Mi Chongbiao (糜崇标) & Li Kezhen (李克珍)Comments Off on Mi Chongbiao (糜崇标) & Li Kezhen (李克珍)
Mi Chongbiao 糜崇标 & Li Kezhen 李克珍
Length of Punishment: N/A
Trial Date: N/A
Sentencing Date: N/A
Dates of Detention/Arrest: May 2012
Place of Incarceration: house arrest/enforced disappearance in black jails (May 2012-April 2017); Baihuashan Detention Center in Yunyan District, Guizhou (April 2017 – unknown date) [only Mi Chongbiao]; “designated location” under RSDL (unknown date in 2017 – ongoing) [Only Mi Chongbiao]; house arrest at residence (June 20, 2018-present)
Mi Chongbiao and his wife, Li Kezhen (李克珍), have faced illegal deprivation of their liberty, including enforced disappearance and house arrest, since May 2012 in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province. Their ordeal began after Mi had posted online a complaint that he had submitted to the UN Human Rights Council about rights violations that his family has suffered. From that time, officers from Guizhou Public Security Bureau have held them in “black jail,” makeshift facilities used to illegally detain dissidents, activists, and petitioners. The officers live with them, usually in rented apartments, and restrict them from going out and buying food, and torture and mistreat them in other ways. From September 2013 to January 2014 they were held in different locations, including a hospital. In the summer of 2016 they were held in Wudang District, Guiyang City in a rented apartment. The couple’s sons have only intermittently been allowed brief meetings with their parents, and only when activist and his wife fully comply with orders from authorities.
Both Mi Chongbiao, born 1939, and Li Kezhen, born 1950, have been tortured and mistreated while in police custody. In mid-2013, Li was violently prevented from leaving the home and refused medical treatment. Guards have also forced Li to make them food and threatened to beat the couple if she refused. Mi was badly beaten in February 2015 by a policeman guarding him who reportedly said, “I am not beating you” while assaulting Mi. The beating resulted in bruises all over Mi’s face and other injuries. Mi has indicated to his son that this kind of incident has occurred several times over the period of enforced disappearance. Police also threatened Mi by saying 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. Mi has been deprived of sunlight for long periods, his diabetes had been aggravated, and he frequently has been subjected to physical and emotional abuse while under house arrest.
According to their son, the Mi and Li were assaulted again on July 23, 2016, with the elderly couple suffering broken bones following a violent encounter with plainclothes officers and their guards. Guards had moved the couple to a apartment in Wudang District on an unknown date in 2016, and on July 23, an international marathon took place in Guiyang City, with part of the route running past the apartment complex. Li had gone on a walk outside the flat with two guards in the morning, when they encountered four plainclothes police officers, who grabbed Li and held her hands behind her back, fracturing a bone in her right hand. They then dragged her into a doorway, and hit her in the back of the head, causing her to fall to the ground and hurt one of her ribs. The guards then entered the flat and attacked Mi in his bed. Both Li and Mi were only permited to visit the Wudang District Fushu Hospital two days after the assault. Despite doctors initially diagnosing Mi with a broken vertebra and requesting he be hospitalised, they changed their diagnosis after the local security officers intervened. The doctors then gave Mi some medication and a brace for his back, but he reported feeling intense pain and partial paralysis. Doctors put Li’s right hand into a cast, and she had swelling in the back of her head, bruises on her cheeks, thighs, and ribs, but police would not allow doctors to x-ray her injuries.
Mr. Mi was transferred to Baihuashan Detention Center in Yunyan District, Guizhou, in late April 2017, after national security officers assaulted the couple. According to Mi’s family, on April 21, after years of repeated beatings and other forms of mistreatment, including deprivation of medical care for the elderly couple, Li Kezhen experienced symptoms of diabetes that required hospitalization. Ms. Li also has developed high blood pressure and suffered joint injuries over the course of the illegal detention, but she had not received adequate treatment. Dai Yingyong (代应勇), an officer who previously assaulted and tortured the couple, refused to let Li see a doctor. Dai then punched Li, which prompted Mi to supposedly brandish a knife to protect his wife. Three days after the physical altercation, Mi was taken away to the detention center, on suspicion of “intentional injury,” allegedly for wounding Officer Dai. In July 2017, the couple’s son hired lawyer Wen Donghai (文东海) released information that he had been told by police that Mi had been transferred to “residential surveillance at a designated location” (RSDL) but no formal documents were issued, and there was no information on Li Kezhen’s whereabouts. He had not been allowed to see either of them. He also reported that Yunyan District PSB refused to hand over the files after a request from Yunyan District Procuratorate, claiming that the case was really being conducted “behind the scenes” by Guiyang PSB, and that they must approve the request.
In November 2017, a group of human rights lawyers working on Mi and Li’s case reported that the Wudang District Procuratorate in Guiyang had declined to indict Mi, but the police had also refused to release him and or to disclose the whereabouts of Li Kezhen, who had never been suspected of a crime. The public security bureaus of Wudang District and Yunyan District in Guiyang City have claimed the other bureau is responsible for handling the case, according to CHRD’s sources.
The couple’s whereabouts remained unknown until August 2018, when the couple’s family reported that police had taken Mi and Li back to their home in Yanyun District on June 20, 2018. The couple has remained there but under very tight police control; their residence is surrounded by guards, and they cannot leave home on their own.
Family members have sought to hold accountable perpetrators of repeated violent acts against Mi Chongbiao and Li Kezhen and their ongoing enforced disappearance, but they have faced retaliation and stonewalled in their efforts. When Mi’s son attempted to file a lawsuit against the illegal detention of his parents with a local court in 2013, the court refused to accept the case. In its refusal, the court stated that the victims must file the litigation in person. The family has found this excuse unreasonable and illogical, and perceived it as a sign of concerted efforts by local authorities to punish Mi Chongbiao and his family for his activism.
Mi Chongbiao had been an active member of the Guizhou Human Rights Forum, which was established in 2005 to spread information on international human rights and eventually banned by authorities in 2011. In 2007, Mi began to share information on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Guiyang. In 2012, Mi was held incommunicado and physically abused for weeks after openly demanding justice for prisoner of conscience Chen Xi (陈西) in Guiyang City People’s Square. Mi has been detained and put under police surveillance many times due to the activities of the Guizhou Human Rights Forum.