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Archive for the ‘Zheng Enchong’ Category

Zheng Enchong

Christian Attorney Zheng Enchong Interrogated and Tortured by China Police

Posted by Author on June 24, 2009


ChinaAid, June 23, 2009 –

SHANGHAI – On June 17 Christian human rights attorney, Zheng Enchong, was interrogated and tortured for nine hours by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers because of his work defending Chinese citizens whose land has been confiscated by the government. During his detention, he was beaten, stripped and cigarettes were held to his lips and eyelids. Zheng Enchong has filed a written protest and plans to file a complaint to the central government.

According to ChinaAid sources, Zheng Enchong was summoned by four officers from Zhabei District Branch of Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau on June 17. During his detention, officers took turns slapping him five or six times in the face, and hitting him three times in the back of his head. Police also held lit cigarettes to his lips and eyelids. Later, the officers pulled him from the seat and took off all his clothing, except his underwear. Police threw his personal belongings, including: money, keys, pen, and a Bible and some cookies to the floor. Then the PSB officers proceeded to search his body.

Authorities compiled a written record of the interrogation without interrogating Zheng at all, and, then, wanted him to sign it. Instead, he wrote down a statement on the record describing his violent treatment by the PSB. He denounced authorities for using the same method on him as they use on Falun Gong practitioners.

Attorney Zheng has been summoned by officials nearly 20 times, and his house searched twice in the past two and a half months. In 2003,  he filed a major legal case exposing how government officials conspired with Zhou Zhengyi, “the richest man in Shanghai,” to illegally confiscate homes for demolition. Since that time, Zheng Enchong has been continually harassed and persecuted by Chinese officials. He was sentenced to three years in prison for “illegally providing secrets to overseas entities.” The charge related to two faxes regarding workers’ protests that Zheng was accused of sending to Human Rights in China, a non-profit organization. Zheng has also been beaten by authorities four times, so badly that he now has difficulty walking.

“As an internationally well-known Christian human rights lawyer, Attorney Zheng has always defended the poor and vulnerable,” said Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid and a friend of Mr. Zheng and his family. “The repeated harassment and torture against such a conscientious rights defender demonstrates the Shanghai authorities’ total disregard to citizens’ basic human rights. We encourage the international community to continue to press the Chinese authorities to stop these hideous acts and to hold the abusers accountable”.

ChinaAid calls on the international community to contact the Chinese Ambassador urge that the violence against Zheng Enchong end, and that government respect and uphold human rights according to the Chinese Constitution and international agreements:

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
3505 International Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2000
Fax: (202) 588-9760

ChinaAid

Posted in China, East China, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Police, Politics, shanghai, Social, Torture, World, Zheng Enchong | 1 Comment »

China Attorney: “Falun Gong is a role model for society”

Posted by Author on May 14, 2009


By Li Zhen, Epoch Times Staff,  May 13, 2009 –

In the last week, Shanghai-based human rights attorney, Zheng Enchong, was called into the police station three times, and had his home ransacked. He has been called to the police station a total of 56 times now.

Zheng kept his calm and sense of humor. He told The Epoch Times, “On May 4, I was called to the police station the 54th time. Maybe on June 4 it will be the 64th time, on July 20 it will be the 72nd time, and on October 1 it will be the 100th time.”

The above are all “politically sensitive” dates under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). June 4 is the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre; July 20 is the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong; and October 1 is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Phone calls to Zheng have also become difficult. Police repeatedly take away his cell phones, yet appellants who have admired Zheng for his work, have continued to give him new cell phones. He also receives a large number of harassing calls from the police. On May 9, Zheng told The Epoch Times, “They usually ransack my house on Wednesdays. This week, they called me to the station on Wednesday instead of ransacking my home. They were trying to lower my guard. They came on Thursday instead and brought testing equipment. They even searched the hallways, but they didn’t find anything.”

He said with chagrin, “They wanted to find my communication devices, namely my cell phones, in order to block my communication to the outside world. In April, they came three times and took away more than a dozen cell phones. But this time, they didn’t take away anything.

“They thought I wasn’t receiving any help. A lot of appellants are actually helping me. I have been able to keep contact with the outside world. I think it’s supposed to be this way.”

