China Human Rights Briefing Weekly December 8-13, 2010

China Human Rights Briefing Weekly

December 8-13, 2010

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

Highlights

  • Nobel Award Ceremony Marked by Empty Chair and Crackdown Domestically: As the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjørn Jagland symbolically placed the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize medal on an empty chair representing Laureate Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), many of Liu’s supporters, fellow activists, and dissidents found themselves under the harshest restrictions they have faced because of the award to date. CHRD documented numerous cases of individuals being taken from their homes and forced to “travel” or put under soft detention for the days surrounding the ceremony, and cell phone and internet service for activists were widely disrupted. In addition to the cases documented in this edition of CHRB, we have continued to update our website with all available information; please click here for more. Additional resources, including an op-ed by CHRD International Director Renee Xia and a letter to Liu Xiaobo from supporter and former Czech President Václav Havel, can also be found on the site.

Table of Contents

Updates on Nobel-Related Harassment of Activists

Roundup of News Related to Chinese Government’s Pressure on Civil Society in Recent Days

Police in Jiangsu Seize, Summon Friend for Attempting to Visit Activist Hua Chunhui

Hubei Activist Yao Lifa Abused During Two-Week Disappearance

Arbitrary Detention

Shandong Activist Zhang Jinfeng Released after 21 Months of RTL

Hubei Writer Du Daobin Released from Prison

Updates on Nobel-Related Harassment of Activists

Roundup of News Related to Chinese Government’s Pressure on Civil Society in Recent Days

As the world focused its attention this week on the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo, Norway, the attention of the Chinese police apparatus remained on ensuring that activists and dissidents would not be able to speak out or gather in celebration of the event.

Collecting reports of harassment and detention around the event was hindered by the fact that, beginning December 7, the internet service and/or cell phone service of the majority of Chinese activists and dissidents was disrupted to some degree. The cases presented, therefore, are not a comprehensive list, but rather representative examples of the conditions Chinese activists faced in recent days.

Those taken from their homes and forced to “travel” or placed under soft detention included:

  • Prominent Beijing human rights attorney Mo Shaoping (莫少平), who was taken away from his office on December 10 and held under soft detention at a place called Jiuhuashanzhuang, outside of Beijing. He returned home on December 11, but as of December 12 his cell phone was unable to function.
  • Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region human rights activist Wang Debang (王德邦), who was taken away from his home at 4pm on December 10 by national security officers, who also confiscated his personal computer. He returned home on December 11.
  • Beijing human rights activist and Charter 08 co-organizer Zhang Zuhua (张祖桦), who was abducted off the street near his home by police officers. Zhang was allowed to return home on December 12, but his home internet and telephone connections are still cut, and police remain stationed outside of his home;
  • Beijing human rights lawyer and professor Teng Biao (滕彪), who was seized by police on December 9 after teaching a class at China Political Science and Law and taken to Yanqing County, outside Beijing. He was told he would be held until December 12.
  • Beijing scholar Cui Weiping (崔卫平), who was taken to an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Beijing on December 9.
  • Beijing journalist Gao Yu (高瑜) and her husband, who were taken to the airport on December 9 by police. Their current whereabouts are unknown.
  • Beijing author Yu Jie (余杰), who was taken from his home on December 9.
  • Xi’an City human rights activist Yang Hai (杨海), who was taken to a location on the outskirts of the city on December 9 and told he would be held until December 12. Yang protested that he needed to stay and care for his mother, who is ill, but police forcibly dragged him away. Police did not set him free on December 12, but promised to allow him to return home on December 15.
  • Xi’an City human rights lawyer Zhang Jiankang (张鉴康), who was also caring for his ailing mother when police arrived to take him away on December 9.
  • Xi’an City activists Fu Sheng (傅升) and Ma Xiaoming (马晓明), who are believed to have been taken away as well on December 9 as well, but about whom CHRD does not presently have detailed information

Additionally, on December 10:

  • Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province author Ye Du (野渡) was called for “tea” by police.
  • Zhejiang Province-based activist and village head Jiang Miaotu (蒋苗土) was placed under soft detention in a Beijing guesthouse.
  • Hunan Province dissident Li Jianjun (黎建军) was called for “lunch and tea” with national security officers, who warned him to “think of his family” and not meet with others to celebrate the Nobel prize.
  • Sichuan Province activist Chen Yunfei (陈云飞) was seized by police off the street in Chengdu City, where he was passing out copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and detained him in a local police station. He was released on December 11 after 27 hours of detention.
  • Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province dissident Li Yong (李勇) was called for a “chat” by national security police.
  • Suining City, Sichuan Province dissident and activist Chen Wei (陈卫) was called for a “chat” by national security police at 3 pm, and by midnight had yet to return home.
  • Jinan City, Shangdong Province dissident and retired professor Sun Wenguang (孙文广) was taken from his home by police and placed under soft detention. He returned home on December 11

Individuals who had their internet service cut off or their cell phone use limited (they may place outgoing calls, but cannot receive incoming calls in the last few days include:

