Submission to UN on Gu Yimin – October 17, 2013

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Submission to:

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders




1. Family name: GU (顾)

2. First name: Yimin (义民)

3. Sex:  Male

4. Birth date or age (at the time of detention): November 3, 1977

5. Nationality/Nationalities: People’s Republic of China

6. Profession and/or activity (if believed to be relevant to the arrest/detention): Office worker at a transportation company and activist, who has advocated for human rights and democracy. In May 2013, Gu posted photos online related to the 1989 massacre around Tiananmen Square. He also applied to hold a public gathering on June 4, 2013, to memorialize the massacre.

7. Address of usual residence: Xiaoshan Village, Dayi Town, Changshu City, Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province

II. Arrest

1. Date of arrest: June 1, 2013

2. Place of arrest (as detailed as possible): Mr. Gu’s place of work, a public transportation company in Changshu, Jiangsu Province

3. Forces who carried out the arrest or are believed to have carried it out: Dayi Branch of Changshu Public Security Bureau (“Changshu PSB”)

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

5. Authority who issued the warrant or decision: No warrant is known to have been issued.

6. Relevant legislation applied (if known):

III. Detention

1. Date of detention: June 2, 2013

2. Duration of detention (if not known, probable duration): From June 2, 2013 through the present (i.e., his detention is ongoing)

3. Forces holding the detainee under custody: The Dayi Branch of the Changshu PSB held Mr. Gu for 24 hours from the date of summoning him (on June 1, 2013). On June 2, the Changshu PSB held Gu under criminal detention and arrested him on June 14.

4. Places of detention (indicate any transfer and present place of detention): Following the 24-hour summoning, Mr. Gu has been detained at the Changshu City Detention Center.

5. Authorities that ordered the detention: Changshu City People’s Procuratorate

6. Reasons for the detention imputed by the authorities: “Inciting subversion of state power,” through posting online photos from the 1989 massacre around Tiananmen Square, and refusing to withdraw an application to hold a public gathering to mark the anniversary.

7. Relevant legislation applied (if known): 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

Police took Jiangsu rights activist Gu Yimin away from his job on June 1, 2013, just before the politically sensitive June Fourth anniversary, and days after he had posted photos online from the 1989 massacre around Tiananmen Square and had also refused to withdraw an application to hold a public gathering to mark the June Fourth anniversary. His wife Xu Yan (徐燕) returned home on June 1 and discovered that the police had also raided their home and confiscated Gu’s computer. When she went to the local police station to inquire about the raid and her husband’s fate, she was told that her husband had been detained on June 2 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.” On June 15, Xu received police notification of Gu’s arrest under the same charge.

The Changshu City People’s Intermediate Court put Mr. Gu on trial on September 29, 2013, but did not announce a verdict. Police prevented activists from attending the hearing, which is a clear violation of the PRC Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), which stipulates that first-instance trials shall be heard in public (Articles 11 and 152 of the 1996 CPL; Article 183 of the 2013 CPL). While other were barred from attending the trial, Gu’s wife and mother were able to enter the courtroom—the first time they had seen Gu since he was seized on June 1.

Mr. Gu has been detained and tried solely on the basis of the peaceful exercise of his rights guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Specifically, under the Working Group’s criteria for determining when a deprivation of liberty is arbitrary, the circumstances of Gu’s detention satisfy both 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 UDHR and Category III (i.e., when the total or partial non-observance of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial, spelled out in the UDHR and in the relevant international instruments accepted by the States concerned, is of such gravity as to give the deprivation of liberty an arbitrary character).

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

Gu’s wife, Xu Yan, went to the local police station to inquire about her husband’s whereabouts and was informed that he had been criminally detained on June 2. Activists and supporters have publicized Gu’s detention and arrest and posted messages online demanding his release.


Submitted: October 17, 2013

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