Document - China: Release Zhu Chengzhi immediately

URGENT ACTION

UA: 191/12 Index: ASA 17/020/2012 China Date: 11 July 2012

URGENT ACTION

RELEASE ZHU CHENGZHI IMMEDIATELY

Human rights activist Zhu Chengzhi was sent to 10 days' administrative detention on 9 June for disrupting public order. He should have been released on 18 June but was transferred to a detention centre and held incommunicado, putting him at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Human rights activist Zhu Chengzhi, aged 62, from Shaoyang, Hunan province, was taken away by Daxiang District police on 9 June, after two days of house arrest. The following afternoon, his wife Zeng Qinglian received notice from the authorities that Zhu was to serve 10 days' administrative detention for disrupting public order, and would be released on 18 June. She thinks that Zhu Chengzhi was detained for refusing to sign an undertaking not to call for an independent investigation into the death of human rights activist Li Wangyang. On 18 June, rather than being released, he was transferred to a detention facility in Shuangqing District, Hunan, though he had not even been charged.

The police took Zeng Qinglian in for questioning on 4 July, and took her back to her home the next day. According to a reliable source, she was told that even if she instructed a lawyer to act on Zhu Chengzhi’s behalf, he would not be able to meet this lawyer. Zhu’s family have not been told the basis for his continuing detention, or how long he will be detained.

Please write immediately in English, Chinese or your own language:

- Calling on the authorities to ensure that Zhu Chengzhi is released immediately and unconditionally;

- Urging them to guarantee that he will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated whilst he remains in custody;

- Urging them to ensure that he has access to his family, legal representation of his choosing and any medical attention he may require;

- Urging them to ensure that his freedom of movement and expression are protected after he is released;

- Calling on them to order an investigation into the arbitrary detention of Zhu Chengzhi, and bring those responsible to justice;

- Calling on them to stop the arbitrary detention, intimidation and harassment of human rights lawyers and activists;

- Calling on them to order an independent and impartial investigation into Li Wangyang’s death, and publish the results.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 AUGUST 2012 TO:

Director, Public Security Bureau, Shuangqing District

WEI Min Juzhang

Shaoyang Baoqingzhonglu

Shuangqingqu, Shaoyangshi

Hunan Province

People's Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Director

Premier

WEN Jiabao Guojia Zongli

The State Council General Office

2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu

Beijingshi 100017

People's Republic of China

Fax: +86 10 6596 1109

Salutation: Your Excellency

Chairperson of the Standing Committee

of the National People’s Congress

WU Bangguo Weiyuanzhang

Quanguo Renda Changwu Weiyuanhui

Bangongting

23 Xijiaominxiang

Xichengqu, Beijingshi 100805

People’s Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Chairman

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.

URGENT ACTION

RELEASE ZHU CHENGZHI IMMEDIATELY

ADditional Information

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, but the authorities refused to publish it.

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.

Name: Zhu Chengzhi

Gender m/f: m

UA: 191/12 Index: ASA 17/020/2012 Issue Date: 11 July 2012

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