Zhou Weilin (周维林)Comments Off on Zhou Weilin (周维林)
Zhou Weilin 周维林
Crime: Gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place
Length of Punishment: 18 months
Court: Hefei City Shushan District People’s Court, Anhui Province
Trial Date: August 6, 2014
Sentencing Date: December 12, 2014
Dates of Detention/Arrest: September 6, 2013 (detained); October 11, 2013 (arrested); February 23, 2015 (released)
Place of Incarceration: Feixi County Detention Center, Anhui Province
Defence Statement: First-Instance Trial (Chinese)
Police took Anhui-based activist Zhou Weilin from his home in September 2013 without any warrant. The authorities also confiscated several of his personal belongings, including a computer, cell phone, and materials concerning human rights. In spring 2013, Zhou was put under administrative detention for protesting against violations of children’s right to education. Zhou and several activists and lawyers, including Zhang Lin, staged rallies and hunger strikes in front of government buildings in support of Zhang’s 10-year-old daughter Anni’s right to return to school. Zhang Anni was blocked from attending a school in Hefei in February 2013 due to her father’s pro-democracy activism. Zhou was tried in early August with Yao Cheng (姚成) in a three-hour hearing. There was a heavy police presence at the courthouse. Zhou was released in February 2015 at the end of his sentence.
Zhou Weilin, born in 1965, was formally a factory worker. After suffering from an industrial injury in 1986, he then pursued rights campaign and advocacy work in the NGO sector, particularly on issues involving persecution of human rights defenders, drawing attention to corruption, labor issues, and rights of persons with disabilities. He has been detained, interrogated, and disappeared numerous times in retaliation for his activism.