[CHRB] Family Sees Chen Kegui for First Time Since Detention Last April; CHRD Calls for Halt to Execution of Li Yan, and more (January 24-31, 2013)Comments Off on [CHRB] Family Sees Chen Kegui for First Time Since Detention Last April; CHRD Calls for Halt to Execution of Li Yan, and more (January 24-31, 2013)
- Family Allowed to Visit Chen Kegui for First Time Since Detention Last April
- Fate of “Jasmine Crackdown” Detainee Still Unknown
- Prominent Chinese Citizens Urge Court to Stop Imminent Execution of Domestic Abuse Victim
Freedom of Information & Access to Information
- Crackdown on Foreign News in Tibetan Areas Aimed at Controlling Monasteries
On January 31, the parents and wife of Chen Kegui (陈克贵) were allowed to see him for the first time since he was taken into custody in April 2012. During a half-hour visit at Linyi Prison in Shandong Province, Chen and his family members reportedly spoke through a glass partition, and a police officer warned them that their conversation was being monitored and recorded. Chen Guangfu (陈光福), Chen Kegui’s father, said that his son appeared to be in fair physical and emotional condition. The nephew of activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), Chen Kegui is serving 39 months for “intentional injury” for his role in an altercation with officials during a home invasion shortly after his uncle escaped house arrest last spring. Denied access to counsel hired by his family, Chen Kegui was convicted at a procedurally flawed trial in November, and his detention is widely seen as retaliation against his uncle.
The whereabouts of Zhejiang Province-based dissident Wei Shuishan (魏水山) remain unknown nearly two years after he was criminally detained during the Jasmine Crackdown on civil society. Since Wei was seized in March 2011, his friends have unsuccessfully sought information from authorities about his circumstances. It is suspected that Wei has either been secretly tried and sentenced, or is simply being illegally detained. Taken into custody on still-unknown charges, Wei is a member of the banned China Democracy Party. His case is the longest confirmed instance of enforced disappearance that CHRD has documented among individuals swept up in the Jasmine Crackdown.
CHRD has joined Chinese lawyers, rights activists and NGO representatives in urging the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) not to issue an execution order to put to death Li Yan (李彦), an alleged victim of domestic violence (see CHRD’s statement). In November 2010, Li killed her husband only after suffering repeated verbal and physical abuses—evidence that two lower courts in Sichuan Province had failed to take into serious consideration before handing down their rulings. Prior to the killing, which appears to have been accidental, Li had reported the abuse to police and asked for help from a local chapter of the All-China Women’s Federation, but no investigations into her allegations ever took place. The SPC has already approved the lower courts’ decisions, but at the time of writing an execution order was not known to have come down. According to Chinese law, the Sichuan Higher People’s Court could carry out the execution of Li within just seven days of such an order. In appealing to the SPC, an open petition organized by rights defense lawyers has been signed by Chinese citizens from across the spectrum of civil society (see text in Chinese).
Chinese authorities have heightened a campaign in Tibetan areas to shut down channels for receiving Tibet-related radio and television news from foreign outlets. Authorities announced fines and other “consequences” for those who failed to surrender banned satellite dishes and other broadcast equipment by January 27. Party and government officials are said to be particularly vigorous in enforcing the order in counties in Qinghai Province, including at a prominent monastery. Issued on January 24, a notice outlining requirements and punishments was released in the name of the Thunding County Rongwo Monastery Management Committee, a recently created body intended to assist official efforts to control monasteries. Such committees, whose members are Party cadres, have replaced most management bodies that were made up of monks elected by their own communities. The crackdown on satellite dishes appears not only to be a deterrent against self-immolations, but also a part of a program under which government aid will be provided in return for installing state-provided satellite dishes and newspapers that feature Party-controlled news and opinions.
Edited by Victor Clemens and Ann Song