EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 17/09/94
18 February 1994
Further information on UA 65/92 (ASA 17/21/92, 21 February 1992) - and
follow-up(s): ASA 17/49/92, 18 August 1992, ASA 17/105/93, 15 February 1993
and ASA 17/08/93, 22 February 1993 - Medical Concern/Prisoner of Conscience
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA:Li Guiren
and new names: Zheng Xuguang
Li Guiren, who was arrested in 1989 for his involvement in the pro-democracy
movement and released on parole for medical treatment a year ago, was re-arrested
on 16 February 1994 from his home in Xi'an, in Shaanxi province. He is believed
to be a prisoner of conscience.
According to unofficial sources in China twelve plain clothes policemen arrived
at his house on the morning of 16 February and took him away without explanation,
except to say they were returning him to Weinan Prison where he was formerly
Li Guiren was released on parole 16 months before his sentence was due to expire
in June 1994, and until that time would be on probation. According to the
Chinese Criminal Law his parole would be revoked if he "commits any further
crime" during the period of probation and would have to serve out the rest
of his remaining sentence along with any additional sentence that may be imposed.
Parolees who have been released for medical treatment are normally allowed
to remain free until such time as they have "recovered".
Amnesty International is concerned that Li Guiren, aged 50, is not in a fit
state to survive another period of imprisonment. Since his release from prison
Li Guiren's health has still been poor. He suffers from a serious heart
condition, is unable to walk more than a few steps without getting out of breath
and is too weak to undergo the necessary surgery.
Although no reasons were given for Li Guiren's re-arrest it is believed to
be in connection with the detention in late November 1993 of former prisoners
of conscience Zheng Xuguang and Ma Shaohua, who had visited Li Guiren's home
a couple of times. Earlier in November, the two men had launched a campaign
in Xi'an calling for human rights improvements. They had held discussions with
members of the Beijing based "Peace Charter" group whose manifesto called on
the Chinese Communist Party to respect human rights and introduce political
reforms. Several members of this group were detained for questioning and later
released, except for Qin Yongmin who has been administratively sentenced to
two-years "re-education through labour", and is a prisoner of conscience.
Zheng Xuguang and Ma Shaohua have not been heard of since their arrest.
Li Guiren was arrested in June 1989 for trying to organize a strike at the
Hua Yue Publishing House, of which he was editor-in-chief, in protest at the
4 June massacre in Beijing. He was also accused of taking part in demonstrations
and other activities during the 1989 protests.
In March 1991, he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment. During his
detention his health deteriorated rapidly and he was reportedly denied proper