China Human Rights Weekly Briefing

May 18-25, 2011

To download this week’s CHRB as a .pdf file, please click here

Highlights

  • 10-Year Sentence for “Inciting Subversion” Issued to Lü Jiaping: CHRD has learned that 70-year-old dissident and military scholar Lü Jiaping (吕加平) was handed a severe 10-year sentence on May 13 after being convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” by the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court. Lü’s family was barred from attending the trial and also unable to hire counsel to defend him. The harsh sentence is believed to be related to Lü’s writings about former Chinese President Jiang Zemin (江泽民).

  • CHRD Report on Internet Censorship Documents Escalating Struggle Between Government, Netizens: On May 20, CHRD released a report on the current state of internet restrictions in China and the methods being used by netizens to circumvent this encroachment on their rights. The report examines major online incidents from the past two years, discusses methods the government has used to tighten control over the internet, anti-censorship strategy among netizens, and give practical advice to netizens to circumvent censorship. For the full text of this report, in Chinese, please click here.

 

Contents

Arbitrary Detention

  • Updates on Detentions and Disappearances Related to “Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown
  • Dissident and Scholar Lü Jiaping Convicted of “Inciting Subversion,” Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
  • Candidates in Jiangxi Election Released Following Days of Detention
  • Petitioners from Sichuan Remain Detained Months After Being Seized in Beijing
  • Wuhan Dissident Qin Yongmin Released After 10 Days in Detention

Freedom of Assembly

  • Several Taken Into Custody as More Than 300 Evictees Demonstrate Against Government in Changsha
  • Beijing Police Take Away Workers Petitioning Against Forced Buyouts

Harassment of Activists

  • Prison Officials Cut Off Activist Tan Zuoren’s Mail
  • Handicapped Petitioners in Anhui Beaten by Town Party Official and Driver

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment

  • Hangzhou Woman Forced to Have Intrauterine Device Inserted in Guizhou

Citizens’ Actions

  • Lawyers Submit Materials to Supreme People’s Court for Review of Street Vendor’s Death Sentence

Arbitrary Detention

Updates on Detentions and Disappearances Related to “Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown

On May 13, Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原), lawyer for detained Beijing activist Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), applied for Wang’s release on bail to await trial on charges of “assembling a crowd to disrupt traffic order.” On May 19, Liu was informed by the Chaoyang Public Security Bureau that his request had been rejected because Wang “does not suffer from serious illnesses.” Liu met with Ms. Wang on May 20, and reports that she “has a good state of mind” but she continues to suffer from a number of health problems, including heart disease as well as back and nerve problems. According to Wang, the charge referred to two protests she helped organize to support three netizens on trial in Fujian Province in March and April in 2010.

On May 17, Hangzhou City-based dissident Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫) was able to meet with his lawyers Li Baiguang (李柏光) and Li Dunyong (李敦勇) for the first time since he was taken into detention on March 5. Zhu, who has been formally arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power,” is currently being held in the Shangcheng District Detention Center in Hangzhou. (CHRD)[i]

Dissident and Scholar Lü Jiaping Convicted of “Inciting Subversion,” Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

CHRD has learned that 70-year-old Lü Jiaping (吕加平), a dissident and military scholar from Xiaoyang City, Hunan Province, has been convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to ten years in prison. The verdict was handed down on May 13, 2011, by the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court. The prison sentence is believed to come in retaliation for recent works by Lü arguing that former Chinese President Jiang Zemin (江泽民) was a “traitor” and questioning his background and political credentials. Lü and his wife were seized by police in Hunan in September 2010 and taken to Beijing. His wife has since been released. Family members were never informed of this detention or of Lü’s pending trial, and the family was unable to attend the trial or hire a lawyer to represent Lü. It is believed that Lü is currently held in Beijing Detention Center will be sent back to Hunan Province to serve his sentence. (CHRD)

Candidates in Jiangxi Election Released Following Days of Detention

CHRD has learned that Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province-based independent candidates for the People’s Congress Wei Zhongping (魏忠平) and Li Sihua (李思华), as well as their campaign volunteer Peng Xinlian (彭新莲), were released on May 20 after more than a week in detention. The three were detained along with fellow candidate Liu Ping (刘萍) to prevent them from campaigning for election or speaking to voters before the May 15 and 16 voting for People’s Congress representatives in Xinyu’s Yushui District. Liu Ping was released on May 18 after four days of illegal detention, during which she was held in a guesthouse and kept under 24-hour guard by eight people reportedly instructed by the police. The voting for Xinyu People’s Congress representatives took place on May 15 and 16, and marks the beginning of elections for local people’s congresses, which are held every five years and are scheduled to take place across China in 2011 and 2012. (CHRD)[ii]