  • Beijing scholar Xu Youyu (徐友渔)
  • Beijing activist Fan Yafeng (范亚峰), who was then taken away by police
  • Beijing artist and activist Ai Weiwei (艾未未), whose personal cell phone was blocked and whose workshop’s internet connection was cut off
  • Beijing-based human rights activist Wu Gan (吴淦, known online as Butcher [屠夫]), though he was able to have service restored as of this afternoon
  • Shanghai author Xia Shang (夏商)
  • Scholar Mo Zhixu (莫之许), currently under soft detention in Leshan, Sichuan
  • Beijing author Wang Lixiong (王力雄) and Tibetan blogger Woeser (唯色), who also received a noticed from national security officers instructing them not to leave their home in the next few days
  • Hangzhou City author Wen Kejian (温克坚)
  • Wuxi City activist Hua Chunhui (华春辉)

Other reports of harassment from the past few days include:

  • National security officers barred Beijing lawyer Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵) from attending a legal seminar organized by the Delegation of the European Union to China
  • Six national security officers are following and monitoring Beijing activist and professor Xu Zhiyong (许志永)
  • Beijing activist Gu Chuan (古川) was accosted by three national security officers, who demanded that he not leave his home for the next two days. When Gu later went out to go grocery shopping, he was followed by two officers.
  • Hangzhou City democracy activist Wu Yilong (吴义龙) was placed under soft detention on December 9, while fellow democracy activists Mao Qingxiang (毛庆祥) and Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫) were placed under surveillance and asked to “have tea” by national security officers, respectively
  • Shanghai author and activist Jiang Danwen (蒋亶文) was placed under soft detention at home and prohibited from leaving his residence for any reason.
  • Chongqing activist Zhang Shijie (張世杰) was warned by national security officers monitoring him not to take part in any activities honoring Liu Xiaobo in the next few days
  • Beijing University professor Xia Yeliang (夏业良) has been “looked after” by police since December 6, and told not to take part in any celebratory activities, publish any writings online, or accept any interviews with foreign media
  • Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province activist Xiao Yong (肖勇) was taken away from his home by two police officers on the morning of December 9. The police said they were taking him to a guesthouse. Officers later returned to his residence and confiscated his notebook computer, cell phones belonging to him and his wife, and computer hard drives. Xiao returned home on December 11, but police refused to return his confiscated property, and likewise refused to provide Xiao with any legal documentation which might have authorized their actions.
  • The power has been cut off at the offices of Beijing NGO Aizhixing for the past three days, while both the electricity and water have been cut off at Beijing’s All Sages Bookstore (万圣书园), whose director, Liu Suli (刘苏里), is currently under soft detention.[i]
  • Since December 4, Beijing activist Fan Yafeng’s (范亚峰) wife and mother-in-law have been under tight surveillance and followed whenever they leave their home; any packages arriving at their residence are thoroughly inspected. Fan himself has been under soft detention since November 1, and prohibited from leaving his home.
  • Zhang Xianling (张先玲), a member of the Tiananmen Mothers, has recently been put under 24-hour soft detention, and on December 8 will be forced to travel to Kunming with National Security officers.
  • Activist Zeng Jinyan (曾金燕), wife of imprisoned activist Hu Jia (胡佳), has been put under stricter surveillance in recent days. Hu Jia’s mother has been placed under soft detention on December 4, and cannot leave her home without a police “escort.”
  • On December 4, Beijing activist Chen Tianshi (陈天石) was forced to leave his job and he and his family were forced to leave their Beijing home and relocate to Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where their household registration is located.
  • Since December 5, Beijing lawyer Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵) has been under soft detention and cannot leave his home.
  • Police asked Beijing netizen Liu Qiangben (刘强本) to leave his home on December 6 and live temporarily in a hotel.
  • Author Dai Qing (戴晴) has been under soft detention since returning to China in December.
  • Beijing activist Wang Lihong (王荔蕻) was been forced to leave her home in early December and is currently at a “resort area” on the outskirts of Beijing.
  • Since the morning of December 7, human rights lawyer Li Fangping (李方平) has been forced to travel in police vehicles while conducting business.
  • Human rights lawyer Tang Jitian (唐吉田) was kidnapped on December 7 by National Security officers and forced to leave Beijing to return to Jilin Province, where his household registration is located.
  • On December 8, Beijing scholar Gao Yu (高瑜) was stopped by police while trying to visit a friend and told he was not permitted to leave his home between December 8 and 11. (CHRD)[ii]

Following the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony on December 10, police began lifting some of the restrictions put in place on the activist community over the past two months. However, despite these positive developments,  many activists, including Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), Hua Ze (华泽), Fan Yafeng (范亚峰), Liu Di (刘荻), Wang Zhongxia (王仲夏), Zhang Jiankang (张鉴康), and Ma Xiaoming (马晓明) remain missing or in police custody as of the time of writing.

