[CHRB] Hundreds Face Harassment Around Youth Olympics in Nanjing, 21 Buddhists Detained in Guangdong (8/22-28/2014)Comments Off on [CHRB] Hundreds Face Harassment Around Youth Olympics in Nanjing, 21 Buddhists Detained in Guangdong (8/22-28/2014)
China Human Rights Briefing
August 22 – 28, 2014
- Police Harass Activists to “Maintain Order” for Youth Olympics
Freedom of Religion
- 21 Members of Buddhist Sect Detained in Coordinated Multi-City Raid
Reprisals Against Human Rights Lawyers
- Lawyers Punished for Representing or Supporting Jailed Rights Lawyer Ding Jiaxi
Freedom of Expression
- Beijing Authorities Force Cancellation of 11th Annual Independent Film Festival
Police Harass Activists to “Maintain Order” for Youth Olympics
As the Summer Youth Olympic Games close today, at least 300 activists, petitioners, and online commentators have faced restricted movements, detention in “black jails,” forced “travel,” and interrogations in the host city of Nanjing and a dozen nearby cities and towns in Jiangsu Province. Rights Defense Network has reported on intensified police harassment and intimidation since late July, in the lead up to the games, which opened on August 16 and end today, on August 28. For example，
- Nanjing residents barred from going to the games, activists detained or movement restricted: Today, a group of 8 Nanjing petitioners, including Ms. Ju Xiaoling (居小玲) and Mr. Yang Junling (杨俊龄), were abducted at the Nanjian Olympics Sports Center by police and forced into vehicles, which drove away. At least 60 petitioners, victims of forced eviction, in the village of Xiying, Nanjing, have been under house arrest since August 15, barred from going into the city to watch the games. Nanjing activist Ms. Xu Juan (许娟) was seized and interrogated on July 31-August 1 by national security officers who also installed a spying device on her cell phone, and police have since forced her to “travel” out of the city.Meanwhile, Ms. Meng Haixia (孟海霞), of Jiuhua Township in Jiangsu,has been under house arrest since August 17, and police beat her on the 22nd after she called an ambulance to take her ailing 83-year-old mother-in-law to the hospital.
- Chinese citizens from other places harassed or detained after they traveled to Nanjing: Activist Mr. Sun Liyong (孙立勇), who had travelled to Nanjing, was abducted by police from his home province Shandong on August 20, detained in a black jail and forced to take a psychiatric examination before being released. On August 14, police seized two Chengdu activists, Ms. Chen Min (陈敏) and Ms. Gou Li (苟利), from a Nanjing hotel after bursting into their room for “inspection” twice. They were taken to the Jian’ye District Police Station before being escorted back to Chengdu. Shanghai petitioner Ms. Li Xuemei (李雪梅) was seized in Nanjing while trying to watch the games on August 16, detained in a black jail, and then sent back home. On August 14, Ms. Peng Jingmei (彭静梅), Ms. Lan Guiyuan (兰桂媛) and 7 other petitioners from Shanxi and Hunan, were rounded up by police late at night at a friend’s house in Nanjing. They were last heard from after they were taken to a shelter for under-age detainees in Nanjing. Another activist, Mr. Sheng Lanfu (盛兰福) from Liaoning, has been in custody for around 10 days, after arriving in Nanjing with the intention of staging a protest at the games.
- Police in other cities detained or harassed local activists trying to travel to Nanjing, especially if they had posted messages on social media about plans to go to Nanjing: On August 15, Changshu City, Jiangsu activist Mr. Gu Xiaofeng (顾晓峰) disappeared into police custody for 24 hours in Suzhou for allegedly “disrupting public order” after he tried to go to Nanjing to attend the games. Meanwhile a dozen activists in Changsu City, Jiangsu have been frequently visited by police for “tea” and put under house arrest. Activist Li Dongmei (李冬梅), of Shiliu village in Beijing, posted a message online about plans to travel to Nanjing to watch the Youth Games on August 5. The next day, she was visited by Nanjing National Security police and Beijing Public Security police, detained and interrogated for hours, before her release into police monitoring – followed by frequent visits and phone calls until she was forced to abandon her travel plans.
- General security tightening up and harassment of activists around the country due to the Youth Games: In Nantong City, Jiangsu, border police barred activist Mr. Lu Zhenping (陆镇平) from traveling to Hong Kong on August 13, who cited the potential “endangering state security” for the restriction. Since the games opened, Lu and a dozen other petitioners and activists have been under soft detention or had their movements monitored by police, and warned not to go to Nanjing. Petitioner Ms. Ma Yufeng (马玉风), of Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu, has been prevented from leaving the area, and since the eve of the games has had police stationed outside her residence, tasked with restricting her movement. Many activists elsewhere in the country have been either put under house arrest or 24-hour surveillance, frequently visited or received phone calls from police, and warned of severe consequences if they travel to Nanjing.
