Yin Xu’an (尹旭安)

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Yin Xu’an (尹旭安)

Yin Xu’an   尹旭安

*Under medical watch

Yin Xu’an 尹旭安

Current detention

Crime: Picking quarrels and provoking trouble

Length of Punishment: N/A

Court: N/A

Trial Date: N/A

Sentencing Date: N/A

Dates of Detention/Arrest: June 5, 2019 (criminal detention); July 11, 2019 (arrest); October 24, 2019 (indictment)

Date of Birth: August 27, 1974

Medical condition(s): High blood pressure (hypertension)

Place of Incarceration: Daye City Detention Center, Hubei Province

Background Information on Current Detention

Authorities began repeatedly detaining Yin Xu’an in early 2019 over of his efforts to seek medical treatment and justice after being released from prison in late December 2018. Following several administrative detentions handed down as punishment for trying to petition in Beijing, Daye City police criminally detained Yin in June around the sensitive 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre and formally arrested him a month later.

Yin has been granted meetings with his lawyer while held at Daye City Detention Center. Daye City procuratorate indicted Yin in October and transferred his case to Daye City People’s Court. The so-called “criminal” activity prosecutors accused Yin of in the indictment includes: visiting the father of Tang Jingling, a recently released prisoner of conscience; deliberately spreading false information on Twitter regarding mainland police use of force; taking a photograph of a car with the number plate 8964 (alluding to the June 4th massacre in 1989) and putting it on Twitter; using WeChat and the Internet to connect with domestic and overseas illegal organisations and individuals to express discontent with the government and Chinese Communist Party; and obtaining funding from others for criminal activities.

As of early January 2020, no trial date has been set. According to Yin’s lawyer, he stopped taking his medicine for hypertension for a period of time to protest his treatment and as a result, no trial date had been fixed. The lawyers advised him to consider his health and he has reportedly started taking his medication again.

According to Yin, after being released following a 3.5-year prison sentence on December 27, 2018, authorities did not return his wallet which contained his national ID card, bank cards, and cash, nor did authorities allow him to keep over 3,000 yuan held in his Caidian Prison petty cash account. On January 2, 2019, he was hospitalised due to severe hypertension and heart disease at Daye City People’s Hospital and later transferred to Hubei Provincial People’s Hospital due to the severity of his condition. Yin was again hospitalised on February 19, 2019 in the Hubei Provincial People’s Hospital but discharged after six days despite not feeling better. He believed he had been discharged under political pressure from authorities. As a result of the political obstacles to receiving medical treatment and the complications of not having an ID card and financial strains, Yin began to try to petition in Beijing.

Previous detention

Crime: Picking quarrels and provoking trouble

Length of Punishment: 3.5 years

Court: Daye City People’s Court, Hubei

Trial Date: September 13, 2016

Sentencing Date: May 27, 2017

Dates of Detention/Arrest: July 28, 2015 (detention); September 26, 2015 (arrest); December 27, 2018 (released)

Place of Incarceration: Daye City Detention Center, Hubei Province; Caidian Prison (Wuhan City)

Background Information on Previous Detention

Hubei activist Yin Xu’an has been detained in connection with the “709 Crackdown” on human rights lawyers and their supporters. Police seized Yin three days after he and other activists, including Wang Fang, had publicly shown support for activist Wu Gan (a.k.a. “The Butcher”), who was detained in late May 2015. Yin and the group wore t-shirts with Wu’s image in front of the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan on July 25, 2015, and then posted photos online of this activity. Yin was first reportedly issued a 15-day administrative detention, but police did not release him once the punishment ended on August 13. Police then told Yin’s family that he was given an additional 10-day punishment for “fighting” in the detention house. When relatives went to see Yin on August 23—the day he presumably would have been released—police said that he had been placed under criminal detention on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles,” but the family was not given official notification. At that time, police transferred him to Daye City.

Prosecutors formally charged Yin on an unknown date in March 2016. His case was transferred to the Daye City People’s Court. The trial had initially been set for August 18, 2016, but authorities postponed it two days before the hearing was set to start. Authorities tried Yin on September 13, in a hearing that his family were not allowed to attend the trial, no advance public notice was made, and the courthouse was surrounded by a heavy police presence. No verdict was announced at the end of the trial. According to his lawyer, Lin Qilei (蔺其磊), the accusation against Yin claim that he also participated in demonstrations around “sensitive” topics in addition to the Wu Gan protest, including memorials for dissident Lin Zhao, rallies calling for the freedom of detained HRD Liu Ping, and a protest outside the trial of Fan Mugen, whose supporters say had been wrongfully accused. He argued such actions were constitutionally protected acts of free speech and peaceful assembly.

