Huang Wenxun (黄文勋)Comments Off on Huang Wenxun (黄文勋)
Huang Wenxun 黄文勋
Crime: Inciting subversion of state power
Length of Punishment: 5 years
Court: Xianning City Intermediate People’s Court, Hubei Province
Trial Date: June 24, 2016
Sentencing Date: September 28, 2016
Dates of Detention/Arrest: May 25, 2013 (detained); July 13, 2013 (arrested)
Criminal Complaint: Chibi City Public Security Bureau Recommendation for Prosecution (Chinese)
Indictment: Chibi City People’s Procuratorate Indictment (Chinese)
Verdict: Hubei Provincial Xianning City Intermediate People’s Court Verdict (Partial, Chinese)
Date of Birth: February 2, 1990
Medical condition(s): Tumor
Place of Incarceration: Chibi City Detention Center, Hubei Province; Hongshan Prison, Wuhan City, Hubei Province
Hubei police detained Guangdong activist Huang Wenxun in Chibi City during an “advocacy tour” called “Enlightening China,” which was intended to encourage citizen activism and spread democratic ideas and rule of law. The tour, initiated by Huang, began in April 2013 and had stopped at nine cities before arriving at Chibi, where Huang was detained along with other activists including Yuan Xiaohua (袁小华) and Yuan Fengchu (袁奉初) during a rally in May. Police initially put Huang under administrative detention for “unlawful assembly,” but then later criminally detained him on June 8, 2013 and arrested him on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power” in the summer of 2013. In a letter, Huang wrote he was tortured with electric shocks twice after he was taken into custody in 2013.
The procuratorate proceeded to indict Huang in January 2014 for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place”—a different charge from the one that he had been arrested for. On March 13, 2014, Chibi City People’s Court held a pre-trial meeting for Yuan Fengchu, Yuan Xiaohua, and Huang Wenxun’s case, but did not hold a trial afterwards, to the surprise of the defense lawyers. Over a year later in October 2015, the procuratorate again changed the criminal charge, this time to “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Another pre-trial meeting was held on November 6, 2015, though a trial did not follow. In March 2016, the Chibi procuratorate cancelled the indictment on charges of “picking quarrels” and instead charged Huang with “inciting subversion.” His trial opened on June 24, 2016, in Xianning City, ending without a sentence being pronounced. Huang Wenxun was eventually sentenced to five years in prison in late September of 2016–more than 40 month after first being taken into custody.
In July 2017, Huang revealed to his lawyer details about abuse he has suffered while incarcerated. Huang said he was subjected to several rounds of beatings on December 28, 2016, soon after he was transferred to Hongshan Prison. Huang suffered bruises as a result of the assaults, as well as swelling on his head and dizziness, which led to vomiting over several days. Huang said it took him over a month for him to recuperate. Also, Huang developed a tumor around his ear in the spring of 2017, but prison authorities did not allow him to receive medical treatment. He indicated that he was being forced to work 10 hours a day in prison, which led to severe skin irritation, and had been severely deprived of sleep.
Huang was released from prison on May 13, 2018, after serving out his sentence. However, national security officers kept him under close surveillance until May 24, when Huang was finally allowed to return home. Reportedly, Huang was suffering from memory loss upon his release, unable to even recognize his fellow activists or his lawyer, Sui Muqing. His condition possibly can be attributed to the torture he had faced.
Born on February 16, 1990, Huang Wenxun was a student at Zhongshan University in Guangdong, and began his activism in 2011, when he took to the streets to support prisoners of conscience and promote democracy. He had been seized multiple times in 2013 for protesting before his current detention, including for calling for top Chinese leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to disclose their financial assets.