Freedom of Religion
21 Members of Buddhist Sect Detained in Coordinated Multi-City Raid
Guangdong police criminally detained 21 Buddhists during a series of raids targeting the Huazang Dharma group, starting in the evening of July 29 in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shanghai. The group’s founder and leader, Wu Zeheng (吴泽恒) (aka Zen Master Xingwu 行武禅师), who has long promoted human rights, and 20 of his followers are being held on charges including “fraud,” “rape,” and “using an evil cult to undermine implementation of the law.” It is believed that the detainees are being held in a facility in Zhuhai. Police initially seized dozens of followers and interrogated them, including a 14-year old girl who was also given a gynaecology examination without a legal guardian present, despite repeated attempts by the girl’s mother to accompany her. From early August—and before the detainees were formally charged—coordinated state media coverage discredited the Buddhist organization, which was depicted as an “evil cult” whose members had been accused of crimes. Twenty-one lawyers representing the detainees have issued a statement protesting the violation of their clients’ legal right to presumed innocence before trial. Wu Zeheng (also referred in state media as Wu Mouheng, 吴某衡), 47, of Huilai County in Guangdong, had previously served 11 years in prison after writing an open letter in 1998 to senior party leaders calling for political reform. He was released in 2010 and has faced police harassment ever since.
Reprisals Against Human Rights Lawyers
Lawyers Punished for Representing or Supporting Jailed Rights Lawyer Ding Jiaxi
Two human rights lawyers are facing administrative penalties as a result of representing imprisoned human rights lawyer Mr. Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜). Judicial authorities in Beijing ordered a one-year suspension of legal practice to Mr. Cheng Hai (程海) for allegedly “disturbing court order,” while Mr. Sui Muqing (隋牧青) has been told he may face a half-year suspension at a minimum. Ding’s trial in April was marred by procedural irregularities and violations, including a violent beating of Cheng and the court’s expulsion of Sui Muqing, claiming that Sui lacked the “legal qualifications” to represent Ding prior to sentencing (see CHRD’s submission to the UN). The Beijing-based Ding Jiaxi, who has participated in the “New Citizens’ Movement,” is serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence at Beijing No. 2 Prison.
In addition, authorities at the Guangdong Department of Justice revoked the law license of Mr. Wang Quanping (王全平) on July 10, with Wang only learning of the punishment when he made an inquiry at the department on August 14. At the end of May, provincial authorities conducted the annual renewal of lawyers’ licenses. The Jiangmen City Justice Bureau sent Wang’s work certification to the provincial department, which decided to revoke it. Wang had previously made headlines when he drove from Guangdong to Beijing to attend Ding Jiaxi’s trial in a car painted with sarcastic messages about an anti-corruption campaign heralded by Chinese leaders, which led to his being detained for one month (see CHRD’s report).
Freedom of Expression
Beijing Authorities Force Cancellation of 11th Annual Independent Film Festival
Authorities forced the cancellation of an independent film festival in Beijing, days after warning and threatening its main organizer, Mr. Li Xianting (栗宪庭). Li manages the Li Xianting Film Fund that supports the annual event, which was due to run from August 23-31 in Songzhuang, a village in suburban Beijing that has become a hub for young and provocative artists. Pressure on organizers intensified on August 19 when they were visited by national security officers and officials from the tax, education, and industry and commerce departments, who pressured the artists to cancel the festival. The fund’s artistic director, Mr. Wang Hongwei (王宏伟), and executive director, Mr. Fan Rong (范荣), were taken away by police on August 22 and held for six hours, and only released after being compelled to sign a guarantee promising to scratch the event. Officials cut the electricity supply around where the event was to be held, and announced an investigation into the festival’s fund for foreign ties. On August 23, police and unidentified thugs blocked off the event area. More than a hundred artists, writers, and scholars signed an open letter denouncing authorities’ actions as an attack on artistic freedom that violates Chinese leaders’ claims about upholding rule of law.
