Submission to UN on Li Huaping – August 26, 2013Comments Off on Submission to UN on Li Huaping – August 26, 2013
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
on behalf of LI Huaping, citizen of the People’s Republic of China
Alleging Arbitrary Detention & Reprisal Against a Human Rights Defender
1. Family name: LI (李)
2. First name: Huaping (化平)
3. Sex: Male
4. Birth date or age (at the time of detention): September 6, 1966
5. Nationality/Nationalities: Han Chinese
6. Identity document (if any):
7. Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention): Li has written online under the name “Norwegian Wood” (挪威森林) about democracy and freedom and been involved with the “New Citizens’ Movement,” a loose grouping of activists who have advocated for democratic and rule-of-law reforms, constitutionalism, and social justice.
8. Address of usual residence: Changsha City, Hunan Province
1. Date of arrest: August 10, 2013
2. Place of arrest (as detailed as possible): Houjiatang Sub-district Public Security Bureau in Changsha City, Hunan Province
3. Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out: Police from Houjiatang Sub-district Public Security Bureau in Changsha City, Hunan Province
4. Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority? Yes
1. Date of detention: August 10, 2013
2. Duration of detention: From August 10, 2013 through the present (i.e., his detention is ongoing).
3. Forces holding the detainee under custody: Hefei City Public Security Bureau
4. Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention): Li was initially detained by the Houjiatang Sub-district Public Security Bureau in Changsha City, Hunan Province, and then transferred to No. 1 Detention Center of Heifei City, Anhui Province, where he is currently detained.
5. Authorities that ordered the detention: Hefei City Public Security Bureau
6. Reasons for the detention imputed by the authorities: “Gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place”
7. Relevant legislation applied (if known): If Li is formally arrested and subsequently tried and convicted of the current charge, Article 290 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China (“gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place”) stipulates: “Where people are gathered to disturb public order to such a serious extent that work in general, production, business operation, teaching or scientific research cannot go on and heavy losses are caused, the ringleaders shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven 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
Police in Changsha City detained Hunan activist Li Huaping on August 10, 2013, for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place.” However, according to human rights lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原), the notice indicating Li’s detention was issued by police from Hefei City, Anhui Province, and did not provide the reason and date of detention. The detention was in apparent retaliation for Li’s strong protest against authorities’ preventing Annie Zhang (张安妮), the 10-year-old daughter of dissident Zhang Lin (张林), from attending school in Hefei—a deprivation of education rights that attracted a groundswell of public activism. In June 2013, Li had also reportedly initiated a “watch project” to support and financially assist individuals swept up since March 2013 in an ongoing crackdown against Chinese citizens who have been detained for their acts of peaceful assembly and association. These citizens have included activists who, like Li, have been involved in the “New Citizens’ Movement,” a loose grouping of activists that since 2011 has promoted political and legal reforms. To date, the nationwide crackdown has resulted in the criminal detention of more than 50 Chinese activists, more than two dozen of whom have been formally arrested.
Under the Working Group’s criteria for determining when a deprivation of liberty is arbitrary, the circumstances of Mr. Li’s detention satisfy Category II (i.e., when the deprivation of liberty results from the exercise of the rights or freedoms guaranteed by articles 7, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)).
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.
Background and additional information relating to previous arbitrary detentions as well as violation of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression:
Reprisal against family members
In March 2013, Li’s wife, He Xiaolian (何小莲), was reportedly fired by Shanghai Tongji University, where she had worked for around 20 years, apparently due to Li’s participation in the “New Citizens’ Movement.”
Date Submitted: August 26, 2013