Petitioners from Sichuan Remain Detained Months After Being Seized in Beijing

Three Sichuan-based petitioners–Jiang Guorong (姜国荣), Liu Cunqin (刘存钦), and Peng Yan (彭燕)–remain in detention in a black jail more than two months after they were seized in Beijing, CHRD has learned. The three were detained in the capital in mid-March, during the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. They are currently being held in a black jail in Pujiang County, outside of Chengdu City in Sichuan Province. The three have been petitioning about forced demolition of their homes, and further information about them is not currently available. (CHRD)[iii]

Wuhan Dissident Qin Yongmin Released After 10 Days in Detention

On May 23, Qin Yongmin (秦永敏), a dissident from Wuhan City, Hubei Province who had been in administration detention for 10 days, was released. It is believed that, on May 13, national security forces and other police officers in Wuhan’s Qingshan District took Qin, one of the founders of the banned China Democracy Party (CDP), to the Xingouqiao Police Station. Qin was asked about, among other issues, media interviews he had given and the 1000 RMB financial assistance he had given to fellow dissident Li Wangyang. Released from prison on November 29, 2010, the long-time dissident has been administratively detained twice in less than six months, and on several occasions been summoned or had his home searched by the police. He’s also undergone close monitoring, and everyone who has come to visit him has been searched and taken into custody after departing his home. (CHRD)[iv]

Freedom of Assembly

Several Taken Into Custody as More Than 300 Evictees Demonstrate Against Government in Changsha

On May 16, more than 300 citizens of Changsha City, Hunan Province who were evicted from their homes collectively demonstrated against the city government. Those evicted processed en masse for over a kilometer and around the Changsha City government building, shouting slogans and calling for the eradication of official corruption. Six protestors, Wang Zhuofu, Wang Jiyong (王继勇), Zhou Jianyue (周建跃), Wang Yunqing (王云清), Wen Shaoping (文哨平), and Li Qiaoling (李巧玲), were taken into police custody. Some demonstrators went to the provincial public security office to protest these unlawful detentions, and all those taken into custody were released the same day. The protesters had been evicted without receiving any compensation and resettlement, and no department will discuss their situation with them. (CHRD)[v]

Beijing Police Take Away Workers Petitioning Against Forced Buyouts

On May 23, police in Beijing took away nearly 200 individuals petitioning about buyouts they were forced to accept by various financial institutions across the country. It is believed that they were sent to Jiujingzhuang, a centralized black jail in Beijing. The 200 petitioners are among more than 600 banking industry professionals from around the country who recently went to the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to voice their grievances. Over 400 were dispersed from around the CBRC on May 23 and went that afternoon to petition at the main offices of their respective head companies. Due to corporate restructuring and downsizing, forced buyouts have led to more than 400 thousand financial sector workers losing their jobs in the past decade.

CHRD also learned that among those taken to Jiujingzhuang, petitioners Huang Xingzhi (黄行芝) and Pan Xiangrong (潘向荣), residents of Qianjiang City, Hubei Province, were then taken away by Qingqiang government personnel and are being held in a black jail in the Lianhuachi area of Beijing. (CHRD)[vi]

Harassment of Activists

Prison Officials Cut Off Activist Tan Zuoren’s Mail

Officials at Sichuan’s Ya’an Prison are refusing to allow imprisoned activist Tan Zuoren (谭作人) to receive mail, his wife Wang Qinghua (王庆华) reports. According to Wang, who recently visited Tan in prison, he is in reasonable health and is not being mistreated, aside from this restriction on his communications. Tan, a Sichuan-based activist and environmentalist, was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” after he organized an investigation into the deaths of children during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and attempted to assist parents of these children in their fight for justice. He is currently serving a five-year prison term. (CHRD)[vii]

Handicapped Petitioners in Anhui Beaten by Town Party Official and Driver

On the morning of May 17, three disabled petitioners from Changfeng County, Anhui Province, were hospitalized after being beaten by a local official and his driver following an argument. The three–Ding Zhongfu (丁忠福), Wang Guofu (王国福), and He Zechuan (何泽传)–had traveled to the Gangji Town government to follow up with local officials regarding welfare payments they had been promised in a May 7 meeting along with other disabled petitioners. They got into an argument with Li Fabing (李法兵), vice-secretary of the Town Party Committee, who only offered to pay the three half of the amount they had originally been promised. Shortly after the three left the office, Li’s driver drove a car carrying Li into their group, knocking down Ding, at which point Li got out of the car and began striking Ding. Wang and He were beaten by the driver as they attempted to help their friend. Ding, Wang, and He were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment; police who arrived at the scene did not take any action against Li or his driver. (CHRD)[viii]

