Submission to UN on Zhao Suli – November 17, 2017

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1. Identity of Disappeared Person

(a) Family name(s):  Zhao (赵)

(b) Given names(s):  Suli (素利)

(c) Sex: female

(d) Date of birth: April 8, 1973

(e) ID Card No:

(f) Place of Usual Residence: Qingshan District, Wuhan City, Hubei Province

2. Date of arrest, abduction or disappearance (at least month and year): 

January 9, 2015

3. Place of arrest, abduction or where the disappearance person was last seen:

Ms. Zhao was initially seized at her residence: Number 7, Building 4, Neighborhood 17, Honggangcheng, Qingshan District, Wuhan City, Hubei Province. The witness to her disappearance (Mr. Qin Yongmin, her husband), last saw her on March 19, 2015, on Baxian Island, near Wuhan City.

4. State or State-supported forces believed to be responsible for the disappearance:

(a) State or State-supported forces believed to be responsible for the disappearance. If the perpetrators are believed to be State agents, please specify and indicate who and why they are believed to be responsible. Be as precise as possible (military, police, persons in uniform or civilian clothes, agents of security services, unit to which they belong, rank and functions, identifications presented, etc.):

Qu Youping (瞿佑平): Officer, Qingshan District Branch Domestic Security Brigade, Wuhan City Public Security Bureau

Wan Changfei (万长非): Office Director (retired and rehired), Qingshan District Branch Domestic Security Brigade, Wuhan City Public Security Bureau

Fu Zhiping (付志平): Bureau Chief, Qingshan District Branch, Wuhan City Public Security Bureau, Address: Qingshan District, Wuhan City, No. 99 Construction Road, Telephone: 027-86385836

Yu Chunxiang (喻春祥): Bureau Chief, Wuhan City Public Security Bureau, Address: No. 188 Development Road, Wuhan City, Hubei Province, Telephone: 027-85395115

(b) If identification as State agents is not possible, please indicate why you believe that Government authorities, or persons linked to them, may be responsible for the incident.

(c) If there are witnesses to the incident, please provide their names and relation to the victim. If they wish to remain anonymous, indicate if they are relatives, by-standers, or others. If there is evidence, please specify.  

Qin Yongmin (秦永敏), Zhao Suli’s husband, witnessed her initial disappearance. (Qin is a prominent and oft-persecuted veteran human rights activist and dissident, and he is currently being arbitrarily detained at Wuhan City No. 2 Detention Center. He was formally arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power,” on March 30, 2016. Since then, the local procuratorate has twice sent back his case to police for “further investigation.”)

In a detention center visit on June 21, 2016, Qin provided his lawyer a description of the incident that led to the enforced disappearance of Zhao Suli: On January 9, 2015, after Qin had completed a 10-day administrative detention (punishment for allegedly “organizing an illegal assembly”), which was issued by Qingshan District Branch of Wuhan City Public Security Bureau, Officer Qu Youping and Office Director Wan Changfei (see 4-a), among other individuals, forcibly took Qin and Zhao Suli to Baxian Island, where the couple was held together for approximately 70 days and deprived of their freedom of movement. Zhao and Qin were guarded in rounds by, among other individuals, an unidentified national security officer as well as Officer Qu and Office Director Wan. Since that first period of confinement on Bashan Island, Zhao and Qin were taken to that location on four other occasions, according to Qin.

Qin’s lawyer has said that, among the official documents related to Qin’s case, was a “notice of arrest” with Zhao Suli’s name, and dated May 8, 2015. However, a representative of the couple’s family has expressed doubts that the signature on the document belongs to Zhao.

5. Indicate any action taken by relatives or others to locate the person (including inquiries to police, places of incarceration, or UN Human Rights Commission, or habeas corpus petition etc.): 

(a) Complaints (when, by whom, and before which organ/s):

The lawyer and family of Zhao Suli have inquired about her whereabouts and detention status through the Open Government Information (OGI) disclosure system in China, and has submitted one complaint to a court, as described below:

  1. On July 6, 2016, Zhao’s lawyer mailed the “Lawyer’s Opinion on Basic Case Details Concerning the Enforced Disappearance Exceeding 17 Months of Zhao Suli, Wife of Qin Yongmin” to Qingshan District Branch of Wuhan City Public Security Bureau. On July 19, 2016, Wuhan City Public Security Bureau issued a letter (No. 1110) via the Letters and Visits Office (transfer personnel: Kuang Kan, Telephone: 8539440), notifying the lawyer that the relevant materials had been sent to the Qingshan District Branch of the PSB for investigation and processing. To this day, there have been no results.
  2. On December 19, 2016, the lawyer mailed an application for Open Government Information (OGI) disclosure separately to both Wuhan Public Security Bureau and Qingshan District Branch of Wuhan City Public Security Bureau. In the application, the lawyer requested that public security authorities disclose the following: 1. Video recording of Zhao Suli’s (criminal and administrative) by law-enforcement officers; 2. Written transcripts created simultaneous to the video-recorded interrogation of Ms. Zhao; 3. All locations where Ms. Zhao has been summoned or held in custody, whether detention centers or other places (such as Baxian Island), and all surveillance video to confirm Ms. Zhao’s personal safety; 4. All case files and information, including but not limited to a (criminal or administrative) penalty decision, the facts and evidence of punishment, evidentiary material, detention notice, video, and any other related materials; 5. List of items seized in a police search, and confirmation if those items have or have not been returned; 6. Identity of (criminal or administrative) case-handling units, assisting units, and participating departments; 7. All procedural and legal documentation on instruments employed in Ms. Zhao’s case; 8. Confirmation whether or not Wuhan Public Security Bureau and/or Qingshan District Branch have employed criminal coercive measures against Ms. Zhao and processed legal documentation, among other measures taken.
  3. The Qingshan District Branch of Wuhan City Public Security Bureau replied to the lawyer (in Government Information Disclosure Application Response No. 20117001) that the bureau would “not make public” the requested information. The lawyer then submitted a request for an administrative review of this decision to the Wuhan City Qingshan District People’s Government. In a reply, the Qingshan District Branch claimed that the materials provided by the lawyer do not prove that Zhao’s family had legally entrusted the lawyer to submit the open government information application. The Qingshan District People’s Government subsequently issued a reply (Qingshan District People’s Government Response No. 11 [2016]), which supported the original reply by the Qingshan District Branch.
  4. The Wuhan City Public Security Bureau issued its response to the applicant on December 28, 2016, requesting that the applicant clarify the nature of the case as well as other details, and provide supplementary materials. After the application submitted the requested information, the Wuhan City People’s Government issued a response, on March 17, 2017, and confirmed that Zhao Li’s family member had been entrusted as her legal representative on May 17, 2016, but that the majority of the information requested for disclosure, except for information about whether criminal coercive measures had been taken against Ms. Zhao, fall outside the scope of information that public security organs are legally authorized to disclose, as stipulated under the Regulations on Public Security Organs Law Enforcement Disclosure. In addition, the government stated that, if the applicant needs to obtain relevant information on a criminal case, Articles 38-39 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China should be consulted. In its response, the government decided to uphold the original decision made by the Wuhan City Public Security Bureau. The applicant then submitted an administrative lawsuit to the Jianghan District People’s Court in Wuhan City. The Court accepted and the materials and requested that the applicant file the case, but the applicant has not filed the case, for undisclosed reasons.
  5. Family members and friends have been subjected to harassment and beatings by police officers in retaliation for inquiring about Ms. Zhao’s whereabouts at the Wuhan City Public Security Bureau, Qingshan District Branch PSB, and the Xingouqiao Police Station.

Date Submitted: November 17, 2017

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