Despite being closely monitored and harassed by the CCP, Zheng wanted to send his greetings to the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi, in honor of May 13, World Falun Dafa Day.

He said, “As a Christian, I would like to send my greetings to Mr. Li Hongzhi for his upcoming birthday on May 13. I would also like to congratulate all Falun Gong practitioners [for International Falun Dafa Day]. Ten years ago, the CCP banned Falun Gong and began the persecution. From what my friends and I can see, Falun Gong’s greatest contribution was to invent software that broke through the Chinese regime’s Internet censorship.

“In Shanghai, such software is quite common now. This has enabled us to see the world outside of the CCP’s control. From my personal perspective, I think Falun Gong practitioners are respected because of their high morality. Both in China and overseas, they have persevered in their faith. The Epoch Times, Sound of Hope Radio, and NTDTV have reported a large number of human rights abuses in China. This was quite encouraging. In addition, the Divine Performing Arts have brought the true Chinese culture to the world. I think this is something that no other group can accomplish. Falun Gong provided moral inspirations and is a role model for society.”

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, East China, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Lawyer, News, People, Religion, shanghai, Special day, Speech, World, Zheng Enchong | Comments Off on China Attorney: “Falun Gong is a role model for society”

(part 2) Member of European Parliament Discusses Sensitive Issues With China Rights Lawyer in Shanghai

Posted by Author on December 1, 2008


By Li Zhen, Epoch Times Staff, Nov 28, 2008 (cont’d)

Mrs. Helga Truepel has her photograph taken with Shanghai petitioners at lawyer Zheng Enchong’s home. (The Epoch Times)

Mrs. Helga Truepel has her photograph taken with Shanghai petitioners at lawyer Zheng Enchong’s home. (The Epoch Times)

Member of the European Parliament Helga Truepel met with renowned Chinese human rights lawyer Zheng Enchong at his place of residence in Shanghai on November 25.

The CCP Should be Held Responsible for the Tibet Issue

When Truepel told Zheng that the European Parliament was in support of the Dalai Lama, Zheng gave his committed stance on the issue.

“I am a lawyer, said Zheng. “I know that in 1954 the CCP and the Dalai Lama reached seventeen agreements. Who tore up the agreements first? It was Mao Zedong, former CCP leader. According to the agreements, the social system in Tibet was to remain the same. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) marched into Tibet only for defense. But after 1959, the CCP forced Tibet to change its social structures, which caused the Dalai to flee from his hometown. It is the CCP that broke the agreements.”

Truepel remarked that she was surprised at Zheng’s open attitude on the Tibet issue. Zheng said that many people hold similar viewpoints in China, but there are no channels available for them to express their opinions.

Falun Gong Broke Through China’s ‘Berlin Wall’

When Zheng was asked how he was still able to know current news, he explained that although the CCP has completely suppressed freedom of information, Falun Gong practitioners had developed software to break through the blockade, enabling Chinese people to look at overseas news.

“The Berlin Wall in China collapsed. Falun Gong did it.  They have provided us this special software, gifts from the Gods,” said Zheng.

Confirming the Quitting the CCP Movement

Zheng told Truepel about his story. Although he used to follow the CCP, he recently made a declaration of withdrawal from the Communist Young Pioneers and the Communist Youth League.

During the meeting Zheng opened his window and showed Truepel a wilderness of slum areas. “Five million migrant workers in Shanghai cannot afford to live in a ground level house, so they have to stay in these rickety chambers. It is the situation of China`s human rights. I hope you also visit Anhui, Sichuan and Henan Provinces for more information about human rights for China’s peasants.”

The 58-year old Zheng has advised more than 500 families displaced by Shanghai`s urban redevelopment project on their rights to fair compensation. In 2003, he was able to successfully initiate a public trial against Shanghai real-estate tycoon Zhou Zhengyi.

That same year, Zheng was sentenced to three years in prison under a trumped up charge of “betraying state secrets.” Since his release in 2006, he has been kept under house arrest and intense surveillance by the police.

