China Human Rights Briefing March 27-April 2, 2012

Top News
    •    Arrested in Anti-Gang Campaign, Journalist Sentenced After Secret Trial: It was recently revealed that Chongqing journalist Gao Yingpu was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for a crime of “endangering state security” after a secret trial in 2010. Initially detained during the “smash black” campaign championed by now-deposed Bo Xilai, the former Chongqing Party Secretary, Gao had allegedly criticized the controversial campaign online.
    •    Henan Petitioner-Activist Liu Xueli Sent to RTL for Third Time: Petitioner-activist Liu Xueli has been given an 18-month Re-education through Labor (RTL) punishment in retaliation for his activism. Liu was issued 21 months in a previous RTL term for “abnormal petitioning in Beijing” and other alleged activities related to the Summer Olympics in 2008.
    •    More Reports Emerge on “Two Meetings” Suppression: Reports on harassment and violence against activists and petitioners around the “Two Meetings” in March continue to surface. Jiangxi activist Wei Zhongping has detailed his detention in a black jail, which included a violent beating that resulted in serious injuries, while Changsha residents boldly challenged authorities over the treatment of local petitioners who had gone to the capital in March to voice their grievances.

Contents

Arbitrary Detention
    •    Ensnared by Anti-Gang Campaign, Chongqing Editor Received Three-Year Sentence After Secret Trial in 2010
    •    Henan Petitioner-Activist Liu Xueli Given 18-Month RTL Term
    •    Hebei Woman Given 18-Month RTL Punishment
    •    Hunan Activist Zhou Decai Sees Lawyers, Plans Hunger Strike to Protest Detention
    •    Shanghai Petitioner Criminally Detained After Tangling With Police Officer
Harassment of Activists
    •    Jiangxi Activist Wei Zhongping Details Severe Beating, Black Jail Detention During “Two Meetings”
    •    Changsha Petitioners Taken Away, Beaten After Expressing Anger Over “Two Meetings” Harassment
    •    Guangzhou Resident Taken Away After Attending Pro-Reform Activity
    •    Guangxi Police Confront Hundreds of Minban Teachers During Petitioning Rally
    •    Detained During “Two Meetings,” 90-Year-Old Petitioner Seized Twice More in Beijing
Legal Rights
    •    Chengdu Court: No Compensation for Man Disabled in Police Beating
    •    Jiangxi Police Refuses to Pursue Criminal Charges Against Officials Who Beat Petitioner
 

Arbitrary Detention
Ensnared by Anti-Gang Campaign, Chongqing Editor Received Three-Year Sentence After Secret Trial in 2010
An editor in Chongqing, Gao Yingpu (高应朴), was sentenced to three years in prison for a crime of “endangering state security” after a secret trial in 2010, allegedly for criticizing the controversial anti-gang campaign in the municipality, according to Gao’s wife. In July of 2010, police reportedly took Gao from his home due to a series of diaries written on his QQ account, and Gao was convicted later in the year. Gao’s wife, who has been pressured by the authorities to keep quiet about her husband’s fate, has indicated that his health has been all right in prison, though he has lost some weight. Gao, who was initially warned by police in late 2009 about his writings on QQ, has worked for the Asia-Pacific Economic Times and the Chinese Business Times.   The anti-gang campaign, which began in June of 2009, was officially propagated as a means to stamp out corruption and illegality among officials and businesspeople in Chongqing while Bo Xilai (薄熙来) served as the municipality’s Communist Party Secretary. However, the campaign was rife with allegations of torture and violations of due process. After Bo was sacked earlier this month, more information about criminal cases that emerged from the campaign—and their attendant details of torture, coerced confessions, and other rights violations—may gradually come to light. (CHRD)[1]

Henan Petitioner-Activist Liu Xueli Given 18-Month RTL Term
Henan petitioner-activist Liu Xueli (刘学立) has been given an 18-month Re-education through Labor (RTL) punishment, the third time that Liu has been sent to RTL for his activism. On March 25, Liu was seized by unidentified individuals outside the black jail at Jiujingzhuang in Beijing and forcibly driven back to Henan, where he reportedly was taken directly to an RTL facility.   From Luoyang City, Liu has represented fellow villagers in disputes over land requisitioned by the local government, and he was sent to RTL in 2004 and 2008. Liu was seized in Beijing in August of 2008 after submitting an application to protest at an official “Protest Zone” during the Beijing Olympics. The next month, he was issued 18 months of RTL for “endangering public safety,” a decision that was later changed to 21 months for “abnormal petitioning in Beijing,” “sending a public letter to the 17th Party Congress signed by over 10,000 petitioners,” “distorting the facts and attacking national policy,” and “being in possession of illegal leaflets.” (CHRD)[2]