After Yin was seized in July 2015, Hubei police held him incommunicado for 10 months, during which he was allegedly tortured. In January 2016, one of his lawyers filed a complaint with the Huangshi City People’s Procuratorate on the denial of legal counsel in the case, but the procuratorate took no action. Yin was eventually granted a meeting with his lawyer in May 2016, when he told lawyer Lin Qilei about torture he had suffered in detention. Yin said he has repeatedly been physically assaulted by fellow inmates and also abused by guards, especially after he filed an application to have a police officer removed from his interrogation.

Yin suffers from high blood pressure and heart problems, but officials have denied him adequate treatment, causing his condition to worsen. While in pre-trial detention, authorities denied his request for a comprehensive physical exam. His lawyer said after Yin’s September trial hearing that the Hubei Province No. 3 People’s Procuratorate had refused to investigate his complaints about denied access to his client and the failure of the detention center to provide Yin with adequate medical treatment. Yin Xu’an’s family visited him in April 2018 around the Qingming Festival and learned that his medical condition had seriously deteriorated. According to his family, Yin’s blood pressure is dangerously high and he has suffered from complications, including retinopathy (damage to eye blood vessel) that has caused blurred vision and temporary blindness. The prison sent him to the prison clinic, where he received an injection which only slightly lowered his blood pressure (from 260 to 210), and his condition remains very serious. Yin’s request for medical parole has been denied, and prison officials refuse to give his family a certificate of medical diagnosis, preventing them from applying for bail. Authorities have also prevented Yin’s family and supporters from depositing money into his account at the detention center. 

Authorities released Yin after he completed his full prison sentence.

On May 23, 2019, Yin Xu’an was again criminally detained on the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. In October 2019, he was indicted by the procuracy of Dazhi City, Hebei. Yin Xu’an spent a long time in pre-trial detention, until on July 21, 2021, the Hebei Province Dazhi City Court found him guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and sentenced him to 4 years and 6 months in prison. The court found him guilty based on three main aspects: two cases in which he made controversial statement on Twitter regarding law enforcement encounters, and one tweet in which he and a group of friends took a group photo with a car that happened to have a license plate that read 闽D-8964c (with “8964” as the date of the Tiananmen Massacre on June 4th, 1989). The court verdict made clear that this commemoration of June 4th — and promoting it on “foreign Twitter” was part of the evidence used in finding Yin Xu’an guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.

With time served, he is scheduled to be released from prison on November 22, 2023. He is apparently in very bad physical condition and has had to undergo several medical procedures to save his life while in detention.

He is still currently at the Dazhi City Detention Center.

Reportedly, Yin Xu’an’s health is in grave danger. In 2018, his family learned that he suffers from extremely high blood pressure, with his systolic pressure at times reaching 260, and suffering from cerebral hemorrhages, and cardiac infractions.

Yin Xu’an, born on August 27, 1974, is a petitioner-turned-activist from Daye City in Hubei. He began petitioning in 2007 over a dispute with the local government. Initially, authorities detained him in black jails, but in 2009 Yin received a two-year Re-education through Labor punishment for applying for permission to hold a demonstration during US President Barack Obama’s visit to Beijing. In 2012, Yin began to take part in human rights campaigns, including protests around the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th Party Congress, and later in demonstrations calling for the release of prisoners of conscience.

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

Further Information

Submission to UN on Wu Gan, Wang Fang, and Yin Xu’an, April 17, 2018, CHRD

Individuals Affected by July 9 Crackdown on Rights Lawyers, CHRD

China: Free Rights Lawyers, Respect Rule of Law, July 7, 2016, CHRD (中文)

China: Investigate Alleged Torture of Detained Rights Defender Yin Xu’an, May 12, 2016, CHRD

Politically Charged Arrests in China Escalate Persecution of Rights Lawyers, January 14, 2016, CHRD

[CHRB] What Happened to the Detained Lawyers: 18 Held in Secret & Several Accused of “Endangering National Security” (8/12-20/2015), CHRD

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