Ni Yulan 倪玉兰
Crimes: Creating a disturbance (charge of fraud dismissed on appeal on July 27, 2012)
Length of Punishment: 2 years and 6 months (reduced by two months after appeal)
Court: Xicheng District People’ Court
Trial date: December 29, 2011
Sentencing date: April 10, 2012
Dates of Detention/Arrest: April 7, 2011 (detention); May 17, 2011 (arrest); October 5, 2013 (released)
Place of Detention: Xicheng Detention Center (Haidian District, Beijing Municipality), Beijing Women’s Prison
Appeal Hearing Date: July 27, 2012
Appeal Hearing Court: Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court
Appeal Hearing Ruling: Reduced sentence by two months — from 2 years and 8 months to 2 years and 6 months
Since 2002, Ni, a Beijing housing rights activist, has suffered repeated arbitrary detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, intimidation and harassment. Her home was forcibly demolished in 2008 when authorities in Beijing’s Xicheng District retaliated against her for her human rights activism. As the result of previous torture, Ni cannot walk and suffers from an assortment of chronic medical issues, including difficulty breathing, heart problems, and digestive trouble. In April of 2011, she was criminally detained with her husband, Dong Jiqin, in Beijing on the charge of “creating a disturbance” for hanging a banner outside the Yuxinyuan Guest House, their residence at the time. She was later additionally charged with “fraud” for allegedly saying she was a lawyer in order to win sympathy for her case and to profit financially. Her case was heard in December of 2011 and a verdict announced more than three months later–a span of time that violates Article 168 in China’s Criminal Procedure Law, which stipulates that a court must render a verdict within two months of accepting a case.
Ni’s health declined during her recent detention, and her lawyer had submitted unsuccessful requests to have Ni released on medical grounds. In late July 2012, the charge of “fraud” was tossed out by an appeals court, which also reduced Ni’s original sentence by two months. Dong Jiqin was released on April 5, 2013, after a two-year incarceration. During his imprisonment, Dong staged hunger strikes to protest beatings by police and blocked communication with his daughter. Ni Yulan was released from prison on October 5, 2013, after completing her sentence and returned home with her husband. She suffers from numerous illnesses and faces a long period of recovery.
Submission to UN on Ni Yulan: Communiqué on behalf of Ni Yulan, citizen of People’s Republic of China, Alleging Arbitrary Arrest or Detention and Persecution of Human Rights Defenders, July 6, 2011, CHRD
Submission to UN on Ni Yulan: Communiqué Alleging Torture, Arbitrary Detention, Forced Eviction, Harassment and Intimidation of Human Rights Defender Ni Yulan, Citizen of the People’s Republic of China, August 13, 2010, CHRD