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Hangzhou Woman Forced to Have Intrauterine Device Inserted in Guizhou

CHRD has learned that Zhang Xuequn (张雪群), a woman from Hangzhou City, was forced to have an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted in Banqiao Village, Zhijin County, Guizhou Province. Visiting her mother-in-law at the time of the incident, Zhang was assaulted by local officials before being forcibly dragged to Banqiao’s Family Planning Station for the procedure, and her husband was subjected to security detention for three days. According to Zhang, she had brought her 14-month-old baby to Banqiao, where her husband’s hukou is located, during the May Day holiday, and staff of the family planning station came on May 3 to conduct a survey and requested Zhang immediately submit to the procedure. Before being taken away, she produced a marriage certificate and official birth certificate, and said that her poor physical condition and non-local status made her unsuitable for the procedure. Following the forced operation, Zhang suffered abdominal pain and lost a large amount of blood, and hospital examinations showed she was suffering from several serious health problems. The incident has outraged netizens and became known as the “Guizhou Family Planning-Gate” after the facts were posted online. On May 22, Zhang informed CHRD she is preparing to sue over the incident. (CHRD)[ix]

Citizens’ Actions

Lawyers Submit Materials to Supreme People’s Court for Review of Street Vendor’s Death Sentence

On May 23, 2011, lawyers for Shenyang street vendor Xia Junfeng (夏俊峰)–Chen Youxi (陈有西) and Zhong Guolin (钟国林)–submitted materials to the First Criminal Court of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in preparation for the SPC’s review of Xia’s death sentence. On May 9, 2011, the Liaoning Province High Court upheld the death sentence verdict handed down to Xia, originally convicted of intentional homicide by the Shenyang Intermediate People’s Court for killing two City Administration and Law Enforcement officials (chengguan) as he was being violently beaten by them. The verdict has outraged many netizens. (CHRD)[x]

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnet

News updates from CHRD


[i] “Wang Lihong’s Lawyer Applies for Her Release on Bail to Await Trial, is Rejected” (王荔蕻的律师为其申请取保候审被拒), May 20, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_7307.html; “Zhu Yufu Able to Meet with Lawyer, Sends Birthday Greetings to Wife” (朱虞夫得律师会见,转话祝妻子生日快乐), May 18, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_681.html

[ii] “Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province Independent Candidate Wei Zhongping and Others Regain their Freedom” (江西新余市独立候选人魏忠平等人获自由), May 20, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_2543.html; “Independent Candidate Liu Ping, of Jiangxi, Released after 4 Days of Illegal Detention” (江西独立候选人刘萍被非法关押4天后获释), May 18, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/4.html

 

[iii] “Pujiang County, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province is Still Holding Petitioners in Detention following the Two Meetings” (四川成都蒲江仍然关押着一批两会上访的访民), May 21, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_6035.html

 

[iv] “Wuhan Dissident Qin Yongmin Released after 10 days of Administrative Detention” (武汉异议人士秦永敏 被拘留十天后获释), May 23, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_3536.html

 

[v] “300 Demonstrated Outside City Government in Changsha City, Many Taken Away” (长沙市300余名被拆迁户到市政府示威多人被抓), May 24, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/300.html

 

[vi] “Financial Workers Nationwide Forced to Accept Buyouts Defend Their Rights in Beijing” (全国金融买断职员进京维权动态), May 23, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_4573.html; “Hubei Petitioners Huang Xingzhi and Pan Xiangrong Detained in Black Jail” (湖 北访民黄行芝、潘向荣在京被关黑监狱), May 24, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_24.html

 

[vii] “Communications Limited for Tan Zuoren in Prison” (谭作人在监狱通信受到限制无人交流), May 22, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_8475.html

 

[viii] “Handicapped People in Changfeng County, Anhui Province Beaten by Town Government Officials” (安徽长丰县发生镇政府殴打残疾人致伤事件), May 18, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_2573.html

 

[ix] “Hangzhou Woman Forcibly Subjected to Birth Control Surgery in Guizhou Province” (杭州女子在贵州被强行做节育手术), May 22, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_5478.html

 

[x] “Lawyers Formally Begin Work on Death Penalty Review of Shenyang Vendor Xia Junfeng” (沈阳小贩夏俊峰死刑复核审理律师工作正式启动), May 23, 2011, http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_9774.html