Part 1 Part2

– The Epochtimes: Member of European Parliament Meets Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Zheng Enchong

Posted in all Hot Topic, break net-block, China, East China, Europe, Falun Gong, house arrest, Human Rights, Internet, Law, Lawyer, News, Party withdrawal, People, politician, Politics, shanghai, Social, Software, Speech, Technology, Tibetan, World, Zheng Enchong | 1 Comment »

(part 1) Member of European Parliament Discusses Sensitive Issues With China Rights Lawyer in Shanghai

Posted by Author on December 1, 2008


By Li Zhen, Epoch Times Staff, Nov 28, 2008 –

Mrs. Helga Truepel, member of the European Parliament, has her photograph taken with Zheng Enchong, a famous Shanghai human rights lawyer at a two-hour meeting. (The Epoch Times)

Mrs. Helga Truepel, member of the European Parliament, has her photograph taken with Zheng Enchong, a famous Shanghai human rights lawyer at a two-hour meeting. (The Epoch Times)

Member of the European Parliament Helga Truepel met with renowned Chinese human rights lawyer Zheng Enchong at his place of residence in Shanghai on November 25. Mrs. Helga Truepel, German member of the European Parliament, was also a member of the Green Party.

During their two-hour meeting, they exchanged views on several sensitive issues including China’s human rights record, Tibet, Falun Gong, Internet freedom and the global Quitting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) movement.

Originally, Truepel failed to meet with Hu Jia’s wife Zheng Jinyan in Beijing, due to the Chinese communist authorities’ interference.

Regime Withdrew Police to Create False Impression of ‘Freedom’

“At 10:09am Helga Truepel and a German translator knocked on my door. I found they were very nervous because they failed to meet Zeng Jinyan in Beijing two days ago and worried about if the same thing happened again,” remarked Zheng.

He continued to say that the police were specifically ordered to not interrupt their visit, and recounted how they left before the meeting began and returned when it concluded.

“Before they arrived at my house, all policemen around my home were gone abnormally at 8:00a.m. After Mrs. Helga and her translator left at 12:00pm, they appeared again. The government tried to create the false impression of my freedom.”

CCP Authorities are Concerned About Pressure from International Societies

Regarding being able to successfully meet with Truepel, Zheng commented, “First, the Chinese Communist regime felt pressure from the international society after the scandal about them hindering the woman MEP from meeting Zeng Jinyan was exposed. Secondly, recently the China-EU relationship has changed a lot. The French President agreed to meet with the Dalai Lama and the CCP requested they postpone the China-EU meeting in December.”

Zheng continued, “I do not think the Chinese communist regime has mercy on me. The Chinese government is worried about the world`s opinion, and the pressure from America, France and Germany.”

European Parliament Member Witnesses ‘Family Prison’

Truepel paid close attention to Zheng and his family. According to Zheng, he has remained under house arrest since he was released from prison. Since June 2006, Chinese police have kept Zheng under intense surveillance, assigning six cars and two motorcycle units to the task. Zheng said that usually twelve policemen work three shifts around the clock, but sometimes during sensitive days as many as seventy policemen are involved.

Zheng showed Truepel two surveillance cameras mounted by the police at his front door, and also told her that his phone line had been cut, but he was still required to pay the bill.  (to be cont’d)

Part 1 Part 2

– Original from The Epochtimes: Member of European Parliament Meets Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Zheng Enchong

Posted in China, East China, house arrest, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, politician, Politics, shanghai, Social, World, Zheng Enchong | Comments Off on (part 1) Member of European Parliament Discusses Sensitive Issues With China Rights Lawyer in Shanghai

China: Renowned Shanghai Rights Lawyer Zheng Enchong Brutally Beaten by Police and Thugs

Posted by Author on February 22, 2008


By Gu Qing’er & Ai Qing, Epoch Times Staff, Feb 20, 2008-

Famous Shanghai human rights attorney Zheng Enchong was brutally beaten three times in two days. By 11 a.m. on February 17, during questioning by police, he was insulted and badly beaten by hired thugs again. Zheng could hardly walk. He was finally released at 22:47 p.m., 12 hours later.

Before the beating incident, Zheng disclosed more inside information about the high profile corruption case of Zhou Zhengyi—the richest man in Shanghai, who is believed to have ties with former communist regime leader Jiang Zemin’s two sons. Zheng said that the reason for the police’s beatings is to stop him from making contact with overseas media.

