China Human Rights Briefing

May 18-23, 2013

Contents

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment

  • Imprisoned Journal Editor Severely Beaten, Forced to Work Long Hours
  •  Young Child Held in Black Jail For 4 Years
  • Fujian Petitioner-Activist Tortured by Police, Held for 33 Hours

Arbitrary Detention

  • Beijing Arrests Mount in Anti-Corruption Crackdown
  • Tibetan Writer Sentenced to 5 Years for Book on Self-Immolations, Other Charged Topics

Reprisals Against Activists

  • Henan Police Harass NGO Director, Confiscate Personal Property

Freedom of Assembly

  • Organizer of Anti-Discrimination Parade Detained in Hunan

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment

Imprisoned Journal Editor Severely Beaten, Forced to Work Long Hours

Wang Hanfei (王寒非), the jailed editor of the Hong Kong-based journal “China Special Report,” has been seriously injured as a result of beatings and is being forced to work very long hours, according to his wife, Li Xuehong (李雪红). On May 19, Li went to Chenzhou Prison to see Wang, and he had stitches on his face, and Wang’s left ear had been beaten so badly that his hearing is impaired. Wang told her that prisoners have been forced to work more than 15 hours a day, and that he had been beaten frequently since he could not complete the heavy load of work tasks. In April, Wang was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of “illegal business activity” and “fraud,” likely in retaliation for publishing articles that authorities deemed to be politically sensitive.[1]

Young Child Held in Black Jail For 4 Years

In a particularly shocking case of illegal detention, a boy who is now eight years old was reportedly held in a black jail in Guangdong Province for four years before his release this past January. In 2009, Chen Fengqiang (陈风强) was sentenced to three years in prison after petitioning against the forced demolition of his home. Authorities then threw his four-year-old stepson Chen Ya (陈芽) and the boy’s mother into a black jail in Zhuhai City, in part to prevent the mother from petitioning. Reportedly, the deprivations that the boy suffered in confinement contributed to developmental disorders, as Chen Ya is unable to speak or grasp objects with his hands. Police have recently harassed individuals who have been seeking justice for the boy, and taken into custody Chen’s father and also disabled activist Xiao Qingshan (肖青山). Both men remain out of contact at the time of writing.[2]

Fujian Petitioner-Activist Tortured by Police, Held for 33 Hours

Fujian petitioner Lin Yingqiang (林应强) was held by police for 33 hours and also tortured beginning on May 18, after police hauled off a group of petitioners as the Cross-Straits Fair for Economy and Trade opened in Fuzhou City. More than 10 officers and security guards surrounded Lin’s house that morning and followed him to the city square, where they seized him and other petitioners. They were all taken to a police station, where they were deprived of food, and Lin was chained to a “tiger bench,” an instrument of torture, after he protested this mistreatment. Lin was later taken to another station and held for about one day and mistreated further, including by being strip-searched. According to police, the detentions and deprivation of food—Lin was only given one bowl of noodles during his lengthy time in custody—were in line with an official order to “maintain stability” during the fair.[3]

Arbitrary Detention

Beijing Arrests Mount in Anti-Corruption Crackdown

CHRD has learned from reliable sources that Li Wei (李蔚) and Qi Yueying (齐月英), Beijing activists detained last month, have been formally arrested for “unlawful assembly,” a charge tied to calling for disclosure of Chinese officials’ financial assets. They were both seized by police on April 10 and then held incommunicado; Li is being held at the Beijing No. 3 Detention Center, while Qi’s place of detention has not been confirmed. At least five Beijing activists involved in anti-corruption campaigning have now been arrested on the same criminal charge, including three others who CHRD reported on previously. Several more activists detained in the capital in April remain in custody. These individuals are all among a loose group of activists associated with the “New Citizens Movement.” Since late March, police around China have detained more than two dozen activists, lawyers, and others in a crackdown following calls against corruption and advocacy on other politically sensitive issues.[4]

Tibetan Writer Sentenced to 5 Years for Book on Self-Immolations, Other Charged Topics

A court in Qinghai Province has sentenced a Tibetan writer and monk to five years in prison for authoring his second book about sensitive topics, including self-immolations, which now number 117 in Tibetan areas since February 2009. Arrested on January 1, 36-year-old Gartse Jigme was given the punishment on May 14. Exiled Tibetans in India reportedly published his new book soon after the sentencing. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has translated the first chapter of the volume, which addresses allegations raised by the Chinese government about self-immolations (see TCHRD’s website). In 2011, Gartse Jigme was detained briefly over the contents of his first book, which came out in 2008.[5]

Reprisals Against Activists

Henan Police Harass NGO Director, Confiscate Personal Property

Henan state security police recently took away Yu Fangqiang (于方强), director of Justice for All, a group that works on anti-discrimination issues, and then questioned him and confiscated some of his possessions. While “drinking tea” with Yu near the group’s headquarters in Nanjing on May 17, officers demanded to inspect his personal belongings, but Yu refused. The police then forcibly took away his computer, ID card, and two cell phones. Yu was released after two hours but was not given back his property, and instead was told to “go to Henan to fetch them.” The harassment may well be tied to recent events related to Yu’s NGO. In late March, a court in Jiangsu Province ruled that a hotel should provide financial compensation for canceling room reservations that Justice for All had made for a lawyers’ workshop last year. In addition, the NGO recently called for public information disclosure about tap water quality and also held workshops for disabled youth.[6]

