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China Human Rights Briefing April 13-19, 2011

Posted by Author on April 19, 2011

Highlights

Activist Ni Yulan Becomes Latest Victim of “Jasmine” Crackdown:

CHRD learned this week that housing rights activist and former lawyer Ni Yulan (倪玉兰) has been criminally detained in Beijing for “creating a disturbance.” CHRD has now documented the criminal detention of 39 dissidents and activists as part of the current crackdown, launched by the government to suppress potential “Jasmine Revolution” protests. Another 18 individuals remain missing after being taken away by police. Some, such as human rights lawyer Teng Biao (滕彪) and activist and IT expert Gu Chuan (古川), have now been missing for two months.

Wuhan Dissident Li Tie Faces Decade in Prison as “Subversion” Trial Opens: Wuhan City activist and dissident Li Tie (李铁), arrested last fall on the charge of “subversion of state power,” was tried this week in Wuhan City Intermediate Court. Prosecutors asked the court for a ten-year sentence for Li; the hearing ended without a verdict. Li was represented in court by a police-appointed lawyer, as attorney Jin Guanghong (金光鸿), hired by Li’s family, disappeared shortly before the case.

Contents


Arbitrary Detention

  •     Updates on Detentions and Disappearances Related to the “Jasmine Revolution” Crackdown
  •     Wuhan Dissident Li Tie Tried for “Subversion of State Power”
  •     Whereabouts of Detained Activist Wei Qiang, Believed to Be in RTL Camp, Now Unclear

Freedom of Assembly

  •     Shanghai Petitioner Seized after Submitting Application to Protest

Forced Eviction and Demolition

  •     Guangxi Farmers Arrested after Scuffle over Land Requisition
  •     Elderly Anhui Resident Hospitalized after Violent Forced Eviction
  •     Seven Detained as Victims of Forced Evictions Protest in Changsha

Arbitrary Detention

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

On April 19, Beijing-based human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong (江天勇) returned home after a two-month-long period of enforced disappearance. According to Jiang’s wife, he appeared to be in decent health. That same day, lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原) posted a message on Twitter stating he had returned home as well. Liu went missing on April 14.[i]

 CHRD learned on April 14 that Beijing-based activist Ni Yulan (倪玉兰) has been criminally detained for “creating a disturbance.” This is the third occasion on which Ni has been detained for an extended period of time by Beijing police, and her family has raised serious concerns about her health. As the result of repeated episodes of torture over the past decade, Ni cannot walk and suffers from an assortment of chronic medical issues including difficulty breathing, heart problems, and digestive trouble. During her most recent period of detention and imprisonment, from 2008-2010, Ni was beaten, subjected to cruel and inhumane punishment, and denied proper medical attention. CHRD learned on April 16 that Dong Jiqin (董继勤), Ni’s husband, has also been criminally detained in Beijing for “creating a disturbance.” Dong was seized along with his wife on April 7.[ii]

The Chinese government has criminally detained a total of 39 individuals since anonymous calls for “Jasmine Revolution” protests first appeared online in mid-February. As of April 19, five of the criminally detained have been formally arrested, three have been sent to Re-education through Labor (RTL) camps, 14 have been released (out of which nine have been released on bail to await trial) while 17 remain detained. A total of 18 other lawyers, activists, and dissidents are currently missing.  For more information on the individuals detained and disappeared, please see: http://chrdnet.org/2011/04/15/jasmine_crackdown/.

Wuhan Dissident Li Tie Tried for “Subversion of State Power”

The first hearing in the “subversion of state power” case against dissident Li Tie (李铁) was held on the morning of April 18 in Wuhan City Intermediate Court. The hearing ended without a verdict. Prosecutors called for a 10-year sentence for Li and argued that evidence of his “crime” includes writing articles attacking the government, joining a number of reactionary discussion sites online, and giving reactionary speeches during meetings with friends. Li was represented in court by a lawyer appointed by local public security officials. He entered a plea of not guilty. Li’s family hired lawyer Jin Guanghong (金光鸿) to represent Li; however, Jin was never allowed by local officials to meet with his client, and then went missing shortly before the trial. Li was detained in September of 2010 and formally arrested in November of that year. He has written extensively about democracy and constitutional government in online articles, and has organized activities to honor the memory of Lin Zhao (林昭) annually since 2008. (CHRD)[iii]
Whereabouts of Detained Activist Wei Qiang, Believed to Be in RTL Camp, Now Unclear

