[CHRB] Guangzhou’s New Restrictions on NGOs & UN Experts Call For Release of Detained Chinese Journalist (10/17-30/2014)Comments Off on [CHRB] Guangzhou’s New Restrictions on NGOs & UN Experts Call For Release of Detained Chinese Journalist (10/17-30/2014)
China Human Rights Briefing
October 17 – 30, 2014
Law & Policy Watch
- Labor NGOs Protest Guangzhou’s New Rules on “Illegal” Organizations
- Focus Campaign: More Than 70 Mainland Supporters of HK Protests Now Detained
- UN Body Declares Detention of Journalist “Arbitrary,” Demands Release
- 10 More Prisoners of Conscience Added to CHRD Website
Law & Policy Watch
Labor NGOs Protest Guangzhou’s New Rules on “Illegal” Organizations
Draft rules on the prohibition of “illegal” civil society organizations in Guangzhou were released on October 20, leading to protests from civil society organizations over what is seen as a further attempt to restrict independent groups from operating legally. The draft indicates that the government will tighten requirements for registration, inspection, and shorten the time to bring legal charges against groups that the government considers “illegal,” likely leading to the closure of more independent organizations that already face restrictions. Three days after the draft was published, a group led by labor activists Zeng Feiyang (曾飞洋) and Deng Xiaoming (邓小明) protested outside the office of the Ministry of Civil Affairs in Guangzhou, arguing that the rules are unworkable and violate the principles and spirit of China’s constitution.[i]
Focus Campaign: More Than 70 Mainland Supporters of HK Protests Now Detained
CHRD has launched a focus campaign tracking the suppression of individuals after they supported the protests demanding genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Similar to campaigns launched for the crackdown on peaceful assembly, association & expression and the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, CHRD documents case details for all the individuals we have confirmed to have been put in police custody for expressing support for the protests, often through posting messages online, meeting in small groups to discuss issues of democracy, or travelling to Hong Kong to join the protests. In early October, Chinese authorities began cracking down on those individuals, detaining scores in violation of both their rights to free expression and assembly as well as basic protections under the Criminal Procedure Law. The most recent detention is that of Foshan City activist Su Changlan (苏昌兰), who is being held on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” after she took part in Hong Kong-related activities in Guangdong Province.
In total, CHRD has documented 72 cases of detention, including 27 criminal detentions and three administrative detentions, along with 32 individuals who remain in some form of police custody. Among these, 11 have been released. Police have harassed and intimidated countless others by visiting their homes and issuing warnings, or putting them under house arrest. Individuals are known to have been seized in the municipalities of Beijing, Chongqing, and Shanghai, and the provinces of Anhui, Guangdong, Hunan, and Jiangxi. The majority of the cases are in Beijing.
UN Body Declares Detention of Journalist “Arbitrary,” Demands Release
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) issued an opinion in August that declared Wang Hanfei (王寒非)’s imprisonment is a deprivation of his liberty, and asked the Chinese government release him (read advanced unedited opinion here). In 2012, Hunan authorities sentenced Wang to four years on charges of “illegal business activity” and “fraud” in relation to his role as the editor of the “China Special Report.” The legally registered publication, which Wang founded in 2009, reported on human rights violations and corruption. Police took Wang into custody in July 2012 after he published articles praising Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波). In the WGAD opinion, the UN experts state that the vague provisions of the Criminal Law used to convict Wang are “open to arbitrary interpretation and prosecution of political opponents.” The Working Group also referred Wang’s case to the special rapporteur on torture, to investigate allegations of torture in Chenzhou Prison.
10 More Prisoners of Conscience Added to CHRD Website
CHRD has compiled 10 more in-depth case files of prisoners of conscience, providing background information on these individuals and details of their persecution. Five of the individuals held as a part of the crackdown on peaceful assembly, association & expression, which began in March 2013, and are currently facing trial or awaiting verdicts in their cases: Dong Rubin (董如彬), Sun Desheng (孙德胜), Zhang Xiangzhong (张向忠), Zhao Fengsheng (赵枫生), and Zhao Zhenjia (赵振甲).
Three rights lawyers arrested during the suppression around the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre this year remain in police custody: Beijing’s Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强), Henan Province’s Chang Boyang (常伯阳), and Guangzhou’s Tang Jingling (唐荆陵).
Two individuals were given harsh sentences as authorities have heightened suppression on Uyghurs and underground Christian churches: Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti (伊力哈木.土赫提) was given a life sentence in September on a trumped-up “splittism” charge, while a Henan court sentenced Christian pastor Zhang Shaojie (张少杰) to 12 years in prison in July.
Victor Clemens, Research Coordinator (English), +1 209 643 0539, email@example.com
Follow CHRD on Twitter: @CHRDnet
 “Guangzhou Labor and Civil Society Organizations Protest Outside Ministry of Civil Affairs Branch Over Suppression of Civil Society Organizations ” (广州劳工民间社团人士到市民政部门抗议当局压迫民间组织), October 23, 2014, Rights Defense Network (RDN).