Renee Xia, International Director (Mandarin, English), +1 240 374 8937, email@example.com, Follow on Twitter: @ReneeXiaCHRD
Victor Clemens, Research Coordinator (English), +1 209 643 0539, firstname.lastname@example.org
Frances Eve, Research Assistant (English), + 1 646 801 9479, email@example.com, Follow on Twitter: @_FrancesEve
Follow CHRD on Twitter:@CHRDnet
 “Nanjing ‘Youth Olympics’ is Catastrophe for Chinese Rights Activists” (南京“青奥会”中国维权人士的灾难), August 28, 2014, Rights Defense Network (RDN); “Nanjing Residents Ju Xiaoling and 8 Other Petitioners Were Taken Away as They Tried to Watch the Closing Ceremony of Youth Olympics” (南京居小玲等八访民欲围观青奥会闭幕式被带走), August 28, 2014, Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch (CRLW); “Shanghai Petitioner Li Xuehai Followed, Monitored Because of Youth Olympics” (上海访民李雪梅因青奥会遭跟踪监控), August 25, 2014, RDN; “Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Petitioner Ma Yufeng’s Freedom Restricted as Nanjing Holds ‘Youth Olympics” (江苏镇江访民马玉凤因“青奥会”召开被限制人身自由), August 25, 2014, RDN; “As Nanjing Holds ‘Youth Olympics’, Jiangsu Activist Meng Haixia Beaten, Put Under Restricted Freedom” (南京召开“青奥会”江苏维权人士孟海霞遭限制自由、被殴打), August 23, 2014, RDN; “Liaoning Activist-Petitioner Sheng Lanfu Taken Travelling After Participating in Youth Olympics” (辽宁维权访民盛兰福因参加青奥会被旅游), August 19, 2014, CRLW; “Urgent Alert: Changshu Activist Gu Xiaofeng Wanted to Watch ‘Youth Olympics’ When Locked Up in Police Station for Disrupting Public Order” (紧急关注：常熟维权人士顾晓峰欲去观摩“青奥会”被以扰乱公共秩序关押在派出所), August 16, 2014, RDN; “Urgent Alert: Chengdu’s Chen Min, Gou Li Visit Friend in Nanjing, Taken Away to Police Station” (紧急关注：成都陈敏、苟利南京访友被带往派出所), August 14, 2014, RDN; “Kidnapped Nanjing Activist Xu Juan Freed, Cell Phone Implanted With Unknown Device” (被绑架的南京维权人士许娟获释，手机被安装不明物), August 1, 2014, RDN; “Urgent Alert: Nanjing, Jiangsu Activist Xu Juan Kidnapped by Unknown People and Now Missing” (紧急关注：江苏南京维权人士许娟被不明身份人员绑架后失踪), July 31, 2014, RDN; “Nanjing ‘Youth Olympics’ a Disaster for Rights Defenders in China” (南京“青奥会”中国维权人士的灾难), August 28, 2014, RDN.
“21 Lawyers Issue First Statement about the Zhuhai Huazeng Religion Case: Predetermined Guilty without Trial, [State] Media Sinks Low” (21律师关于珠海华藏教案的首份律师声明：未审先定性，媒体自沉沦), August 28, 2014, RDN; “Huazang Teaching Wu Mouheng Female Followers Personal Service” (华藏宗门教首吴某衡女弟子贴身服务), August 15, 2014, Southern Network; “After Monk (Mr. Wu Zeheng) Forcibly Detained, Media Unexpectedly and Without a Trial Disseminates Propaganda on Nature of the Case” (在行武禅师（吴泽恒先生）被强拘后，媒体居然未经审判而直接定性宣传) August 6, 2014, Tianyu BBS.
 “Lawer Cheng Hai: Request Hearing With Changping District Justice Bureau Regarding Year-Long Suspension of Law License, Administrative Penalty for Representing Ding Jiaxi” (程海律师：要求听证昌平区司法局对我代理丁家喜案拟停止执业一年行政处罚), August 25, 2014, RDN; “For Representing Ding Jiaxi, Beijing Lawyer Cheng Hai’s Law License Suspended for One Year by Judicial Authorities; Lawyer Sui Muqing Suspended for Half a Year” (因代理丁家喜律师案北京程海律师遭司法局停止执业一年隋牧青律师亦或遭停止执业半年), August 24, 2014, RDN “Alert: Lawyer Wang Quanping Law License is Cancelled” (快讯：王全平律师执业证遭遇注销), August 15, 2014, RDN.
 “Over a Hundred Scholars, Writers, Lawyers and Artists Sign Open Letter on the Closure of the Songzhuang Independent Film Festival” (一百多名学者、作家、律师、艺术家联署《关于宋庄独立影像展被叫停一事的法律呼吁书》), August 24, 2014, RDN; “Well-Known Artist Li Xianting’s ‘11th Annual Beijing Independent Film Festival’ Shut Down by Authorities Without Cause” (著名艺术家栗宪庭办“第十一届北京独立影像展”遭当局无故禁止), August 23, 2014, RDN.