Promoting human rights & empowering grassroots activism in China

[CHRB] Government Reprisals: Assault, Imprisonment, Torture & Cancellation of a Lawyer’s License (1/28-2/3/2016)

Lawyer Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), was manhandled and threatened by police and thugs after he met with relatives for Chinese New Year.

[CHRB] Government Reprisals: Assault, Imprisonment, Torture & Cancellation of a Lawyer’s License (1/28-2/3/2016)

Chinese authorities have recently taken reprisals against a host of rights defenders. Lawyer Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), who has gone online lately to express support for persecuted lawyers and activists, was manhandled and threatened by police and thugs after going to see relatives. A pair of Jilin petitioners—a man and his elderly mother—were given long prison sentences after they were convicted of crimes for trying to obtain state compensation. Ji’nan-based lawyer Liu Shuqing (刘书庆) has had his law license suspended after taking on cases of lawyers detained in the “709” crackdown. Also, Liaoning-based activist Jiang Lijun (姜力钧) was given a three-year prison sentence for several articles that he posted online.
China Imprisons 3 Rights Defenders More Than A Year After UN Called for Their Release

In Shanghai, activists hold a banner saying: “Lawyer Tang Jingling, China’s Gandhi, Is Innocent!”

China Imprisons 3 Rights Defenders More Than A Year After UN Called for Their Release

CHRD condemns the imprisonment of Guangdong lawyer Tang Jingling (唐荆陵) and activists Wang Qingying (王清营) and Yuan Xinting (袁新亭), who were convicted on January 29 on trumped-up charges of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to to five years, two-and-a-half years, and three-and-a-half years in prison, respectively. The verdict comes down amid President Xi Jinping’s persecution of human rights lawyers and many other figures in China’s civil society. The court’s decision sends a clear and defiant message from the Xi government that it is determined to punish those exercising and defending human rights.
Deprivation of Liberty and Torture/Other Mistreatment of Human Rights Defenders in China (Partial data, updated 12/31/2015)

Deprivation of Liberty and Torture/Other Mistreatment of Human Rights Defenders in China (Partial data, updated 12/31/2015)

CHRD has released partial data on human rights defenders (HRDs) who have been detained or subjected to torture and other forms of mistreatment since January 1, 2012. Compiling information through December 31, 2015, the data include records on approximately 704 new cases from 2015. The data is based on reports by human rights organizations working within China. The entire list of data, which is maintained on a regular basis, has information on more than 2,800 cases.
[CHRB] Freedom of Association Under Assault in China: Arbitrary Detentions & Disappearances (1/8-21/2016)

Recently detained, Ms. Xu Qin (徐秦, at right) is among more than 10 members of a group called “Human Rights Watch in China” (or the “Rose Team”) who police have taken into custody over the past year.

[CHRB] Freedom of Association Under Assault in China: Arbitrary Detentions & Disappearances (1/8-21/2016)

There has been a recent escalation of state suppression against individuals and groups in China that lawfully exercised their free association rights. Zhang Haitao (张海涛), who posted online comments critical of the government and kept contact with overseas activists, was given 19 years in prison for two crimes, including an unusually long punishment for “inciting subversion.” On January 8, four labor activists were arrested in Guangdong, five weeks after police raided NGO offices and staff members’ homes. And from January 2015 to this past week, police have taken into custody more than 10 people involved with a group called “Human Rights Watch in China” (or the “Rose Team”).
Politically Charged Arrests in China Escalate Persecution of Rights Lawyers

Lawyer Wang Qiushi (王秋实) was seized by police on January 10, just around the time that one of his clients, lawyer Wang Quanzhang (王全璋), was arrested on charges of “subversion of state power.”

Politically Charged Arrests in China Escalate Persecution of Rights Lawyers

CHRD condemns the actions of Chinese authorities who this week formally arrested 11 lawyers, paralegals, and activists on serious charges, politicizing Chinese lawyers’ efforts to protect human rights. CHRD sees the new arrests as indication of a drastic escalation of President Xi Jinping’s campaign against human rights lawyers. Since July 2015, authorities have cracked down on such lawyers and continued to blatantly violate international human rights conventions and disregard China’s own laws.
Unaccountability at Root of Persistent Torture in China

The treatment of criminal suspects in China, such as with the recent death of detainee Zhang Liumao (张六毛), depicted here, will be a focus of the UN’s review of China’s record on torture. (Image: Artist Badiucao, 巴丢草)