Freedom of Assembly

Organizer of Anti-Discrimination Parade Detained in Hunan

Police in Hunan Province have detained the organizer of a parade that was held to promote anti-discrimination on International Day Against Homophobia. To mark the day on May 17, nearly 100 people from all around China took part in the procession in the streets of Changsha. On May 18, police issued a 12-day detention to Yu Han (愈韩), allegedly for violating a provision of China’s Assembly Law. When two lawyers went to see Yu on May 20, he told them that he had not eaten in two days. Yu has said that the parade was meant to present a positive image of the homosexual community to greater Chinese society.[7]

Read CHRD’s annual report on human rights defenders for 2012


[1]Urgent Attention: Former Editor of the Hong Kong-based journal ‘China Special Report’ Wang Hanfei’s Left Ear Was Beaten To Deaf” (紧急关注:香港《中国观察》前总编王寒非在狱中左耳被打聋), May 21, 2013, WQW; “Situation of Hong Kong-based ‘China Special Report’ Editor Wang Hanfei” (香港 《中国观察》总编王寒非案情况), April 8, 2013, WQW; “ ‘China Special Report’ Editor Sentenced to Four Years for Expression, Family Warned” (《中国观察》总编因言被判四年,家属受到警告), April 7, 2013, WQW

[2] “Human Rights Defender Chen Fengqiang Seized After Taking Son Chen Ya to Guangdong Civil Affairs Department to Make Appeal” (维权人士陈风强带陈芽到广东民政厅反映诉求被绑架), May 22, 2013, WQW; “Guangdong Rights Activist Xiao Qingshan Taken Away By Unidentified People in Middle of Night” (广东维权人士肖青山凌晨被不明身份人带走), May 21, 2013, WQW; “Rights Activists Support Chen Ya, Who Became Disabled Due to Persecution” (维权人士声援被迫害致残的8岁儿童陈芽), May 20, 2013, CRLW; Several Rights Activists Summoned for Supporting Chen Ya, Detained for No Reason for Four Years” (多名维权人士声援无辜遭囚禁4年的儿童陈哑被传唤), May 19, 2013, WQW; “Zhuhai Child Detained for Four Years, Rights Activists Hold Banners in Support” (珠海儿童被囚禁4年多 维权人士举牌声援却被抓), May 19, 2013, CRLW

[3] “Fuzhou Rights Activist Lin Yingqiang Subjected to Torture, Including Food Deprivation and Strip Search, During 33 Hours in Custody” (福州维权人士林应强遭33小时不给独饭吃被脱光等酷刑), May 20, 2013, WQW

[4] “Lawyer Applies to Meet With Li Sihua, Criminally Detained for ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’” (律师申请会见被以 “涉嫌煽动颠覆罪”刑事拘留的李思华), May 16, 2013, WQW; “Human Rights Defense Network Solemnly Protest Citizens Detained by Authorities in Beijing and Jiangxi for ‘Demanding Officials Disclose Assets’” (“维权网”严正抗议北京和江西当局拘捕“要求官员公布财产”的公民), May 8, 2013, WQW; “Jiangxi Human Rights Activist Liu Ping Criminally Detained on Charge of ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’” (江西维权人士刘萍因“涉嫌煽动颠覆罪”被刑事拘留), May 8, 2013, WQW; “News Flash: Well-known Rights Activist Liu Ping Criminally Detained on Charge of ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’” (快讯:著名维权人士刘萍因涉嫌煽动颠覆国家政权罪被刑事拘留), May 7, 2013, WQW; “Human Rights Activists in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province Tortured in Custody, Many Still Detained, Including Liu Ping” (江西新余被拘押维权人士遭酷刑,刘萍等多人仍未获释), April 29, 2013, WQW; “Chinese Authorities Must Release Activists, End Escalating Crackdown on Free Expression,” April 19, 2013, CHRD; “Human Rights Activists in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province Tortured in Custody, Many Still Detained, Including Liu Ping” (江西新余被拘押维权人士遭酷刑,刘萍等多人仍未获释), April 29, 2013, WQW; Chinese Authorities Must Release Activists, End Escalating Crackdown on Free Expression, April 19, CHRD

[6]“‘Nanjing Justice for All’ Director Yu Fangqiang’s ID Card, Other Items Confiscated by State Security Police”(“南京天下公”负责人于方强被国安抢走身份证等), May 18, 2013, CRLW; “Nanjing-based Justice for All Strongly Denounces Henan Police’s Hooliganism in Confiscating Personal Belongings” (南京天下公强烈谴责河南警方抢夺手机电脑等个人物品的流氓行径), May 17, 2013, Canyu; “Hotel Sued by NGO Over Cancelled Conference Reservations, Proceedings to Open on December 19” (酒店临时取消会议订单被NGO起诉,19日开庭审理), November 19, 2012, Justice for All

[7] “Organizer of Gay Parade in Changsha Detained, Lawyers Indicate Numerous Illegal Punishments” (长沙同性恋游行组织者被拘留、律师指处罚多处违法), May 20, 2013, WQW