[CHRB] Show Trials of Anti-Corruption Activists Held, Suspended (1/17-1/30/14)Comments Off on [CHRB] Show Trials of Anti-Corruption Activists Held, Suspended (1/17-1/30/14)
China Human Rights Briefing
January 17-30, 2014
- Activist Xu Zhiyong Given Four Years; Supporters Blocked From Court, Seized
- More Trials Held, Suspended in Beijing for New Citizens’ Movement Activists
- Activist Liu Yuandong’s Trial Held in Guangzhou, Many Supporters Blocked
- Shandong Man Detained Over Banner Calling for Democracy, June Fourth Remembrance
- Members of Beijing Christian Group Criminally Detained
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment
- Li Biyun, Past Candidate for People’s Congress, Recounts Experience of Torture
Updates on Crackdown on Peaceful Assembly, Association and Expression
Activist Xu Zhiyong Given Four Years; Supporters Blocked From Court, Seized
A Beijing court sentenced legal advocate Xu Zhiyong (许志永) to a four year prison sentence for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” on January 26 in retaliation for his leading influence in China’s civil society, including his work with the “New Citizens’ Movement,” a loose network of activists that he co-founded (see CHRD’s statement). Xu’s sentence is one year short of the maximum allowed by Chinese law for the alleged crime. Police blocked supporters—including petitioners, activists, netizens, foreign diplomats, and journalists—from getting close to the courthouse during the sentencing hearing, which was held at the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court after the court had heard Xu’s case four days earlier. Police took away lawyer Liang Xiaojun (梁小军) and activist Chen Yunfei (陈云飞), who were later released. Many petitioners taken from the scene were held in a police station for days, along with activists from Shanghai, Liaoning, and Beijing.
More Trials Held, Suspended in Beijing for New Citizens’ Movement Activists
Trial proceedings for activists Yuan Dong (袁冬) and Zhang Baocheng (张宝成) began on January 24 at the Haidian District People’s Court, which sentenced Yuan to 18 months in prison on January 29 while not issuing a decision for Zhang. The two were charged with the same crime of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” as several other activists being tried recently. Yuan was initially seized on March 31, 2013, after taking part in a demonstration in Beijing calling on top Chinese officials to publicly disclose their wealth. His prison sentence includes time already served in detention.
Trial proceedings for Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜) and Li Wei (李蔚) began on January 27 in the Haidian District People’s Court after being postponed by authorities on January 24, only to then have Ding Jiaxi’s lawyer Cheng Haifen (程海愤) refuse to speak in defense in protest over procedural illegalities, and Li Wei dismiss his lawyer, Wang Quanzhang (王全章). Lawyer Cheng stepped down from the case after the court refused to provide copies of case materials and accused court officials of not possessing proper documentation or authority. Zhao Changqing (赵常青) dismissed his lawyers over unfair legal proceedings at his trial, which began on January 23, also at the Haidian District People’s Court. His trial has now been delayed until after the Chinese Spring Festival (see CHRD’s statement).
In addition, the Haidian District People’s Court reportedly returned the case of activist Ma Xinli (马新立) to a local procuratorate for further investigation on January 21. Ma was detained along with Zhang Baocheng, Yuan Dong, and Hou Xin (侯欣) in Beijing’s Xidan shopping district in March 2013.
Activist Liu Yuandong’s Trial Held in Guangzhou, Many Supporters Blocked
The trial of activist Liu Yuandong (刘远东) opened on January 24 at the Tianhe District People’s Court as more than 30 supporters, including lawyers Liu Shihui (刘士辉) and Chen Jinxue (陈金学), were taken into custody. The court will announce a verdict at a later date. According to lawyer Liu Zhengqing (刘正清), defense witnesses were not permitted to attend the full trial proceedings nor provide sufficient testimony. Guangzhou police cordoned off the area around the courthouse and blocked Liu Yuandong’s supporters, including activists, lawyers, and foreign diplomats. Lawyer Liu Shihui indicated that he was held in a classroom near the court with at least eight other people, and said that a nearby classroom held more than a dozen others. Lawyer Liu was later sent to Tianhe District Detention Center, where others had also been illegally detained, and police subsequently began releasing the detainees.