Hebei Woman Given 18-Month RTL Punishment
Hebei petitioner Jia Shuhua (贾淑华) is serving an 18-month Re-education through Labor (RTL) punishment after being taken into custody in Beijing last fall, according to her husband. Handan City interceptors seized Jia Shuhua on October 1 and returned her to Hebei, where she served a 10-day administrative detention before being given the RTL punishment. Jia is currently detained at the Hebei Women’s RTL facility. Jia and her husband had filed an appeal of the RTL decision to the Congtai District People’s Court in Handan, but the court did not docket the case. Jia Shuhua resorted to petitioning in Beijing to seek social security benefits and other financial compensation after she and other workers were laid off from a state-owned company. (CHRD)[3] 

Hunan Activist Zhou Decai Sees Lawyers, Plans Hunger Strike to Protest Detention
On March 28, two lawyers met with Henan activist Zhou Decai (周德才), who was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order.” At the Luoshan County Detention Center, three police officers from Gushi County closely monitored Zhou’s visit with Pang Kun (庞琨), a Shenzhen attorney who had come to Henan, and a local lawyer. According to Zhou’s family, his emotional state is fine, and he is determined to pose a strong legal battle against the charges against him. Zhou also said that he intends to go on a hunger strike to protest what he believes to be his illegal detention.   Zhou Decai, who ran as an independent candidate in his local People’s Congress election, has been a grassroots organizer and activist for years. Henan authorities criminally detained him on February 20 and formally arrested him on March 10. Zhou was detained as he was preparing to attend a labor rights defense seminar in Beijing focusing on tobacco industry workers bought out by their companies. (CHRD)[4] 

Shanghai Petitioner Criminally Detained After Tangling With Police Officer
A Shanghai man, Xiang Wenyin (项文寅), has been criminally detained for “obstructing official business” over a fight with a police officer and after allegedly trying to hand over petitioning materials to the central authorities during the “Two Meetings” in Beijing. On March 13, Xiang and another petitioner were on their way to the secretariat of the meetings, when they were stopped by police from the Tiananmen Square Branch of the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Although officers concluded the petitioners’ behavior was in fact legal, police still confiscated their cell phones and detained them in the black jail at Jiujingzhuang. Xiang got into an altercation with a policeman who refused to give back his phone, reportedly resulting in a slight injury to the officer and leading to Xiang’s detention.   Xiang Wenyin’s wife, who has not been permitted to see him at the Fengtai District Detention Center, has said her family has petitioned since 2004 following a forced demolition of a rental unit and loss of their possessions, as well as the death of Xiang’s brother at the hands of the local government’s demolition personnel. The family members have faced detentions in retaliation for their petitioning. (CHRD)[5]

Harassment of Activists
Jiangxi Activist Wei Zhongping Details Severe Beating, Black Jail Detention During “Two Meetings”
CHRD has learned details of a brutal beating and serious injuries suffered by Jiangxi activist and local People’s Congress candidate Wei Zhongping (魏忠平) during his detention in a black jail as the “Two Meetings” convened in Beijing. On February 28, a deputy director of the state-owned company where Wei worked came to his home in Xinyu City and requested Wei come with him and “study a few days” at a mine compound belonging to the company—the same scenario that transpired last year during the Two Meetings. Wei was forced to get into a vehicle and driven off. Two cell phones that he was carrying were confiscated; the first one was snatched after Wei called fellow Jiangxi activist and independent candidate Liu Ping (刘萍), whoalso recently revealed numerous rights violations she was subjected to during the Two Meetings.   On March 5, unidentified individuals barged into a room where Wei was being held, told those guarding him to go away, and then viciously beat Wei. After the attack, Wei was bedridden for several days, and his injuries made breathing and sleeping difficult. On March 7, he briefly dodged the guards and took the opportunity to call for police assistance, but police officers who arrived refused to file a report after learning that his detention was a “matter of maintaining security.” The officers took him to a hospital at the compound, but hospital staff did not diagnosis or treat him. Wei simply endured his pain before being freed to go home on March 17, after the Two Meetings had ended. On March 18, Wei’s wife took him to a hospital, where results of a CT scan revealed that Wei had suffered three broken ribs and bone fractures in his spine. (CHRD)[6]

