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China: Further Information on Incommunicado detention / fear of torture and other ill-treatment, Huang Qi (m)

, Index number: ASA 17/025/2009

During a 26 May visit by his lawyer, Sichuan human rights activist Huang Qi claimed that he had been questioned for long hours and sometimes deprived of sleep: he had once been interrogated continuously for three days without rest. Huang Qi said he had two tumours, diagnosed by the doctor in the detention centre, on his stomach and chest that had developed since March. He also said that he was suffering from frequent headaches, an irregular heartbeat and insomnia. Amnesty International is concerned that Huang Qi may not be receiving adequate medical treatment.

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 17/025/2009
04 June 2009
Further Information on UA 172/08 (ASA 17/084/2008, 18 June 2008) Incommunicado detention/fear of
torture and other ill-treatment and new concern: medical concern
CHINA Huang Qi (m), aged 46, human rights activist
During a 26 May visit by his lawyer, Sichuan human rights activist Huang Qi claimed that he had been
questioned for long hours and sometimes deprived of sleep: he had once been interrogated continuously for
three days without rest. Huang Qi said he had two tumours, diagnosed by the doctor in the detention centre,
on his stomach and chest that had developed since March. He also said that he was suffering from frequent
headaches, an irregular heartbeat and insomnia. The authorities have turned down repeated requests by his
family to release Huang Qi on bail to await trial. Amnesty International is concerned that Huang Qi may not be
receiving adequate medical treatment.
Huang Qi is awaiting trial for "unlawfully holding documents classified as highly secret." He was detained by
plainclothes police on 10 June 2008. He had no access to lawyers or his family, on the grounds that the
charges against him involved state secrets, and was only allowed a first meeting with a lawyer on 23
September after more than three months held incommunicado. On 3 February, the court forbade Huang Qi's
lawyer to make photocopies of the case documents assembled by the police in their investigation, to prepare
his defence, again on the grounds that they contained state secrets. By law the court should have made a
public announcement of Huang Qi’s trial three days before it began, but in fact it gave only one day's notice
to his family and lawyers, on 2 February. Later that day, after objections by Huang Qi’s lawyers, the court
postponed his trial to a date that has not been announced.
Huang Qi had been jailed as a prisoner of conscience from August 2001 to June 2005, for "inciting
subversion of state power," because he had published the names of people arrested after the 4 June 1989
military crackdown on pro-democracy activists, on his Chinese-language website, www.64tianwang.com. He
was beaten in prison. He was released on 4 June 2005. Since then, he has continued to maintain his website,
and has helped victims of human rights abuses to sue the government or document and publicize their cases
to increase pressure for government accountability.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The authorities keep a tight rein on freedom of expression, so as to suppress dissent, and have cracked down
hard to suppress real or perceived dissent in the media. The Criminal Law contains broad and vaguely defined
charges of "stealing and revealing state secrets" and "subversion," which are used to detain and prosecute
activists, journalists and internet users, and have discouraged reporting of sensitive issues, such as human
rights concerns or disagreement with the government. In the wake of the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the
authorities at first allowed unprecedented and widely praised reporting freedoms in the quake zone, but then
tightened their control of the media as local families began public protests calling for accountability for local
officials, especially with regard to the collapse of school buildings which they said had been poorly
constructed. Several journalists were prevented from reporting in the region, and some were detained for
trying to cover the protests. The local authorities also took steps to prevent protesters from travelling to
Beijing to petition the central government over their grievances.
2
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English, Chinese or your
own language:
- calling on the authorities to release Huang Qi immediately and unconditionally, as he has been detained
solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly;
- urging them to ensure Huang Qi has access to his family and lawyers, and to any medical attention he may
require;
- urging them to ensure that Huang Qi is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated while he remains in custody;
- calling on them to end use of vaguely-defined charges relating to "state secrets" to crack down on human
rights defenders
APPEALS TO:
WEN Jiabao Guojia Zongli
Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China
The State Council General Office
2 Fuyoujie
Xichengqu
Beijingshi 100017
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 65961109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Salutation: Your Excellency
ZENG Shengquan Tingzhang
Director of the Sichuan Provincial Department of Public Security
Sichuansheng Gong'anting
9 Jindunlu
Chengdushi 610041
Sichuansheng
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 28 86301177
Salutation: Dear Director
COPIES TO:
MENG Jianzhu Buzhang
Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China
Gong’anbu
14 Dongchang’anjie
Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100741
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 63099216 (it may be difficult to get through, please keep trying)
and to diplomatic representatives of China accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if
sending appeals after 16 July 2009.

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