Recently he came across some suspicious situations, including evidence of how the family of Huang Ju—former Standing Member of the Communist Central Political Bureau, sold land at a high profit. Ju is believed to have been Jiang Zemin’s right hand man until he passed away in June 2007.

Not Allowed to Leave Home

Now, policemen and thugs, totaling 9 persons, stand guard outside Zheng’s house around the clock.

Zheng said, “Sometimes they are at the elevator door, other times the front door of the first floor. In the most unnerving situation, four are guarding the elevator door. Local policeman Chen Fupei is guarding the elevator door today (February 18).”

According to Zheng, one of the policemen who beat him, Zhang Guangbao said openly, “This is an order directly from the head of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau not to allow Zheng to leave home, not a single step.”

Beaten for Four Hours (by police)

On February 18, Zheng described the situation when he was summoned the day before.

A little past 11 a.m., on February 17, Zheng was summoned to the first interrogation room on the third floor of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau in the Zhabei Precinct.

Zheng said, “One of them, Captain Wu, slapped me left and right every five minutes, also pulled my nose, fiercely wrenched both of my ears, pressed my head just like the Cultural Revolution days, twisting my head constantly.”

By 10 a.m. on February 16, as Zheng was going to get newspapers on the street, he was brutally beaten by Shanghai National Security personnel. After being beaten, he felt dizzy, and indignant. He told the reporter that he was going to a start a hunger strike to protest Shanghai police’s barbaric behavior.

At 6:50 a.m. on February 17, Zheng and his wife Jiang Meili were going out to church, when they were stopped by four people at the 14th floor elevator door. Jiang was permitted to pass, but Zheng was not allowed to leave.

Zheng indicated that the violence on February 17 was worse than that on the February 16. The police started to beat him first, then four people kicked his hip, thigh, and leg with their right legs, he was bruised all over and could hardly stand up.

Zheng suspected it was probably the result of people disclosing information about letters of corruption he had received regarding high level officials at the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

Before the beating, Zheng exclusively revealed to the Epoch Times some of the content of the implicating letters. They include even more inside information about Zhou Zhengyi’s land embezzlement scheme, which involved the power struggle between current regime leader Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, and criminal evidence about a brother of current CCP leader Wu Banguo and family members of the former Shanghai Party Chief Chen Lainyu and Huang Ju.

The Epoch Times will make public these reports on a case by case basis in the future.

– Original report from the Epochtimes: Renowned Shanghai Rights Lawyer Brutally Beaten

Posted in China, East China, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, shanghai, Social, World, Zheng Enchong | 1 Comment »

China: Shanghai Rights Lawyer Receives Death Threats From Police

Posted by Author on October 7, 2007


Breaking News, SOH Radio NetworkLawyer Zheng Enchong

On September 29, Enchong Zheng (A Chinese Lawyer, photo at right) was released at 6pm after being taken by the Public Security Bureau in Shanghai Zhabei District. He said that the national security bureau threatened him with death if he accepts interviews from the outside world and publishes an open letter.

Zheng expressed today that those police are totally lawless, they dare not expose the ruling party. With their words and deeds they only reveal that they are the violent tools of Chinese Communist Party, and that they are fragile and incompetent.

According to an interview with an Epoch Times reporter, Lawyer Enchong Zheng described the process of his summons on the 29th. He said: that day at 3pm, the Shanghai Zhabei District Public Security offical Chaoyang Chen and other police officers came to his home, and they again used the so-called tax smuggling allegation to summon him. This is his fourth summoning since August 24.

Petitioners from Shanghai said, even the CCP repeatedly strengthened their suppression on Enchong Zheng, and prevented the petitioners from meeting with him; they even used a relocation company to imprison 38 petitioners from Shanghai in a suburb, then they were returned home from the petitioning in Beijing. The authorities had even sent in hit men that questioned and captured petitioners on the streets. All this was to stop the petitioners from providing the violation information of the relocation to lawyer Zheng.