In addition to the cases listed above, the following individuals have regained their freedom after being taken from their homes and placed under soft detention or “forced to travel” by police:

  • Beijing democracy activist Hu Shigen (胡石根) returned home on December 12;
  • Wuhan democracy activist Qin Yongmin (秦永敏) returned home on December 12;
  • Hubei activist Yao Lifa (姚立法) returned home on December 12;
  • Beijing activist Li Zhiying (李智英) returned home on December 12;

A number of individuals under soft detention or surveillance and restriction on movement, including Hangzhou scholar Wen Kejian (温克坚), Beijing activist and professor Xu Zhiyong (许志永), Beijing author Zhang Dajun (张大军), and Beijing dissident Gao Hongming (高洪明) regained their freedom of movement on December 12. (CHRD)[iii]

Police in Jiangsu Seize, Summon Friend for Attempting to Visit Activist Hua Chunhui

On the evening of December 10, national security police in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province seized Shen Jun (沈军) and took him in for questioning after Shen attempted to visit activist Hua Chunhui (华春辉), who was living under police surveillance and whose movements were being restricted. Shen was not released until the early morning hours on December 11. (CHRD)[iv]

Hubei Activist Yao Lifa Abused During Two-Week Disappearance

CHRD learned on December 13 that Hubei Province activist Yao Lifa (姚立法) was abused by police during the fourteen days he was held under “soft detention” in a variety of locations around Hubei.  Yao was seized by police in Wuhan City on November 29 while waiting to greet democracy activist Qin Yongmin (秦永敏) upon Qin’s release from prison. According to Yao, on the morning he was seized, police confiscated his cell phone, camera, money, and address book before interrogating him. Next, Yao was turned over to police and officials from his hometown of Qianjiang City, who took him back to Qianjiang for questioning. During this interrogation Yao was threatened and struck by the police officer questioning him. Yao was then taken by officials to a guesthouse 80 kilometers outside of Qianjiang, where he was kept under 24-hour guard and struck several times on another occasion after getting into an argument with the officials over laundry detergent. Beginning December 6, Yao was moved around between a number of cities in Hubei before finally being returned home on the 12th. (CHRD)[v]

Arbitrary Detention

Shandong Activist Zhang Jinfeng Released after 21 Months of RTL

On December 6, Jinan City, Shandong Province rights activist Zhang Jinfeng (张金凤) was released after completing one year and nine months of Re-education through Labor (RTL). Zhang was sent to RTL for participating in an “illegal assembly” and “disturbing public order” after being detained while taking part in a protest with victims of the Shandong Jizheng Healthcare Products Company pyramid scheme in Jinan City on March 5, 2009. (CHRD)[vi]

Hubei Writer Du Daobin Released from Prison

On December 8, Hubei writer Du Daobin (杜导斌) was released from prison after serving his full sentence. Du’s wife said he is “doing rather well,” but declined to comment further. According to Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW), it is believed that Du and his family are under pressure by the authorities not to disclose more information regarding his situation. On June 11, 2004, Du was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment commuted to four years’ probation and two years’ deprivation of political rights. Prior to the Beijing Olympics in July 2008, the court revoked its probation decision and sent Du to prison on the grounds that he was “unrepentant” and that he “had repeatedly violated the law and the supervision and management regulations of the enforcement authorities.” While in prison, Du reportedly staged hunger strikes to protest against his torture and mistreatment. He was not allowed out for regular exercise and barred from family visits. (CRLW)[vii]

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

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News updates from CHRD


[i] “On the Eve of Nobel Award Ceremony, Large Group of Scholars and Activists Forced to ‘Travel,’ Have Internet Cut, Phones Disconnected” (诺奖前夕,大批学者、维权人士“被旅游、断网、停机”), December 9, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012091741.shtml

[ii] “As Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony Nears, Chinese Government Increases Surveillance, Restrictions on Dissidents” (诺贝尔和平奖即将颁奖 中国政府加强对异议人士的监控), December 8, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012081006.shtml

[iii] “Nobel Prize Ceremony Concludes, Activists under Soft Detention Regain Freedom One after Another” (诺奖颁奖结束,被软禁异议维权人士人士陆续恢复自由), December 12, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012122234.shtml

[iv] “Friends who Visited Hua Chunhui on Eve of Nobel Ceremony Summoned for Questioning” (颁诺奖之夜前往 会见华春辉的朋友被传唤), December 13, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012131312.shtml

[v] “Elections Expert Yao Lifa Abused and Beaten During Soft Detention Period” (选举专家姚立法被软禁期间受到辱 骂殴打), December 13, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012131201.shtml

[vi] “Jinan Human Rights Activist Zhang Jinfeng Released” (济南维权人士张金凤获释), December 8, 2010, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012081415.shtml

[vii] Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, “Hubei Dissident Writer Du Daobin Returns Home from Prison, Family Subjected to Pressure (湖北异议作家杜导斌出狱回到家中 家人受到压力),” December 8, 2010, http://www.msguancha.com/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=8578; “Hubei Dissident Writer Du Daobin will be Released from Prison Next Week after Serving Full Sentence (湖北异议作家杜导斌下周 刑满即将出狱),” December 4, 2010, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2010/12/201012042205.shtml

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