Update to UN on case of Mi Chongbiao – May 28, 2015Comments Off on Update to UN on case of Mi Chongbiao – May 28, 2015
Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) hereby respectfully submits updated information on the enforced disappearance and house arrest of Mr. Mi Chongbiao (糜崇标), and his wife, Ms. Li Kezhen (李克珍). This update follows the urgent appeal on behalf of Mr. Mi that we submitted to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on February 17, 2014 (see: https://www.nchrd.org/2014/03/submission-to-un-on-mi-chongbiao-february-17-2014/). Due to the couple’s worsening circumstances, including allegations of ongoing torture, CHRD is alerting more UN thematic mandates about the case at this time.
Mr. Mi, 75, and Ms. Li, 65, have been held under illegal house arrest in Guizhou Province since 2013. Authorities in Guiyang City restricted the couple’s freedom of movement after Mi had posted online a complaint that he had submitted to the UN Human Rights Council about rights violations that his family had suffered over several years. Mi and his family have often been targeted by authorities due to his activism, which has included being a member of the Guizhou Human Rights Forum, a group established on World Human Rights Day in 2005 to spread information on international human rights. The government eventually banned the group in 2011, declaring it an “illegal organization,” after persecuting Mi and several more of its members.
After Mi and his wife were placed under house arrest in September 2013, their two sons received little information about their situation and were prohibited for seeing them for approximately six months. Only from early 2014 (after CHRD’s submission of the communiqué in February 2014) were the parents and sons able to meet each other. Meetings have since taken place about every two weeks at a location designated by police. The sons have obtained information from these meetings about their conditions under house arrest, particularly about torture and other forms of mistreatment against Mi, and on the identities of several individuals involved in the ongoing case. (The information below has been provided to CHRD by an individual familiar with the case who received it from the couple’s elder son, and who wishes to remain anonymous due to safety concerns.)
Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
In early 2014, the sons found out when meeting their parents that, shortly after Mr. Mi and Ms. Li were disappeared in 2013, police threatened Mi that he would die in a black jail unless he wrote out a letter guaranteeing that he would not contact any journalists, democracy activists, or dissidents, or produce and disseminate any articles or commentaries. The sons also learned that Mi was being deprived of sunlight for long periods, his diabetes had been aggravated, and he frequently had been subjected to physical and emotional abuse while under house arrest.
During a meeting in 2015, the sons learned that Mi was badly beaten in February 2015 by a police officer guarding him (identified as Zhuang Xinggang, (庄兴刚); see below). The beating resulted in bruises all over Mi’s face and other injuries; Mi’s son has video evidence of these injuries. During the assault, officer Zhuang repeatedly said, “I am not beating you,” according to Mi. About a dozen guards witnessed the attack but did not intervene, and Mi was then locked up in a room. Mi has indicated that this kind of incident has occurred several times over the period of the enforced disappearance.
In late April 2015, Mi’s elder son and his lawyer, Sui Muqing (隋牧青), visited the couple and found that their lives are under increased threats of violence, and that guards now routinely and arbitrarily beat the couple. Mr. Mi indicated to them that he had been beaten the previous week by Dai Yingyong (戴应勇); see below), and that he was choked and nearly suffocated. Mi’s wife was also beaten at that time.
Individuals involved in the enforced disappearance
The couple’s elder son has been able to provide information on individuals guarding his parents, including the identities of several. Individuals in charge of police (and others who are guarding Mr. Mi and Ms. Li) include Zhou Jian (周剑), deputy police chief from the Yunyan District branch of the Guiyang City Public Security Bureau (PSB), and Li Mu (李牧), captain of the state security forces of the Guiyang City PSB (Captain Li reportedly beat the couple in 2013).
Some of the individuals directly guarding the couple are: Dai Yingyong, captain of the state security forces in Yunyan District (see above); Lei Yang (雷阳), a police officer; a police officer surnamed Zhang (张), a criminal investigator from Yunyan District (who beat and otherwise tormented Mi in 2014); Wang Shunping (王顺平), deputy chief of the Sanqiao Police Station; and police officers Xu Caihao (徐才浩) and Zhuang Xinggang (see above).
In addition, the elder son has said that there are plainclothes security forces working in three shifts to keep watch over the couple, including four guards stationed inside their residence; two individuals guarding the staircase to the residence; and a local PSB personnel. Officers have created an office in the vicinity manned by four plainclothes guards, a national security officer, and four PSB personnel.
Date Submitted: May 28, 2015