However on the evening of the 29th, three Shanghai petitioners WeiGuo Hu, Shi Ling and Huikai Chen broke through all layers of the blockade, and they arrived at Zheng’s home for a visit.

They told the reporter that lawyer Zheng strives for a lot of rights for the relocation case, the suppression by the CCP on the lawyer is invalid; and lawyer Zheng is highly respected by the people.

Zheng said, “they announced my actions as treason and traitorous; the minion of hostile foreign forces. The Public Security Bureau can raise my issue any time.”

“A man with the surname Shi from the public security bureau threatened me. He said that if I accept interviews from the media, I will be summoned every time I got an interview. He further threatened me by saying if I continue to send open letters to Hu Jintao, he will kill me.”

The man with surname Shi of the Public security bureau declared, “We have many people and tactics, we will see if you can persist on being against us. Your mother’s (Note: she is 94 year old) condition is relatively stable now, and are you prepared to die before her.”

During interrogation, the lawyer Enchong Zheng had asked three times to go to the toilet, but was denied every time.

According to the analysis of the outside world, Enchong Zheng and the petitioners recently published a number of open letters that were sent to Hu Jintao before the 17th CCP National Congress; exposing the corruption and repression on the relocation households, offering conclusive evidence. The Public security bureau do not care about the pressure from China’s public or those abroad; they strengthen their suppression on lawyer Zheng.

Regarding this, Enchong Zheng stressed that he does not fear this, and he will, as always, continue to expose their evil acts.

The above program is brought to you by Yulian, reported by Chris Thomas and Eng Truong for Breaking News on SOH Radio Network.

Posted in China, City resident, East China, Forced Evictions, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Petitioner, Politics, shanghai, Social, Speech, World, Zheng Enchong | Comments Off on China: Shanghai Rights Lawyer Receives Death Threats From Police

China: Lawyer and 100 Displaced Residents Demand Public Trial for Property Tycoon

Posted by Author on July 18, 2007


press release, Human Rights in China (HRIC) , July 17, 2007-

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that more than 100 displaced Shanghai residents, along with rights defense lawyer Zheng Enchong, have signed a petition demanding a public trial for Shanghai property tycoon Zhou Zhengyi (known in Hong Kong as Chau Ching-ngai), and for an opportunity for residents to testify at Zhou’s trial.

Sources in China told HRIC that Zhou will go on trial later this month at the Shanghai Municipal Higher People’s Court on charges of bribery and forging tax invoices, but that the court has not yet released any further details regarding the trial. Most of the signatories to the letter, sent on July 5 to Teng Yilong, President of the Shanghai Municipal Higher People’s Court, are former residents of the redeveloped Dongbakuai neighborhood, and are demanding an in-depth investigation into Zhou’s alleged connections with corrupt Shanghai officials. (The full text of the letter is appended to the Chinese version of this press release.)

Zhou Zhengyi’s defense counsel reportedly include prominent lawyer Tao Wuping, Zhai Jian and the chairman of Shanghai Bar Association, Lü Hongbing.

The court has not yet responded to the petition letter or to media requests to attend the trial. Displaced residents continue to monitor the electronic notice board at the court entrance for further news of the trial.

In 2004, Zhou Zhengyi, former president of Shanghai-based property firm Nongkai Development Group, was sentenced to three years in prison for various crimes, including accounting fraud and stock price manipulation. He was released in May 2006 upon completion of his prison term (which included time served pre-trial), but soon after that, a corruption scandal erupted in Shanghai, resulting in the dismissal of Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu and a raft of other officials in September 2006.

Zhou Zhengyi was detained again on new allegations and formally arrested on January 21, 2007.

According to information released by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Procuratorate, Zhou is currently being held at the Shanghai No. 1 Detention Center for suspected involvement in embezzlement of the Shanghai Social Security Fund. In late December 2006, Huang Jian, director of the detention center where Zhou was previously held, was detained on allegations of taking bribes from Zhou Zhengyi’s family members. Tang Haigen, Zhou Zhengyi’s brother-in-law, was also investigated by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Procuratorate on December 29, 2006 for suspected misappropriation of company funds.