Shandong Man Detained Over Banner Calling for Democracy, June Fourth Remembrance
Sun Feng (孙峰), a netizen from Shandong Province, was detained on January 10 on charges of “disturbing social and public order” after holding a banner upon which he had written, among other slogans, “Democratic Constitutionalism, Don’t Forget June Fourth” at People’s Park in Zibo City, and then posting a photo of his activity online. The next day, his wife received a criminal detention notice from Zhangdian District authorities. Earlier in the month, police had seized Sun after he had gone to Shandong provincial government offices to wage a protest over his financial hardships.
Members of Beijing Christian Group Criminally Detained
Twelve members of a Christian group, Sheng’ai (圣爱), including its leader Xu Yonghai (徐永海), were criminally detained in Beijing on charges of “unlawful assembly and demonstration” on January 26. Xu was initially taken into custody two days before along with 14 fellow group members, but then was released with three others while the rest of the group remained in detention. Police then took Xu away again and criminally detained him. At least two of the detainees, Xu Caihong (徐彩虹) and Wang Sue (王素娥), are reportedly being held at Beijing No. 1 Detention Center, though it is unclear where others are detained.
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment
Li Biyun, Past Candidate for People’s Congress, Recounts Experience of Torture
Li Biyun (李碧云), an oft-harassed activist from Guangdong Province who ran as an independent candidate in her local People’s Congress election in 2012, has described the torture and other mistreatment she has been subjected to while detained in Foshan City, where she has been held on a charge of “obstructing official business” since October. After meeting Li at the Guangdong Armed Police Corps Hospital on January 13, lawyer Lin Qilei (蔺其磊) reported that she is very weak and struggles to walk. Li told him that, right after she was detained, several officers at a police station in Shunde District beat her, which resulted in broken vertebrae and her losing consciousness. After she was taken to the hospital, doctors refused to treat her since police did not provide any money to cover Li’s medical expenses. Li also reported that she had to sleep on the floor at Shunde District Detention Center, where she was forced to wear iron shackles to prevent her from walking. Police there also reportedly refused to accept clothes that her family had brought for Li, forcing her to wear the same clothing for three months.
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 “Democracy Activist Yuan Dong Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison” (民主维权人士袁冬被判处有期徒刑一年半), January 29, 2014, WQW; “Suspected of ‘Gathering a Crowd,’ Ma Xinli’s Case Returned to Prosecutor’s Office” (马新立涉嫌“聚众扰乱公共场所秩序罪”案被退回侦查), January 28, 2014, WQW; “Trials Begin of Four Activists Who Participated in Campaign Calling for Officials to Declare Their Wealth, Lawyers Step Down, Dismissed” (四名参与要求官员公示财产者开庭，律师退庭或解除委托),” January 27, 2014, WQW; “Xu Zhiyong First Instance Judgment” (许志永一审判决书), January 27, 2014, WQW; “Xu Zhiyong Sentenced to Four Years, Numerous Supporters Outside Courthouse Seized by Police” (许志永获刑4年，多人因围观庭审被调查关押), January 26, 2014, WQW; “Special Notice: Xu Zhiyong Sentenced Four Days After Trial” (特别关注：许志永案庭审4天后将宣判), January 25, 2014, WQW; “Trial of Liu Yuandong Begins, 30 Supporters Taken Away, Four Diplomats Blocked From Entering Courthouse” (刘远东案开庭，30多声援者被抓，4领事被拒入庭), January 24, 2014, WQW; “Start Date of Trial of Ding Jiaxi and Li Wei Postponed Until January 27” (丁家喜、李蔚案推迟到元月27日开庭), January 24, 2014, WQW; “Due to Legal Procedural Problems, Zhao Changqing Gives Up Lawyer” (因法院程序问题，赵常青解除律师委托), January 23, 2014, WQW.
 “Twelve Members of Beijing Sheng’ai Christian Group Criminally Detained on Charges of Illegal Assembly and Demonstrations” (北京圣爱团契家庭教会12名基督徒被以非法集会游行罪刑事拘留),” January 28, 2014, WQW; “Special Notice: Sheng’ai Christian Group Head Xu Yonghai Criminally Detained” (特别关注：圣爱团契家庭教会带领人徐永海被刑事拘留),” January 26, 2014, WQW.