, Released From Prison on Special Day” (湖南民主党创建人之一柏小毛特殊日子出狱), October 10, 2011, http://rightscampaign.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_7388.html
[ii] “Sichuan Cadre Zou Fulun Arrested for Participating in Rights Defense Activities” (四川在职干部邹富伦因参与维权遭逮捕), October 9, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_1519.html
[iii] “Numerous Discharged Military Representatives from Henan Detained” (河南多名退役军人代表 上访遭拘留), October 10, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_8289.html
[iv] “Intercepted on September 18, Wuyi Petitioner Hua Huiqing Remains Held in Black Jail” (九月十八日无锡访民华惠清被截访 至今仍关在黑 监狱), October 6, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_1428.html; “Wuyi Rights Defender Hua Huiqing Detained in Black Jail Where Hu Jintao Had Been Posted” (无锡维权人士 华惠清被关入由胡锦涛站岗的黑监狱), October 6, 2011, http://rightscampaign.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_06.html; “Wuxi Rights Defender Hua Huiqing Suspected to Been Sent to Black Jail” (无锡维权人士 华惠清疑被投入黑监狱), September 23, 2011, http://rightscampaign.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-post_2170.html
[v] “Chongqing Enterprise Manager Zhou Yiqing Abducted, Beaten Trying to See Chen Guangcheng” (重庆企业老总 周益清探访陈光诚遭绑架殴打), October 7, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_3884.html; “More Interference When Visiting Chen Guangcheng, Netizens Once Again Voice Wave of Support” (探访陈光诚再 遭阻挡 网路再掀起声援巨浪), October 6, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_06.html; “Alert: Nine Netizens, Including Liu Shasha, Lose Contact With Outside World” (快讯：刘沙沙 等九网友与外界失去联系), October 5, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_3140.html; “Activist Liu Yong, Others Go Missing En Route to Seeing Chen Guangcheng” (异议人士刘勇 等人在前往陈光诚家探望途中失踪), October 5, 2011, http://rightscampaign.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_2483.html; “Netizens Going to Visit Chen Guangcheng Determined to Enter Village at 2 p.m.” (探访陈光诚的 网友决定下午两点进村), October 4, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_3746.html
[vi] “Li Xiangyang: Experience of Friends and I Going to Visit Chen Guangcheng” (李向阳：我和朋友探访陈光诚的经过), October 7, 2011, http://www.msguancha.com/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=14673
[vii] “Hubei Rights Defenders Taken Away by Police for Celebrating Xinhai Revolution” (湖北维权人士因纪念辛亥革命被警察带走), October 10, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_2330.html; “Numerous Wuhan Petitioners Face Strict Controls” (武汉多位访民遭到严控), October 9, 2011, http://www.msguancha.com/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=14676
[viii] “Newest Case Developments of Arrested Foshan People’s Congress Candidate Li Biyun” (佛 山被逮捕的人大代表参选人李碧云案最新进展), October 10, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_525.html; “Over 900 Voters in Li Biyun’s Foshan Voting District Jointly Submit ‘Indictment of Illegal Election’” (佛山李碧云案选区九百多名选民联名递交《选举违法控告书》), October 9, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_2347.html; “Newest Developments in Criminal Detention of Foshan City Independent Candidate Li Biyun” (佛山市独立 参选人李碧云被刑拘最新进展), October 2, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_1238.html; “Independent Candidate Li Biyun Criminally Detained for ‘Undermining Election’” (独立参选人 李碧云被以“破 坏选举罪”刑 拘), September 26, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-post_1995.html
[ix] “13 People’s Congress Candidates in Beijing Have Freedom Restricted Over Legal Education Popularization Event” (北京13名公民参选人普法活动第六站 多人被限制自由), October 6, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/10/13_06.html; “Several National People’s Congress Candidate Representatives in Beijing Have Limits Placed on Freedom” (北京多位人大代表参选者被限 制自由), September 30, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-post_30.html
[x] “Empty Chair Remains Empty: Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo Languishes in Prison – China Must Release Liu Xiaobo and End the Unlawful House Arrest of Liu Xia,” October 6, 2011, https://www.nchrd.org/2011/10/06/empty-chair-remains-empty-nobel-laureate-liu-xiaobo-languishes-in-prison/