China Human Rights Briefing

May 16-22, 2014

Contents

Arbitrary Detention

  • Labor Organizer Detained for 1 Year Without Sentence
  • Activist-turned-Buddhist Priest Among 5 Detained for “Inciting Subversion”
  • Updates on Detained Lawyers; More Individuals Locked Up

Arbitrary Detention

Labor Organizer Detained for 1 Year Without Sentence

Wu Guijun (吴贵军), a labor organizer in Guangdong Province, has been detained for one year and put on trial four times without a verdict, according to information from Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch (CRLW). Court hearings were held this year from February 17 to May 12. Wu, charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order,” is being detained at Baoan District Detention Center in Shenzhen.

On May 7, 2013, Wu Guijun was among nearly 300 employees of Diweixin, a Hong Kong-owned furniture manufacturer, who began a strike in Shenzhen when their company refused to offer fair severance pay after beginning to relocate its factory. During the strike, Wu represented his fellow workers, helping with legal consultations and negotiations with the company. On May 23, police detained dozens of workers, including Wu. All were later released except for Wu, who had worked at Diweixin for nine years, and has been active in defending labor rights since 2006.[1]

Activist-turned-Buddhist Priest Among 5 Detained for “Inciting Subversion”

Five individuals have been criminally detained in Hubei Province on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power,” including Sheng Guan (圣观), an activist-turned-Buddhist priest who was jailed for one year after taking part in the 1989 pro-democracy movement, according to the Rights Defense Network (RDN). Sheng Guan, whose real name is Xu Zhiqiang (徐志强), was taken into custody on May 17 after speaking about Buddhism at the Shangri-La Hotel in Wuhan. Besides him, four other men criminally detained on the same charge are Ma Qiang (马强), Chen Jianxiong (陈剑雄), Wan Li (万里), and Chai Congfu (蔡丛富). All five are being held at Jiang’an District Detention Center in Wuhan.

Sheng Guan (圣观), an activist-turned-Buddhist priest who took part in the 1989 pro-democracy movement, has been criminally detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion.” (image: jsdd17.jigsy.com

Sheng Guan (圣观), an activist-turned-Buddhist priest who took part in the 1989 pro-democracy movement, has been criminally detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion.” (image: jsdd17.jigsy.com

Sheng Guan, who became a monk in 2001, has been closely monitored by police since 2006, when his temple in Jiangxi Province was used for detaining individuals, leading him to call for the “salvation” of victims of the Tiananmen Massacre and public disclosure of the temple’s assets. In 2009, he was dismissed as a temple abbot in Hunan Province for paying tribute to Hu Yaobang, the high-ranking Chinese official whose death in April of 1989 became a trigger for thousands of students to rally in Tiananmen Square. Sheng Guan was in Xi’an during the student protests of 1989.[2]

 

Updates on Detained Lawyers; More Individuals Locked Up

Lawyer Zhang Lei (张磊), who was finally permitted after initial delays to visit detained Guangzhou-based lawyer Liu Shihui (刘士辉) on May 21, found that Liu was weak and gaunt, and that Liu did not even recognize him at first, CHRD has learned from RDN. Liu was detained on May 14, a day after he tried to represent Shanghai activist Chen Jianfang (陈建芳) at a hearing for a lawsuit that Chen filed seeking public information from the Pudong District Public Security Bureau. Police turned Liu away from the courtroom and later took him into custody at Pudong New District Detention Center in Shanghai. Liu has been charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt the order of a public place.”

In addition, lawyer Liu Zhengqing (刘正清) met with detained Guangzhou lawyer Tang Jingling (唐荆陵) at Baiyun District Detention Center on May 21. According to CRLW, Tang told Liu that a discipline management officer had tried to force him to squat but he refused, prompting the enraged officer to violently kick Tang. Before being put under criminal detention on May 16 on suspicion of “creating a disturbance,” police had reportedly warned Tang not to take part in activities commemorating June Fourth.[3]

Several other individuals were also detained or disappeared over the past week as authorities ratchet up suppression before the 25th anniversary of June Fourth (see alert). Chen Jianfang, who was with Liu when he was seized, has been out of contact since May 15.[4]Police in Guangzhou have criminally detained two other activists, Wang Qingying (王清营) and Yuan Xinting (袁新亭), who are facing charges of “creating a disturbance.”[5]In addition, lawyer Qu Zhenhong (屈振红), the niece of detained lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强) who has served on Pu’s defense team, was criminally detained on May 15, possibly for “illegally obtaining personal information” about Pu. Xin Jian (辛健), a Beijing-based reporter with Japan’s Nihon Keizai newspaper who had interviewed Pu in the past, was also recently taken into custody. Other activists and lawyers, including several who took part in the 1989 demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, were detained earlier in May, and some of them have been mistreated (see reports from May 9 and May 15).

Contacts:

Renee Xia, International Director, +1 240 374 8937, reneexia@chrdnet.com

Victor Clemens, Research Coordinator, +1 209 643 0539, victorclemens@chrdnet.com

Wendy Lin, Hong Kong Coordinator,+852 6933 3871, wendylin@chrdnet.com

Follow us on Twitter:@CHRDnet

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[1] “Trial Opens for Shenzhen Labor Rights Defender Wu Guijun, Accused of ‘Gathering Crowd to Disrupt Social Order’” (深圳工人维权代表吴贵军被控“聚众扰乱社会秩序罪”案开庭), February 18, 2014, Rights Defense Network (RDN); “Second Hearing Opens for Labor Representative Wu Guijun, Restrictions Tightened as Many Unable to Enter Courtroom” (工人代表吴贵军案二次开庭安检升级多人未能进入法庭), April 5, 2014,Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch (CRLW).

[2]“…Buddhist Priest Sheng Guan Criminally Detained” (艾晓明“享受枪口抬高待遇”,圣观法师被刑拘), May 19,2014,RDN.

[3]“Guangzhou Human Rights Lawyer Tang Jingling Criminally Detained for ‘Creating a Disturbance,’ Has Home Searched” (广州人权律师唐荆陵被控“寻衅滋事罪”刑事拘留并抄家), May 16, 2014, RDN;“Alert: Lawyer Tang Jingling Violently Kicked in Detention Center” (快讯:唐荆陵律师看守所内遭逼蹲踢打), May 21, 2014, CRLW; “Lawyer Zhang Lei Request Meeting Liu Shihui Without Success…” (张磊律师会见刘士辉未果,尹旭安等人为其存钱送物), May 19, 2014, RDN.

[4]“Shanghai Human Rights Defender Chen Jianfang Disappeared 3 Days, Suspected to be Held in Detention Center” (上海维权人士陈建芳失踪3天,疑被关押在看守所), May 16, 2014, RDN.

[5] “Charter 08 Signatory Wang Qingying, Guangdong Human Rights Defender, and Others Criminally Detained” (广东维权人士《零八宪章》签署人王清营等多人被刑拘), May 17, 2014, RDN.