Former Dongbaikuai residents claim that Zhou Zhengyi conspired with Shanghai’s Jing’an District Government officials to illicitly obtain rights to develop 170,000 square meters of land that eventually became part of the 630,000-square-meter Shanghai Jing’an International Community Project, which involved a total investment of 5 billion yuan.

Sources told HRIC that Zhou Zhengyi’s partner in this project was Chen Liangjun, younger brother of former Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu. The developers reportedly paid nothing for the rights to develop Jing’an District Areas 56, 57 and 58 in the Dongbaikuai neighborhood under the terms of their contract with the district government.

HRIC supports the calls of the displaced residents for a public trial for Zhou Zhengyi to allow for greater transparency to ensure that justice is done in this important case. HRIC has consistently reported on the rights defense efforts of displaced Shanghai residents, and the continued harassment of lawyer Zheng Enchong following his release from prison in 2006.

The intense redevelopment of Shanghai has contributed to violations of the property and personal rights of displaced residents accompanied by reports of official corruption at all levels of the Shanghai government. With a new leadership in place following last year’s corruption scandal, the Shanghai authorities have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the rights of Shanghai residents in accordance with property rights protections recently introduced into Chinese law and the Chinese Constitution. The new trial of Zhou Zhengyi also gives local authorities an opportunity to show their resolve in exposing and eliminating all vestiges of corruption within the system.

– original report from HRIC: Zheng Enchong and 100 Displaced Residents Demand Public Trial for Zhou Zhengyi 

Posted in China, City resident, corruption, East China, Economy, Family, Forced Evictions, housing, Human Rights, Land Seizure, Law, Lawyer, Life, News, People, Politics, shanghai, Social, Zheng Enchong | Comments Off on China: Lawyer and 100 Displaced Residents Demand Public Trial for Property Tycoon

7 China Activists Honoured 2006 Housing Rights Defender Award

Posted by Author on January 14, 2007


The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Dec. 2006-

Seven Chinese housing rights activists have been named joint recipients of the 2006COHRE Housing Rights Defender Award, for their commitment to and struggle for housing rights in China.

The Housing Rights Defender Award is presented annually by the Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) to an individual who has shown outstanding commitment to the realisation of housing rights for all people.

For the first time since the inception of COHRE’s Housing Rights Defender Award in 2003, the award will be presented to a number of housing rights activists instead of to a single person. The joint recipients of the 2006 Housing Rights Defender Award are: Fu Xiancai; Ma Yalian; Liu Zhengyou; Huang Weizhong; Chen Xiaoming; Xu Zhengqing; and Zheng Enchong.

COHRE’s Executive Director (a.i.), Jean du Plessis, said, “These seven Chinese activists have displayed exemplary commitment, courage and perseverance in their struggles for the land and housing rights of hundreds of farmers, workers and residents in China. They are inspirational examples to every person, community and organisation working for the cause of human rights around the world.

“The Chinese Government is notoriously oppressive towards human rights activists. Land and housing rights violations including mass forced evictions are common, while legal remedies are scarce for those seeking to assert their rights.

“The work of these activists – undertaken at grave personal risk to them, their families and fellow activists – has played a catalytic role in bringing to light the unjust practices of the Chinese Government. COHRE is therefore honoured to present the 2006 Housing Rights Defender Award to: Fu Xiancai; Ma Yalin; Liu Zhengyou; Huang Weizhong; Chen Xiaoming; Zu Zhengqing; and Zheng Enchong for their fearless commitment to housing rights in an environment that is hostile to such ideals.”

A newly released COHRE report, Forced Evictions: Violations of Human Rights – Global Survey No. 10, reveals that over 647,000 people have been forcibly evicted from their homes in China since 2003.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security recently reported that the Chinese Government had requisitioned land from 40 million farmers in the past decade, at the same time admitting a 20 per cent increase in cases of illegal land seizures in the first five months of 2006.

The number of public protests has increased from 74 000 in 2004 to 87 000 in 2005, in spite of ongoing cases of police intimidation, arbitrary arrest, and torture of activists.

All seven activists have been subjected to ongoing intimidation, harassment and even beatings for their housing and land rights activities.

