Huang Qi (黄琦)

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Huang Qi (黄琦)

Huang Qi 黄琦
*Under medical watch

Current Detention

Crime: Illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities

Length of Punishment: N/A

Court: N/A

Trial Date: N/A

Sentencing Date: N/A

Dates of Detention/Arrest: November 28, 2016 (detained); December 16, 2016 (arrested)

Date of Birth: April 7, 1963

Medical Condition(s): Crescentic glomerulonephritis (kidney disease),hydrocephalus (accumulation of fluid in the brain), heart disease, emphysema, and effects of pneumonia

Place of Incarceration: Mianyang City Detention Center (Sichuan Province)


Huang Qi, founder and director of 64 Tianwang Human Rights Center, was taken from his home in late November 2016 by over a dozen police officers from three different cities in Sichuan. A volunteer for the organization, Pu Fei (), reportedly went out of contact after sending out messages about Huang’s detention, while Huang’s 83-year-old mother went missing days after he was taken into custody. Police formally arrested Huang in December 2016.

Huang’s lawyers Sui Muqing (隋牧青) and Li Jinglin (李静林) met with Mianyang City national security officers in February 2017 to discuss Huang’s case. According to their report of the meeting, the officers told them that Huang’s case relates to “states secrets” since, in April 2016, Huang posted online a document from the Mianyang City government and party officials that listed Huang as a target for an upcoming crackdown on activists who worked on the 64 Tianwang site. Reportedly, petitioner  Chen Tianhua (陈天茂) took a photo of the document and provided it to Huang, who released it on the 64 Tianwang website. Government officials then retroactively classified the document as “top secret,” taking advantage of criticized loopholes in China’s state secrets legislation.

Huang was initially disappeared and deprived of any lawyer visits for the first 10 months of his detention. On July 28, 2017, lawyer Sui was finally able to visit Huang, eight days after police had recommended indictment in his case. Sui reported that Huang’s longstanding poor health had worsened, apparently turning life-threatening, and that detention center authorities had stopped providing Huang’s medical treatment on July 5, 2017. (In 2010, Huang was diagnosed with incurable and potentially fatal crescentic glomerulonephritis, which had led to limited kidney function. To treat the condition, Huang reportedly must take nine medications daily and has frequently been hospitalized, including just months before he was detained in 2016.) Sui has indicated that Huang’s crescentic glomerulonephritis had necrotized, putting him at risk of rapid renal failure, and that he is also suffering from hydrocephalus (accumulation of fluid in the brain), heart disease, emphysema, and effects of pneumonia. Sui observed that Huang has also lost a great deal of weight. The reported decline of Huang’s health has created fears by his family and supporters that he may die in detention. In 2017, lawyers Sui and Li have applied multiple times for Huang be released on bail on medical grounds, but they have been repeatedly denied, including in January, twice in February 2017, and in April.

At the meeting in July 2017, Huang also told Sui that he had been interrogated by rotating teams of several dozen investigators and forced to stand for four to six hours a day over a period of several weeks. Officers had reportedly tried to get him to confess to crimes while being videotaped, but Huang has not yet been coerced into confessing to any crimes.

Huang established China’s first-known rights monitoring website in 1998, disseminating reports about citizens who had been trafficked and disappeared. By the mid-2000s, the website had evolved to report on human rights violations and complaints against the government. Huang has served two prison sentences, totaling eight years, in reprisal for his human rights work. He received a five-year sentence for “inciting subversion of state power” in 2003. During his incarceration, Huang was often tortured and mistreated, including being shackled and physically and sexually assaulted, and often forced to sleep next to the restroom. In 2009, his lawyers reported Huang had two tumors growing on his chest and stomach, and was suffering from headaches and heart troubles. They applied for release on bail for medical treatment, but authorities never responded.

Huang resumed his advocacy work after his release, in June 2005. Police detained him again in 2008 after he met with families of children who died in schools that collapsed in the Sichuan earthquake. The following year, Huang was sent to prison for three years for “illegal possession of state secrets.” After his release in 2011, Huang continued to document human rights violations, and he has regularly faced harassment and detention around “sensitive” periods, including annual Chinese Communist Party meetings. After his second prison term, Huang Qi was diagnosed with a kidney disease, and has needed to take daily medication to manage the illness.

Huang Qi, born in 1963, graduated from Sichuan University and was formerly a businessman. Huang’s work in citizen journalism has received international awards, including two from Reporters Without Borders, which awarded 64 Tianwang the Press Freedom Prize in 2016, and honored Huang in 2004 with the Cyber-Freedom Prize.

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

Further Information

Communiqué Alleging Arbitrary Detention and Torture of Huang Qi, September 2017, CHRD

China Must Release Jiang Tianyong, Liu Feiyue & Huang Qi, Honor Commitment Made at UN to Protect Rights, November 30, 2016, CHRD

Jail Sentence Upheld for Activist Huang Qi, February 7, 2010, CHRD

Several Activists and Dissidents Languish in Detention despite Serious Illnesses, November 5, 2009, CHRD

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