On April 13, the parents of young activist Wei Qiang (魏强) attempted to locate their son, who was believed to be detained in the Baota District Re-education through Labor Camp in Shaanxi Province’s Yan’an City. However, when they arrived at the camp, they were told Wei “was not there.” The parents also visited the Yan’an City Public Security Bureau to ask about Wei, but were told that developments in his case were currently “secret.” It has been 50 days since Wei was criminally detained in Beijing on suspicion of participating in an “illegal demonstration.” His parents, who were told by Beijing officials last week that Wei had been sent back to Yan’an, have yet to receive any formal documentation regarding his whereabouts. A friend has receipts from visits with Wei on March 3 (at Beijing’s Haidian District Detention Center) and March 15 (at Beijing’s Number One Detention Center), during which the friend gave Wei money for personal expenses. (CHRD)[iv]

Freedom of Assembly

Shanghai Petitioner Seized after Submitting Application to Protest

On the morning of April 18, Shanghai petitioner Jin Yuehua (金月花) was seized by police and had her home searched after she and a group of more than 30 residents of Shanghai’s Maqiao Town submitted an application to the Shanghai Public Security Bureau (PSB) to hold a demonstration. As of the time of writing, she remains in police detention but her exact whereabouts are unknown. Officers confiscated a desktop computer, a laptop belonging to Jin’s daughter, and other items from Jin’s home. Jin began petitioning 11 years ago after her home was demolished without adequate compensation. (CHRD)[v]

Forced Eviction and Demolition

Guangxi Farmers Arrested after Scuffle over Land Requisition

CHRD learned on April 17 that Liu Guisheng (刘桂生) and Chen Xiaoqiong (陈小琼), a married couple from Quanzhou County, Guangxi Province, have been arrested for “intentional injury” after resisting the requisition of their land. They are currently being held in the Quanzhou County Detention Center. Liu refused to sign an agreement consenting to the requisition of six mu (about one acre) of farmland belonging to his family, and on March 4, 2011, more than 100 local officials and workers arrived at the couple’s home and began to dig up the family’s field. After seeing a police officer push his wife to the ground and strike his elderly mother, Liu came to his family’s defense and got into a scuffle with the requisition team. He and his wife were criminally detained that day and later formally arrested. Liu’s nephew was also criminally detained but was later released on bail to await trial; Liu’s brother was administratively detained for 15 days. (CHRD)[vi]

Elderly Anhui Resident Hospitalized after Violent Forced Eviction

On the morning of April 12, a group of more than 100 workers, led by local Demolition and Relocation office staff and Urban Inspection officers (chengguan) arrived at the home of Li Shoufa (李守法), in Anhui Province’s Beigang Village. Li, who is nearly 70 years old, initially refused to let the workers enter his home, but one of the Urban Inspection officers kicked in his door, which struck Li in the head and left him stunned and bleeding. Members of the demolition team then beat Li, knocking out two of his teeth. Li and his wife were dragged out of their home and the residence was forcibly demolished; Li was hospitalized and needed nine stitches to close the gash on his forehead. Reportedly, Li’s family and local officials were unable to come to an agreement on compensation for the property prior to this forced demolition, and negotiations in recent days have yet to yield a satisfactory resolution. (CHRD)[vii]

Seven Detained as Victims of Forced Evictions Protest in Changsha

On the morning of April 18, a group of approximately 150 residents of Changsha City, Hunan Province, who have been forcibly evicted from their homes gathered at the city government offices to petition. Members of the group, some of whom have waited years without proper compensation or replacement housing, demonstrated outside of the offices in hopes of gaining an audience with the mayor. After a few hours, police dispersed the crowd and seized seven, taking them to the Jinxing Road police station in Changsha’s Yuelu District. As of the time of writing, they remained in police custody. (CHRD)[viii]

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

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