Unaccountability at Root of Persistent Torture in China

The Chinese government has systematically failed to prevent torture, hold torturers accountable, and respect the rights of torture victims, a report by CHRD and a coalition of Chinese human rights defenders finds. Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment remain persistent and widespread in China. Authorities often ignore relevant legal measures, investigations and criminal prosecution of torture suspects are rare, and victims seeking compensation have faced obstacles and reprisals. The report has been submitted to the UN Committee against Torture, which will hold a dialogue on China’s compliance with the Convention against Torture on November 17-18.
Individuals Affected by July 9 Crackdown on Rights Lawyers

Lawyers held in the police raid starting on July 9-10 include (clockwise from upper left): Bao Longjun (包龙军), Wang Yu (王宇), Zhou Shifeng (周世锋), Sui Muqing (隋牧青) Huang Liqun (黄力群), Wang Quanzhang (王全璋)

Individuals Affected by July 9 Crackdown on Rights Lawyers

Massive police operations targeting human right lawyers and coordinated by the Ministry of Public Security began on July 9 across China. The following is a list of detentions, including “residential surveillance” in unknown locations, disappearances (police custody in unknown location for more than 24 hours), and those released after summons for questioning or brief detention. The list will be constantly updated.
Watch List of Detainees and Prisoners of Conscience in Need of Medical Attention

Liu Ping (left) and Chen Xi (right) suffer from illness and have not received adequate medical care in prison.

Watch List of Detainees and Prisoners of Conscience in Need of Medical Attention

CHRD launched the Medical Watch List on June 26 to mark the UN’s International Day of Support of Victims of Torture. There are 13 cases of currently detained or imprisoned individuals who suffer from deteriorating health and have been deprived of adequate medical treatment and denied release on medical grounds. Some of them are experiencing the same pattern of abuse that led to the death of Cao Shunli—a lack of access to adequate medical treatment in custody, a gradual decline of health and development of new illnesses or injuries from torture, and rejection of requests for medical release. CHRD will be updating this list on a regular basis.
PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE View List
Zhou Shifeng (周世锋)

Zhou Shifeng (周世锋)

Lawyer Zhou Shifeng, the director of Beijing Fengrui Law Firm, was detained in July 2015 during a nationwide crackdown on human rights lawyers that particularly targeted his firm. Police initially took Zhou into custody on July 10 at a hotel in Songzhuang, on the outskirts of Beijing, where Zhou had gone to welcome the release...
Xing Qingxian (幸清贤)

Xing Qingxian (幸清贤)

Chengdu-based activist Xing Qingxian disappeared on October 6, 2015, in Mong La, Myanmar, along with fellow activist Tang Zhishun (唐志顺) and Bao Zhuoxuan (包卓轩), the 16-year old son of detained lawyers Wang Yu (王宇) and Bao Longjun (包龙军).
Li Heping (李和平)

Li Heping (李和平)

Li Heping 李和平   Crime: Subversion of state power Length of Punishment: N/A Court: N/A Trial Date: N/A Sentencing Date: N/A Dates of Detention/Arrest: July 10, 2015 (disappeared); January 8, 2016 (arrested) Place of Incarceration: Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center   “The past ten years, I’ve struggled with him, argued and fought, and asked him not to...
Wang Yu (王宇)

Wang Yu (王宇)

Wang Yu 王宇 Crime: Subversion of state power Length of Punishment: N/A Court: N/A Trial Date: N/A Sentencing Date: N/A Dates of Detention/Arrest: July 9, 2015 (detained); January 8, 2016 (arrested) Place of Incarceration: Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center Background “She is a brave, forthright, selfless human rights lawyer. Most of the time she is on the...

Opinion No. 39/2015 concerning Su Changlan, in Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its seventy-fourth session, 30 November – 4 December 2015, UN Human Rights Council (Chinese)

Feb 2, 2016 ⋅ 任意拘留问题工作组第七十四届会议(2015 年 11 月 30 日至 12月4 日) 通过的意见 第 39/2015 号意见 事关苏昌兰(中国)
Zhao Wei  赵威

Zhao Wei 赵威

Jan 29, 2016 ⋅ Zhao Wei  赵威 Crime: Subversion of state power Length of Punishment: N/A Court: N/A Trial Date: N/A Sentencing Date: N/A Dates of Detention/Arrest: July 10, 2015 (detained); January 8, 2016 (arrested) Place of Incarceration: Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center Background Zhao Wei, also known by her screen name Kaola (考拉), is an assistant for lawyer Li Heping...

Select Profiles of Prisoners of Conscience

Jan 24, 2016 ⋅ CHRD profiles selected individuals who have been sent to prison or Re-education through Labor in retaliation for their human rights activism or exercising their universal rights. Some of them have already been released.