Changsha Petitioners Taken Away, Beaten After Expressing Anger Over “Two Meetings” Harassment
Changsha residents looking for justice over forced home demolitions have been seized and beaten by police, who took a firm stance against petitioners who have also been outraged over brutal police harassment during the “Two Meetings” in Beijing. Having heard that an inspection team from the capital would be coming to Changsha to look into grievances about the government, local residents went to the waiting room of the provincial letters and visits bureau on March 28 to prepare to air complaints. However, more than 20 police arrived and dragged petitioners to a police station, where about 10 remained in custody the next day, and some of the residents were reportedly beaten.   Police have not disclosed a reason for dealing so aggressively with the petitioners, but their tactics may be in direct retaliation for residents’ behavior from the previous day. More than 100 petitioners representing evicted residents went to the letters and visits bureau on March 27, and some held up a banner “awarding” Changsha authorities for “excellence in interception” of petitioners around the Two Meetings. Reportedly, more than 1,000 Changsha residents went to the capital during the legislative sessions in early March, and the Changsha government’s response was intense; mobilized personnel threatened, beat, or illegally detained many petitioners, besides subjecting them to other unjust treatment. (CHRD)[7]

Guangzhou Resident Taken Away After Attending Pro-Reform Activity
On the evening of March 1, a national security officer took away for questioning Guangzhou netizen Huang Wenxun (黄文勋) after Huang participated the day before in an activity in support of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s (温家宝) recent call for political reforms in China. The officer said that Huang was being taken away since he had attended the activity on March 31 after guaranteeing authorities that he would not do so. Huang was eventually dragged off after the officer conducted a search of his residence. As another form of recent harassment, local police have reportedly pressured Huang’s landlord to force him out of his rental unit. Huang’s whereabouts are currently unknown. (CHRD)[8]   The activity in Guangzhou was apparently inspired by comments made by Wen Jiabao at a news conference after the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing, when Wen vaguely called for political structural reforms.  

Guangxi Police Confront Hundreds of Minban Teachers During Petitioning Rally
On March 26, a show of large-scale police force in Guangxi Province blocked a crowd of about 500 teachers and forcibly dispersed most of them as they headed to government buildings to express concerns over their employment conditions. By the early morning, the police had already confronted dozens of the teachers, who work in non-state (minban) schools, while also cordoning off an area to stop hundreds more teachers. Police cars and other vehicles dispatched by the government filled both sides of a street leading to government buildings, and hundreds of officers and security personnel came to the scene. Police forcibly removed most of the rallying teachers from the area after they could not convince them to disperse, but more than 70 teachers gathered in a park near a government building and held up slogans about their grievances. Authorities followed this group and filmed the teachers, who then moved on to the provincial letters and visits office, where they sat in peaceful protest. The teachers eventually were able to hand over petitioning materials to an official from the Guangxi Department of Education. (CHRD)[9]

Detained During “Two Meetings,” 90-Year-Old Petitioner Seized Twice More in Beijing
Zhu Guiying (朱桂英), a 90-year-old woman from Shanghai who spent 12 days in a black jail in early March during the “Two Meetings,” has recently been seized on consecutive days and sent back to Shanghai each time by Beijing police. On March 29, police took Zhu into custody along with her son and put them in the black jail at Jiujingzhuang before sending them back to Shanghai. The mother and son then immediately took a train back to Beijing and on March 30 were once more caught and forcibly returned home, along with several other elderly Shanghai petitioners. On March 3, as the “Two Meetings” were beginning, Zhu was intercepted in the capital and sent back to her hometown two days later, and then held in a black jail for 12 days. She has gone to Beijing with other Shanghai petitioners to air grievances about forced home demolitions. (CHRD)[10] 

Legal Rights
Chengdu Court: No Compensation for Man Disabled in Police Beating
A court in Sichuan Province has issued a judgment rejecting an application for compensation over a physical assault by police that rendered a Chengdu resident disabled, finding that the injured man was to blame for the officers’ actions. On March 22, the family of the victim, Lan Shibing (兰世兵), received the Shuangliu District People’s Court’s decision. The application had been filed against the Shuangliu County Public Security Bureau (PSB), whose plainclothes officers brutally beat Lan in March of 2010 after they suspected he may have been driving a stolen car. The police first beat Lan in front of a guesthouse and then hauled him off to a police station, where the assault continued until Lan was able to prove that the vehicle belonged to him. Upon seeing Lan Shibing’s injuries, his family pressured officers to take him to a hospital. One of Lan’s attackers ended up making verbal apologies, and admitted responsibility and covered Lan’s initial medical costs. Lan’s injuries included a fractured collarbone, an eye hematoma, facial swelling, and bruises all over his body. Lan spent about a year recuperating before seeking compensation for his emotional suffering as well as punishment for the officers.   The victim’s father, Lan Liwu (兰立武), has maintained that facts of the case were ignored in court and that evidence was also fabricated, with police testifying that his son was hurt while resisting officers who were only exercising their duties. Lan Liwu has insisted that police were under the influence of alcohol before beating his son, but the court’s decision maintained the son’s own behavior led to the assault, making him legally ineligible for state compensation. (CHRD)[11]

