Document - China: Fears for disappeared Chinese volunteer: Song Guangqiang

URGENT ACTION

UA: 248/12 Index: ASA 17/032/2012 China Date: 24 August 2012

URGENT ACTION

FEARS FOR DISAPPEARED CHINESE VOLUNTEER

A volunteer with a Beijing-based NGO, Song Guangqiang (also known as Song Ze), has been subjected to enforced disappearance as a result of his human rights activities. He has not been allowed to see his lawyer or family since 31 May and the authorities have refused to inform his family of his whereabouts. He is at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

On 4 May around 2 pm, Song Guangqiang, a 27 year-old volunteer with a Beijing-based non-governmental organization (NGO), was taken away by the police near Beijing South Railway Station. He was interrogated at the Fengtai district and Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) on 4 and 5 May. On 5 May he was informed that he was being charged according to Article 293 of the Chinese Criminal Code with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to the Fengtai district detention centre, Beijing.

Song Guangqiang’s lawyer met with him on 15 and 31 May. He told his lawyer that he had been interrogated and charged in relation to his involvement in a project helping petitioners (people seeking redress for perceived injustices). This includes his visits to “black jails” in Beijing (unofficial detention facilities where many petitioners are arbitrarily detained because of their petitioning activity) and his distribution of food and donated clothes to petitioners who are destitute. On 12 June his lawyer was told that Song Guangqiang had been taken away by staff from the Beijing PSB several days earlier and placed under “residential surveillance”. Shortly after, his lawyer was told by the Beijing PSB that only the “unit in charge” can respond to inquiries about a particular case, and refused to provide any information. At present, neither Song Guangqiang’s family nor his lawyer have been informed of either his whereabouts or well-being.

Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language:

Calling on the authorities to immediately inform Song Guangqiang’s family of his whereabouts and well-being;

Calling on the authorities to release Song Guangqiang immediately and unconditionally as he has been detained solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression;

Calling on the authorities to ensure that Song Guangqiang is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 5 OCTOBER 2012 TO:

Director, Beijing Public Security Bureau

FU Zhenghua JuZhang

Beijingshi Gong’anju

9 Dongdajie, Qianmen

Dongchengqu, Beijingshi 100740

People’s Republic of China

Fax: +86 10 65242927

Telephone: +86 10 8522 5050 (Chinese only)

Salutation: Dear Director

Secretary, Political and Legal Committee of Beijing Municipality

JI Lin Shuji

3 Tai Ji Chang Da Jie

Dongchengqu

Beijingshi 100743

People’s Republic of China

Telephone: +86 10 8580 6131 (Chinese only)

Salutation: Dear Secretary

Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China

MENG Jianzhu Buzhang

Gong’anbu

14 Dongchang’anjie

Dongchengqu

Beijingshi 100741

People's Republic of China

Telephone: + 86 10 6512 2831 (Chinese only)

Salutation: Your Excellency

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

FEARS FOR DISAPPEARED CHINESE VOLUNTEER

ADditional Information

In China, civil society and in particular the weiquan (‘rights defence’) movement are growing. However, human rights defenders who attempt to report on human rights violations, challenge policies which the authorities find politically sensitive, or try to organize or rally others to their cause, face serious risk of abuse.

Some human rights defenders are held under illegal house arrest or in unofficial places of detention also known as “black jails”; others are subjected to “residential surveillance” (‘jianshi juzhu’ - known informally in Chinese as ‘ruanjin’ or ‘soft detention’). While the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law lists “residential surveillance” as one of a number of measures that may be used by the police against criminal suspects, in practice activists are rarely shown any official notice explaining the reasons for their detention, they are seldom detained at home as stipulated in the law, and periods often exceed the maximum limit of six months as prescribed by law.

Name: Song Guangqiang

Gender m/f: Male

UA: 248/12 Index: ASA 17/032/2012 Issue Date: 24 August 2012

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