For example, Fu Xiancai, who has worked for a decade to obtain appropriate compensation for 1.3 million people forced to relocate from their land and houses due to the Three Gorges Dam Project, has been severely injured and nearly lost his life, as a result of his work. Fu was struck from behind with a heavy object by an unknown person on his way home from an interrogation by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) in June 2006. The assault destroyed three vertebrae in his neck and has left him paralysed from shoulders down. He lost control of all bodily functions except his ability to speak. Just weeks previously, Fu had given an interview to German public broadcaster ARD about the Three Gorges Dam Project and the plight of the affected communities.

Equally disturbing is the fact that the whereabouts of another of the Award recipients, Chen Xiaoming, is not known since he was arrested in February 2006 by police officers from Shanghai’s Luwan District PSB. Chen, who taught himself law in order to contest the government’s actions against the housing rights of the poor, was arrested for meeting with an American diplomat to discuss problems faced by evictees.

Zheng Enchong, a lawyer who advised victims of forced evictions in Shanghai, had his license to practice law revoked by Shanghai City authorities in 2001, after he had argued for amendments to Article 10 of the People’s Republic of China’s Constitution in order to offer better protection to the land and housing rights of inhabitants. Despite losing his formal license, Zheng continued to assist nearly 500 people who had been forcibly evicted from their homes and/or had failed to receive adequate compensation for their evictions. Zheng was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in 2003 for advising a group of evicted Shanghai residents who were trying to bring a case alleging corruption against Zhou Zhengyi, a prominent Shanghai property developer. Upon Zheng’s release in June 2006, he was placed under de facto house arrest and continues to be subject to harassment.

Meanwhile, both Huang Weizhong and Xu Zhengqing are currently serving three-year prison sentences for their activism. Ma Yalian was sentenced to 18 months in a ‘Re-Education Through Labour’ (RETL) camp for publishing an article on the Internet titled “A True Record of Being Turned Away from the National Petitioners and Letters Office and the Petitioners Bureau of the National People’s Congress,” and was released in August 2005 after serving her full term. Liu Zhengyou, who was arrested in June 2006 when he tried to board a flight to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend a human rights training session, and has been subjected to repeated beatings, threats and harassment by the police.

COHRE’s Du Plessis said, “The situation with respect to housing rights in China is desperate, with many millions of people having lost their homes and land over the past decade, in both cities and the rural areas. In spite of a highly oppressive environment, the seven recipients of the 2006 Housing Rights Defender Award have stood up for the rights of those affected, at great personal cost. In presenting this award to these seven people, COHRE recognises and honours their extraordinary courage, determination and dedication to the cause of housing rights.”

– more details about the Seven Chinese housing rights activists’ personal information can be found from COHRE’s report here.

Posted in Activist, China, City resident, East China, Economy, Environment, Europe, Event, Forced Evictions, Fu Xiancai, housing, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, Life, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Rural, shanghai, Social, Speech, Three Gorges, World, Zheng Enchong | Comments Off on 7 China Activists Honoured 2006 Housing Rights Defender Award

Shanghai: House Arrest of Lawyer, Mass Detention of Petitioners

Posted by Author on October 24, 2006


Human Rights in China, October 16, 2006-

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Shanghai lawyer Zheng Enchong, released from prison in June, was prevented from attending a church service as part of ongoing restrictions on his personal liberty. In addition, HRIC has learned of a mass roundup of petitioners in Shanghai around the time of the sixth plenary session of the 16th Communist Party Congress in Beijing.

Sources in China told HRIC that Zheng and his wife, Jiang Meili, left their home at around 6 a.m. on Saturday, October 14, with the intention of attending a religious service at the Mu’en Christian Church near Shanghai’s Renmin Square. However, as they left their neighborhood, they were reportedly surrounded by a dozen police officers, who prevented them from proceeding. When Zheng insisted on attending the church service, police reportedly knocked him to the ground.

Sources say Zheng sat on the ground in protest, and soon drew a crowd of several hundred onlookers. Eventually three police vehicles arrived along with another dozen police officers. Police officers grabbed Zheng by his arms and legs and took him to a small room on the ground floor of his building. Zheng was allowed to return home later that day.

Around the same time, a friend who had arranged to accompany Zheng and his wife to church, Shen Peilan, was reportedly also stopped outside her home by police officers and prevented from attending the service.