Jiangxi Police Refuses to Pursue Criminal Charges Against Officials Who Beat Petitioner
Jiangxi police have refused to deal with a complaint filed by petitioner Gu Julian (顾菊莲), who was held by government interceptors in a black jail from March 3 to March 16, during which time she was beaten and endured periods when she was confined to one room and deprived of food. Wishing to pursue criminal charges, Gu went to the Xiannuhu Branch of the Xinyu Public Security Bureau to file a report, but she was told instead to make her case at a police station. Resistant to take up the matter even though it is within their legal scope to do so, officers at the police station suggested that Gu should instead approach the local commission for discipline inspection, saying that the commission may criticize the individual who beat her. Gu cited Chinese constitutional provisions and laws on deprivation of freedom and illegal detention and argued that the interceptors had broken the law, but the police officer insisted that her beating was not a matter under police jurisdiction. (CHRD)[12] Editors: Victor Clemens and Wang Songlian Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnet Join us on Facebook: CHRDnet News updates from CHRD
 

[1] “Chongqing Editor Gao Yingpu Sentenced to Three Years’ Imprisonment for ‘Endangering State Security’ Crime Over QQ Diaries” (重庆编辑高应朴因QQ日记被以“危害国家安全罪”判刑3年), March 28, 2012, CHRD  
[2] “Henan Rights Activist Liu Xueli Sent to RTL for Third Time” (河南维权人士刘学立第三次被劳教), March 28, 2012, CHRD; “RTL Punishment for Petitioner-Activist Liu Xueli Lengthened by Three Months” (上访维权代表刘学立被加重三个月劳教), October 13, 2008, CHRD  
[3] “Handan Petitioner Jia Shuhua Sent to RTL for Peitioning, Appeal Not Heard” (邯郸访民贾淑华因上访被劳教,诉求无门), March 2, 2012, CHRD; “Hebei Petitioner Jia Shuhua Intercepted and Administratively Detained for Petitioning on October 1” (河北访民贾淑华“10.1”上访被接回行政拘留), October 2, 2011, CHRD  
[4] “Henan Rights Defense Activist Zhou Decai Has Visit With Lawyers” (河南维权人士周德才会见律师), March 29, 2012, CHRD; “Henan Rights Defender Zhou Decai Formally Arrested” (河南维权人士周德才被批准逮捕), March 10, 2012, CHRD; “Henan Rights Defender Zhou Decai Criminally Detained for ‘Gathering Crowd to Disrupt Social Order’” (河南维权人士周德才被以涉嫌“聚众扰乱社会秩序罪”刑拘), March 1, 2012, CHRD; “Rights Activist From Gushi County, Henan, Zhou Decai, Taken Away by Police, Has Home Searched”(河南固始县维权人士周德才被警方抓走并抄家), February 28, 2012, CHRD  
[5] “Shanghai Petitioner Xiang Wenyin Criminally Detained for ‘Obstructing Official Business’” (上海访民项文寅被以妨害公务罪刑事拘留), March 27, 2012, CHRD  
[6] “Jiangxi Independent Candidate Wei Zhongping Reveals Details of Black Jail Detention, Beatings During ‘Two Meetings’” (“两会”期间,江西独立参选人魏忠平被殴打的详细情况), March 2, 2012, CHRD  
[7] “Several Changsha Petitioners Seized in Front of Provincial Government Building, Possible Retaliation for Carrying Banner” (长沙多位访民在省政府门前被抓,疑因送锦旗遭报复), March 29, 2012, CHRD; “Changsha Petitioners Threatened After Carrying Banners to Government Building Proclaiming ‘Interceptor Work Unit Award’” (长沙访民向政府赠送“截访先进单位”锦旗被恐吓), March 27, 2012, CHRD  
[8] “Guangzhou Citizen Huang Wenxun Questioned Over Support for Premier Wen Jiabao’s Call for Political Reforms” (广州公民黄文勋因支持温家宝政改被传讯), March 1, 2012, CHRD  
[9] “500 Minban Teachers from Guangxi Petition, Most Blocked and Taken Away by Interceptors” (广西五百民办教师请愿 大部分被政府人员截走), March 27, 2012, CHRD  
[10] “Shanghai Petitioner Zhu Guiying and Son Held in ‘Black Jail’ in Beijing” (上海访民朱桂英母子两人在北京被关 “黑监狱”), March 30, 2012, CHRD  
[11] “Chengdu Police Disable Man, Injured Party Applies for State Compensation But Receives Unjust Ruling” (成都刑警执法致人伤残,受害者要求国家赔偿遭枉法判决), March 25, 2012, CHRD  
[12] “Petitioner Gu Julian, Reports Black Jail Detention to Police, Who Tell Her to Take Up Matter With Commission for Discipline Inspection” (被关黑监狱的女访民顾菊莲向警局报案,警察竟然要她去找纪委), March 29, 2012, CHRD
 

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