Lü Gengsong (吕耿松)

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Lü Gengsong (吕耿松)

Lü Gengsong   吕耿松

*Under medical watch

Lu Gengsong

Crime: Subversion of state power

Length of Punishment: 11 years

Court: Hangzhou City Intermediate People’s Court, Zhejiang Province

Trial Date: September 29, 2015

Sentencing Date: June 14, 2016

Dates of Detention/Arrest: July 7, 2014 (detained); August 13, 2014 (arrested)

Verdict: Zhejiang Province Hangzhou City Intermediate Court Criminal Verdict (Chinese)

Defence statement: Opposition Party and Political Legitimacy – Lü Gengsong Appeal Defence Statement (Chinese)

Appeal: Zhejiang Province Higher Court

Appeal date: November 1, 2016

Appeal ruling: Upheld original sentence

Date of Birth: January 7, 1956

Medical conditions): Tooth decay, gallbladder necrosis, high blood pressure, diabetes

Place of Incarceration: Changhu Prison, Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province

Background Information

Hangzhou police criminally detained Lü Gengsong a writer, activist, and member of the China Democracy Party, on July 8, 2014, on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” Following Lü’s formal arrest, fellow party member Chen Shuqing (陈树庆) was also put under criminal detention. Authorities had initially set the date for their trials on July 23, 2015, but they were abruptly postponed and later held that September. The two were tried in separate cases, but the trials were held on the same date. Chen’s indictment, which accused him of being involved in the China Demcocracy Party and posting articles about the party on overseas websites, included a references to Lü Gengsong. In November 2016, Lü’s appeal was turned down and the original sentence upheld, but his lawyer Yan Xin (燕薪) was not allowed to meet with him or be present during the appeal hearing. Laywer Yan received the appeal ruling in the mail days after the court had issued its ruling. Lü was detained at Hangzhou City Detention Center until being moved to prison.

According to Lü’s daughter, Lü Piaoqi (吕飘旗), his health has deteriortated in detention due to a lack of adequate medical care. She visited him for the first time at Changhu Prison on December 16, and learnt her father had lost weight due to the poor quality of prison food and difficulties eating caused by dental problems; Lü Gengsong contracted oral ulceration that has not been properly treated, causing five of his teeth to fall out. She also learnt authorities had not provided appropriate treatment for his high blood pressure and diabetes. Lü reportedly told his daughter that he is kept under tight, 24-hour watch, and is monitored when he uses the toilet. His shoes have been confiscated at night, partly as a way to restrict his movements, and he has been exposed to cold temperatures since the prison has only given him a thin quilt. The prison reportedly does not allow Lü’s family to provide him clothing or food. National security officers came to Lü Piaoqi’s workplace and threatened her after she spoke out about her father’s prison conditions.

In May 2021, Lü Gengsong’s wife, Wang Xue’e, went to that Changhu Prison to visit her husband and she found him to be extremely weak and in bad health.  She said that the prison system in Zhejiang treats those “criminals” who have refused to confess extremely harshly, and Lü has refused to confess. He has gall bladder problems, six missing teeth making it hard to eat. Doctors have apparently treated his diabetes and high blood pressure, but have refused to look into further medical issues. On June 8, 2021, the Committee to Protect Journalists called for the release of Lü Gengsong, and for him to receive proper medical care.

On March 18, 2023 Lü Gengsong’s wife and sister visited him in prison, and Lü was wearing a mask, and upon seeing them, he took it off, and it had written on it: “save me” (救救我). Lü appeared to be in a very bad condition.

On April 14, 2023, Lü Gengsong’s wife, Wang Xue’e, got a phone call from the Changhu Prison saying that family visitation rights have been revoked for three months as a punishment for “behavior [taking off a face mask] that was against Changhu Prison rules”. Wang Xue’e has engaged in petitioning to the Zhejiang Prison Management Bureau (浙江省监狱管理局) on several occasions to let them know about the urgent situation.

Police in Hangzhou summoned or detained several other members of the banned opposition party between April and August of 2014, including Xu Guang (徐光), Tan Hai (谭凯), Lai Jinbiao (来金彪), Hu Chen (胡臣), Wu Yuanming (), Lou Baosheng (楼保生). Police held them on suspicion of various criminal offenses, including “inciting subversion of state power.” Xu Guang, the founder of the party was formally arrested, but all were later released, except Lü and Chen.

Born on January 7, 1956, Lü graduated from Hangzhou University (now Zhejiang University) with a BA in history in 1983. He had been an instructor at Zhejiang Higher Professional School of Public Security but was expelled in 1993 because of his participation in pro-democracy activities. He then worked as a freelance writer and was affiliated with the China Democracy Party. Lü frequently wrote articles that were critical of government policies, human rights violations, and the political system. authored the book “A History of CCP Corrupt Officials (HK, Culture and Arts Studio, 2000). In 2007, police arrested him for “inciting subversion” over essays he wrote for overseas websites, including Boxun News, and he was sentenced to four years in prison on a charge of “inciting subversion” a year later. In 2008, Lü received the Imprisoned Writer Award from the Independent Chinese Pen Center. After his release from prison, police searched Lü’s home many times and confiscated at least eight computers due to his continued advocacy for democracy.

*CHRD’s Watch List of Detainees and Prisoners of Conscience in Need of Medical Attention

Further Information

Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its eighty-sixth session on Chen Shuqing and Lü Gengsong, November 18-22, 2019

Communiqué on Chen Shuqing and Lü Gengsong, June 10, 2019, CHRD

[CHRB] 2 Veteran Democracy Activists Get Long Sentences for “Subversion” (6/17-6/21, 2016), CHRD

#RememberJune4th: Former 1989 Participants Currently Detained/Jailed for Continued Rights Activism, June 2, 2016, CHRD

[CHRB] End Persecution of Participants in 1989 Pro-democracy Movement for Their Ongoing Activism, June 3, 2015, CHRD

CHRD Letter to UN Legal Expert Regarding Deprivation of Detainees’ Right to Legal Counsel, August 18, 2014, CHRD

Writer/Activist Lu Gengsong Sentenced to Four Years in Prison, February 5, 2008, CHRD

Submission to UN on Lü Gengsong, October 12, 2007, CHRD

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