Deng Chuanbin (邓传彬)

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Deng Chuanbin (邓传彬)

Deng Chuanbin (邓传彬)  

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/Indictment:  May 17, 2019 (criminal detention); July 19, 2019 (arrest)

Place of Incarceration: Nanxi District Detention Center (Yibin City, Sichuan Province)  


On May 16, 2019, Sichuan police took Deng Chuanbin (aka Huang Huang, 晃晃), from his home in the evening and criminally detained him the next day. Police detained him after he tweeted (and later deleted) a post about the upcoming June Fourth anniversary, arriving at his home just 30 minutes after he sent the tweet. Police returned to his home on May 20 and confiscated electronic items, including three mobile phones, a computer, laptop, iPad, memory cards, and a camera. He was among the 25 individuals who were detained, disappeared or forced to travel during the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Crackdown, according to CHRD’s documentation.

Deng Chuanbin had tweeted an image of a wine bottle produced in 2016 whose label read “Remember 8964,” an allusion to the Tiananmen Massacre from June 4, 1989. The label, which played on the similarity in Mandarin Chinese between the characters for “white liquor” (baijiu) and “89” (“ba jiu”), was meant to memorialize the government’s crushing of the pro-democracy movement, an event of great politically sensitivity in China. Four activists who had been involved in the “June Fourth wine bottle” case were detained in 2016 and convicted of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” in 2019. 

Deng’s first lawyer Chen Yiwei could only visit him once on May 24, 2019 at the investigation stage, according to his wife Tang Xiaoyuan. Since being formally arrested in July 2019, Deng has not received a visit from the lawyer hired by his wife. On November 13, 2019, the detention center rejected Deng’s second lawyer Lu Tingge’s request to visit Deng after the case was transferred to the procuratorate for review of indictment in October 2019. The detention center made various excuses, including that the officers in charge of the case did not allow the lawyer’s visit, accusing the lawyer of not having made appointment in advance, the meeting room was occupied and that they needed to seek approval from above. The procuratorate also rejected Lawyer Lu’s request to read the legal bundle of Deng’s case, claiming that the documentation of the cases handled by the national security police was not digitalized, the bundle was not kept at the procuratorate and that they would need to seek approval from above before they could let the lawyer read the bundle.

Deng Chuanbin’s family, claiming that Deng has suffered psychological damage due to a past traffic accident, had applied for an examination of Deng’s mental condition. There had been no suspicion prior to this detention that Deng had any mental health issues. According to Chinese law, a psychological evaluation should be completed before any further developments can take place in Deng’s criminal case. Authorities conducted the examination and made a determination that Deng has no mental health issues and subsequently formally arrested him. Deng alleged that officers used the situation to forcibly inject him with drugs and beat him with an electronic batons.

Deng Chuanbin, born December 22, 1975, is an independent filmmaker and activist, has collaborated with a variety of human rights defenders in his work, including artist Ai Weiwei which has often touched on human rights concerns. Deng used to work in offices in factories before becoming involved in human rights issues after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. He spent 20 months on site volunteering to dig up debris, build tents, harvest and rebuild. From 2010-2015, Deng became involved in the “Rural Red Ribbon” project in Henan and Hubei provinces to help villagers infected with HIV/AIDs. Prior to his current detention, Deng had faced intimidation from Chinese authorities, including in 2015, when he was prevented from travelling to Geneva to attend a human rights seminar, an act of state reprisal against his efforts to engage with UN human rights bodies. He wrote an article about this incident.

Further Information

Arrest of Deng Chuanbin (short film), AC Films Inc, February 21, 2020

Statement by European Film Academy, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and International Film Festival Rotterdam calling for Deng Chuanbin’s release, February 20, 2020

CHRD Communiqué Alleging Arbitrary Detention of four PR China Citizens in Connection with 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Crackdown – October 31, 2019

Suppression Ahead of 30th Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre, CHRD, May 30, 2019

Hold Chinese Government Accountable for Reprisals Against Human Rights Defenders Cooperating with UN – Aggressive Moves Target Activists and NGOs in China & Abroad, CHRD, November 1, 2018

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