Earlier this month, on October 4, shortly before the Chinese Moon Festival, sources say that Zheng Enchong’s former high school teacher, a 76-year-old man surnamed Zhu, attempted to visit Zheng along with several old classmates, but police prevented them from going to Zheng’s home. On the day of the Moon Festival, October 6, police also reportedly prevented Zheng and his family from visiting his 94-year-old mother as is custom during the holiday. Police also reportedly refused to allow delivery of a box of moon cakes from Zheng’s Beijing-based legal advisor, Zhang Sizhi. A police officer reportedly told Zheng Enchong that Shanghai’s deputy Party committee secretary, Liu Yungeng, had specifically ordered that Zheng be kept under the tightest possible restrictions at home. Police officers have also reportedly harassed Zheng’s daughter at school.

HRIC has also received information that Shanghai police recently carried out a large-scale roundup of petitioners to prevent them from going to Beijing during the sixth plenary session of the 16th Communist Party Congress. HRIC has learned of more than 30 people detained or placed under other forms of restriction since September, but sources say the names below represent only a portion of the people harassed under orders from deputy Party secretary Liu Yungeng and others. ( detail name list please check Human Rights in China’s report )

Posted in China, City resident, Family, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, shanghai, Social, Zheng Enchong | Comments Off on Shanghai: House Arrest of Lawyer, Mass Detention of Petitioners

Human rights defender continuously abused after released

Posted by Author on August 7, 2006


lawyer zheng enchongamnesty.org, 3 August– Lawyer and human rights defender Zheng Enchong was released on 5 June 2006, after serving a three-year prison sentence. He expressed thanks to Amnesty International for the organisation’s support and efforts in calling for his release. However, since he was freed, he and his family have been harassed and intimidated by the authorities, and Zheng Enchong has been detained four times since his release. Amnesty International fears they are at risk of further abuse.

On 12 July, Zheng Enchong and his wife Jiang Meili were detained by police at their home in the Zabei district of Shanghai and taken away to the district police station. They were questioned separately for several hours about Zheng Enchong’s activities on behalf of families forcibly evicted by the Chinese authorities in urban development projects.

At the same evening, around a dozen police officers from Zabei district police station searched Zheng Enchong’s home. They confiscated his computer, documents, and names of contacts, as well as draft documents about alleged forced evictions. The police warned Jiang Meili, and later her brothers and sisters, that they will be detained if they continue to speak to the media about Zheng Enchong’s situation.

The police detained Zheng Enchong again on 21 July to question him about information they found on his computer. He was released from Zabei police station after four hours of questioning. Zheng Enchong had also been briefly detained on 11 June and on 18 June.

Zheng Enchong has reportedly been warned by police and municipal officials that his physical safety may be at risk if he continues to work on cases of alleged forced evictions. Amnesty International is aware of numerous cases of human rights defenders and activists becoming victims of violence after their release from prison.

ACKGROUND INFORMATION
Zheng Enchong was released from Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai on 5 June 2006 on completion of his three-year sentence. However, his political rights are still suspended by a further year. This means that he is forbidden from meeting any foreign people, talking to the media, attending any protests or participating in any political activities, or from taking a leading position in any state enterprise.

The police have also banned him from leaving his residential district since his release. This violation of his right to freedom of movement will prevent Zheng Enchong from taking his daughter to school, and worshipping at his local church (Zheng is a devout Christian), and there is concern that the ban will also prevent him from finding work.

Zheng was arrested on 6 June 2003 and accused of stealing ‘state secrets’ and passing them to ‘entities outside China’. Amnesty International considered Zheng Enchong to be a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for his legitimate work as a lawyer. Previously, Zheng Enchong had his licence to practice law revoked in 2001 after he advised more than 500 families displaced by Shanghai’s urban redevelopment projects on their rights to fair compensation from the authorities. He continued to give advice although his applications for reinstatement of his licence failed.

Related:

AI report 2006- China overview(2)
Well-known lawyer Beaten and Detained in Beijing

Posted in Law, Lawyer, People, Politics, Social, Zheng Enchong | Comments Off on Human rights defender continuously abused after released