China Human Rights Briefing February 2-8, 2011

China Human Rights Briefing Weekly

February 2-8, 2011

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Contents

Arbitrary Detention

  • On Eve of New Year, Hubei Activist Yao Lifa Kidnapped, Held in Jiangxi Province

Freedom of Expression

  • Thousands Sign Online Document Protesting Firing of Journalist Chang Ping

Freedom of Information

  • Police in Guiyang Harass Activists to Prevent Spread of News about Egypt, Tunisia

Arbitrary Detention

On Eve of New Year, Hubei Activist Yao Lifa Kidnapped, Held in Jiangxi Province

Hubei-based human rights defender Yao Lifa (姚立法) was kidnapped and held for three days, first in Wuhan and later in a hotel in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, CHRD learned this week. Yao was taken away from his home in Qianjiang City on the evening of January 31 by police officers who claimed they needed him to “give a statement.” When Yao did not return home, his wife became suspicious, and on February 1, she went to the police station to inquire about his whereabouts. There, she was struck by police officers, sustaining injuries to her back.  Yao returned home on the evening of February 3. Yao, a veteran human rights and democracy activist, has been repeatedly harassed, threatened, and kidnapped by police and local officials in recent years. Most recently, he went missing for fourteen days in late November and early December 2010, around the time of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony.  (CHRD)[i]

Freedom of Expression

Thousands Sign Online Document Protesting Firing of Journalist Chang Ping

An online document protesting the firing of prominent journalist Chang Ping (长平) has gained over 2400 signatures in a little over one week. News that Chang Ping had been forced to leave the Southern Media Group first appeared on January 27, and on January 29, the statement supporting him was posted to a Google webpage. To view the statement and add your name to the list of signatories, please click here. Chang, a columnist who frequently wrote about social problems, democracy, and civil society, had previously lost his position as deputy-editor-in-chief of Southern Metropolis Weekly and had his columns removed from Southern Weekend and Southern Metropolis Daily as a result of his work on “sensitive” issues. (CHRD)[ii]

Freedom of Information

Police in Guiyang Harass Activists to Prevent Spread of News about Egypt, Tunisia

CHRD learned on February 7 that police in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province have been cracking down on efforts by Guizhou-based human rights defenders to distribute information related to human rights and democracy because of concern about recent events in Egypt and Tunisia. According to activists Mi Chongbiao (糜崇标) and Tian Zuxiang (田祖湘), they and others have been approached by police in Guiyang’s Minquan Square and Qianling Park and ordered to stop handing out copies of news articles printed out from rights-focused websites. Concerned that local citizens would learn about the democratic uprisings in North Africa, the police told the Guizhou human rights defenders that it was an “unusual time” and offered to pay them 3000 RMB to cover their costs if they would agree not to hand out any articles. (CHRD)[iii]

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

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News updates from CHRD


[i] “Elections Expert Yao Lifa Kidnapped, Taken to Nanchang” (选举专家姚立法被 绑架到南昌), February 2, 2011, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/02/201102021152.shtml

[ii] “2380 Domestic and Overseas People Jointly Sign in Support of Chang Ping” (2380名海内外各界人士连署签名支持长平), February 5, 2011, http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2011/02/201102051551.shtml

[iii] “Democratic Upsurge in North Africa Affects Guizhou Civil Rights Display” (北非民主潮 影响到贵州民权橱窗), February 8, 2011, http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/02/201102080846.shtml

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