Submission to UN on Yang Mingyu – August 26, 2013

Comments Off on Submission to UN on Yang Mingyu – August 26, 2013

Submission to:

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

Allegation Letter

on behalf of YANG Mingyu (aka YANG Lin), citizen of the People’s Republic of China

Alleging Arbitrary Detention & Reprisal Against a Human Rights Defender


1. Family name: YANG (杨)

2. First name: Mingyu (明玉)

3. Sex:  Male

4. Birth date or age (at the time of detention): April 14, 1968

5. Nationality/Nationalities: Han Chinese

6. Identity document (if any):

7. Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention): Yang Mingyu is a migrant laborer-turned-activist originally from Shandong Province and now based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. He was a signatory of “Charter 08,” and has been involved in many rights activities, including pushing for disclosure of official corruption while advocating democracy and constitutionalism.

8. Address of usual residence: 31#, Huangyang Village, Shangdian Town, Linqing City, Shandong Province

 II. Arrest

1. Date of arrest: June 12, 2013

2. Place of arrest (as detailed as possible): Yang was held in an undisclosed location from June 12 to July 19, the day when he was arrested.

3. Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out: Police from the Futian Branch of Shenzhen City Public Security Bureau (PSB) in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province

4. Did they show a warrant or other decision by a public authority? No

III. Detention

1. Date of detention: June 12, 2013

2. Duration of detention: From June 12, 2013 through the present (i.e., his detention is ongoing).

3. Forces holding the detainee under custody: Futian Branch of Shenzhen City PSB

4. Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention): Yang was initially detained secretly for 37 days from June 12, 2013, and then transferred by July 19 to Futian District Detention Center in Shenzhen, where he is currently detained.

5. Authorities that ordered the detention: Futian Branch of Shenzhen City Public Security Bureau

6. Reasons for the detention imputed by the authorities: “Inciting subversion of state power”

7. Relevant legislation applied (if known): If Yang’s case goes to trial, Article 105 (2) of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China (“inciting subversion of state power”) stipulates a fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance or deprivation of political rights to those who incite others by spreading rumors or slanders or any other means to subvert the State power or overthrow the socialist system.

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

Yang Mingyu was arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” on July 19 after being held incommunicado by police in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province. His initial “disappearance” and subsequent arrest are believed to be reprisal for his pro-democracy and rights activism. In particular, Yang has been detained as part of a nationwide crackdown against peaceful assembly and association that to date has resulted in the criminal detention of more than 50 Chinese activists, more than two dozen of whom have been formally arrested.

Mr. Yang was taken away by Shenzhen police on June 12 and went missing from that date. On July 19, 37 days after Yang had gone missing, the Futian Branch of Shenzhen Public Security Bureau (PSB) issued a notification of formal arrest of Yang on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.” On August 12, Yang’s lawyer Li Jinglin (李静林) tried to meet him at Futian District Detention Center but was refused by Futian PSB officers, who alleged that the meeting may “reveal state secrets.” According to lawyer Li, Yang had been secretly detained and interrogated for 37 days, the time limit legally provided for criminal detention (before a detainee must be either formally arrested or released).

For months before he was initially detained, Mr. Yang had participated in rights activities, including holding banners in streets, calling for disclosure of top Chinese officials’ assets and criticizing the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian rule. Around the June Fourth anniversary of the Tianamen Massacre, Yang initiated activities disclosing government corruption in Beijing, advocating democracy and constitutionalism. National security officers in the capital initially took Yang into custody on June 3 and then forcibly returned him to Shenzhen. Officers reportedly also threatened Yang, saying that he could disappear by being “put into a bag and thrown to the bottom of the sea in the South, or buried in a pit dug in the desert in the North.”

Under the Working Group’s criteria for determining when a deprivation of liberty is arbitrary, the circumstances of Mr. Yang’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.

After Yang Mingyu had disappeared on June 12, more than 100 people signed an appeal calling for Shenzhen authorities to disclose his whereabouts. After Yang was officially arrested, more than 100 more people signed an appeal calling for Yang’s release.

Background and additional information relating to previous arbitrary detentions as well as violation of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression:

Arbitrary detention and harassment

Yang Mingyu has sought redress over what he considered an unfair settlement following a work injury at a factory in 2006. He gradually began to help others who were also seeking justice for various injustices that they had suffered. In retaliation for his rights advocacy efforts, Yang has been sent to prison and Re-education through Labor, given many administrative detentions, and held in “black jails” numerous times.

Date Submitted: August 26, 2013

Back to Top