DOCUMENT - CHINA: FURTHER INFORMATION: CHINESE ACTIVIST HELD INCOMMUNICADO: ZHU CHENGZHI
Further information on UA: 191/12 Index: ASA 17/028/2012 China Date: 10 August 2012
CHINESE ACTIVIST HELD INCOMMUNICADO
Zhu Chengzhi, a 62 year-old human rights activist, has been formally charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’ after being detained on 9 June. On 18 June, he was transferred to a detention facility in Hunan province, south-central China, where is being held incommunicado.
On 9 August, Zhu Chengzhi’s wife, Zeng Jinlian, received a notice from the Shaoyang City People’s Procuratorate stating that Zhu Chengzhi has been officially charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’. Zhu Chengzhi was taken away by national security personnel in Shaoyang city on 9 June and was sentenced to administrative detention for 10 days. While his family was anticipating his release, on 18 June, he was transferred to a detention facility in Shuangqing District, Shaoyang city, Hunan province and has since been held incommunicado. As no-one has heard from him since 9 June, his health condition is unknown.
According to Zhu Chengzhi’s friend and fellow activist, Wang Lihong, the reason why Zhu Chengzhi was charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’ is because he was found taking pictures at the scene of Li Wangyang’s death and was disseminating those pictures through the internet. Li Wangyang was a prominent dissident who was found dead on 6 June in a hospital in Daxiang district in Shaoyang city, Hunan province, where he was receiving treatment. The local authorities maintain that Li Wangyang’s death was a suicide.The circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear. On 11 June, tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets in Hong Kong to demand a formal investigation into the circumstances of Li Wangyang’s death.
Please write immediately in English, Chinese or your own language:
Calling on the authorities to drop the charge against Zhu Chengzhi and release him immediately and unconditionally;
Calling on the authorities to ensure that Zhu Chengzhi is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment while in custody;
Calling on the authorities to ensure Zhu Chengzhi has access to his family, legal representation of his choosing and any medical attention he may require.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 21 SEPTEMBER 2012 TO:
Hunan Provincial People’s Procuratorate
410001 Furong District
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Chief Procurator
WEN Jiabao Guojia Zongli
The State Council General Office
2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 6596 1109
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress
Quanguo Renda Changwu Weiyuanhui
Bangongting, 23 Xijiaominxiang
Xichengqu, Beijingshi 100805
People’s Republic of China�
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 191/12. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/020/2012/en
CHINESE ACTIVIST HELD INCOMMUNICADO
Zhu Chengzhi is one of the activists who have been subjected to enforced disappearance, arbitrarily detained, intimidated or harassed for publicly demanding an independent investigation into the death of veteran human rights activist Li Wangyang. On 6 June, Li Wangyang’s body was found in a hospital ward in Daxiang District People’s Hospital in Shaoyang city, where he had been receiving treatment for serious illnesses since his release from prison in May 2011. The local authorities have maintained that Li Wangyang’s death was a suicide, but his family and friends have questioned this. Following domestic and international outcry, on 15 June Hunan Province police announced a task force had been set up to investigate Li Wangyang’s death.
Early in the morning of 6 June, Li Wangyang's sister's husband, Zhao Baozhu, received a telephone call from the hospital saying that Li Wangyang had committed suicide in his ward. He and his wife, Li Wangling, went to the hospital immediately and found Li Wangyang’s dead body in his hospital room. The Shaoyang city authorities have maintained that Li Wangyang committed suicide by hanging himself, but others have disputed this. Photographs taken on 6 June at the hospital showed him positioned standing upright, staring out the window and with his neck tied to the window frame by a strip of cloth. These photographs also showed his feet firmly on the ground and his face showing no signs of suffocation. His relatives have questioned how an almost blind man, unable to walk without assistance could have managed to hang himself.
The police took the body away later on 6 June, though Li Wangyang’s family and relatives protested that it was unclear whether the authorities would allow an independent post-mortem investigation. An autopsy was carried out on 8 June, without Li Wangyang’s family or their lawyer being present. The authorities cremated the body the next day. On 22 June, it was reported that the autopsy report was completed. On 12 July, the authorities published their findings insisting that Li committed suicide; however, the general public remain unconvinced.
Li Wangyang, who was released from prison in May 2011, was a prominent figure in the labour rights movement who had been persecuted by the Chinese authorities for the past two decades. In 1989, he was involved in setting up an independent workers' organization, the Shaoyang Workers' Autonomous Federation, to demand better working conditions for mine workers and other labourers. The same year, he was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment for his involvement in the 1989 pro-democracy movement. According to local sources, he was severely beaten by prison guards and held in solitary confinement. He was moved to a hospital in June 1996 to receive treatment but eight months later he was taken back to prison.
Li was released early in June 2000 because of his poor health. He began petitioning the authorities for compensation to cover the cost of medical treatment but in May 2001 he was rearrested after he went on hunger strike. He was given a 10-year sentence for “inciting subversion” and was finally freed in May 2011.
On 22 May 2012, Li gave an interview to a Hong Kong journalist where he spoke about the torture which had left him both blind and almost deaf and unable to move unaided. After this interview, the local authorities intensified their control, stationing more police at the hospital where Li Wangyang was staying.