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An Open Letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

(Aug. 22, 2005)The Honorable Louise Arbour
The High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (boxun.com)

United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Dear Ms. Arbour:

We the undersigned, citizens of the People's Republic of China, are delighted and honored at the prospect of your visit to our country from late August to early September of this year. We deeply admire your courage, your wisdom, and your dedication to the exalted ideal of protection of universal human rights. We place great hope in your visit, and wish you every success.

Writing to you on the occasion of your visit to China to discuss human rights issues with our government, we express our full confidence in the United Nations' commitments to protecting universal human rights. We also recognize the improvements China has made in its international and domestic affairs.

The achievements of our country's economy over the last two decades are dazzling. When the Chinese government signed and ratified international human rights conventions, it made commitments to protect many basic human rights. These rights have now been added to the PRC Constitution as amendments. Rights protection has become a highly visible issue in recent years. But, we must be frank, China's record in protecting human rights remains a sad story. We wish to draw your attention to the glaring discrepancies between actual human rights conditions in our country on the one hand, and, on the other, the international standards, the relevant articles in the PRC Constitution and Chinese laws, and our government's public pledges. In some respects rights conditions have actually gotten worse, not better, in the last few years.

We welcome our government's recent willingness to permit a certain independence of the courts, to hold qualifying examinations for judges, and to consider amending laws to protect detained suspects. The PRC Procuratoriate has taken steps to resolve cases of illegally extended detentions and to punish law enforcement officers who use torture to extract confession. The role in policymaking of local People's Congresses has also gained some ground in recent years. Efforts to establish election of officials have failed at the levels of the township government and higher, but experiments with elections of village committees have made certain progress.

These positive trends have had little actual effect, however, chiefly because of the huge and persisting problems of corruption in the bureaucratic systems and the lack of accountability of officials who break the law and violate human rights. Law is used primarily by authorities as a tool of repression of dissidents or the disadvantaged. The rare use of law to protect ordinary people is hamstrung by many problems: judges and courts are still not sufficiently independent; the incompetence of courts and inadequacy of judicial process make it impossible for citizens to seek redress for rights abuses through legal procedures; the criminal system still relies on confessions, which are frequently obtained through torture; and lawyers who are outspoken in defense of defendants' rights are themselves often threatened, disbarred, or imprisoned.

Parallel to its opening of the economy and trade, the government has also increasingly modernized its control mechanisms and tightened up its information control and censorship on speech and expression. With the Internet, text messaging, and other new technologies, we benefit from unprecedented access to information and online political speech. There is more room for the media due to growing marketization. But to our dismay, the government has invested heavily in deployment of ever more cyberpolice in order to build the world's most comprehensive and sophisticated system of telecommunications surveillance, "firewalls," and electronic monitoring, thereby perfecting its censorship and its control of speech. A long list of vocabulary and topics is prohibited in all public media and on the Internet. Tens of thousands of cyberpolice patrol cybercafés, wiretap phones, intercept cellular phone conversation, and interfere with text-messaging devices. They use the same high-tech methods to monitor and obstruct the speech and expression on the Internet of independent journalists, writers and rights activists, and to gather evidence surreptitiously to use against these people in court. The Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party, which should not have any role in legislation, nevertheless wields tremendous arbitrary power in operating, controlling, and penalizing the mass media, threatening journalists and those in the media profession, And coercing them into practicing self-censorship. All these practices violate Chinese citizens' rights to information, free speech, and free press.

The state continues to make and enforce its social and economic policies without a system of checks and balances on its power through public participation and political representation. Authorities are largely at liberty to write off the interests and rights of the powerless and vulnerable social groups in our society. They silence there voices when they demand their rights and suppress their lawful efforts to organize to defend their rights. When our government ratified the International Covenant on Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights, it chose not to adopt Article 8 stipulating "the right of everyone to form trade unions." Precisely because workers and migrant laborers are deprived of the right to organize independent unions, they are especially handicapped in their efforts to seek labor rights protection. Labor protection in China is now among the worst in the world, while economic disparity between the rich and the poor has grown to be among the largest in the world.

Meanwhile, although some of the political prisoners from the 1989 events have been released, many others remain jailed or have been recently incarcerated for their ideas or beliefs. The government has intensified its repression of ethnic minorities and religious groups that have sought to exercise their religious freedom and cultural rights. Tens of thousands of believers in forbidden faiths and ideas have been subjected to imprisonment. Many have been tortured and subjected to inhumane treatment. Authorities restrict worship in Christian family churches, criminalize church leaders for printing copies of the Bible, for seeking converts, or for criticizing the government in their preaching. For many ordinary Chinese who practice the Falun Gong, the violations of human rights are even worse.

We are pained and indignant that our country, owner of a great ancient civilization, has now held the world record for number of recorded executions every year since 1993. Many executions were for non-violent crimes and lacked fair trials and judicial review. Many innocent people continue to be detained in "re-education through labor" camps and other extrajudicial detention facilities, without trials or judicial review, for up to three or four years. Torture to extract confession is routine in these facilities and camps. There is no protection for the rights of criminal defendants and the convicted.

Today, when victims of social or economic rights abuses petition authorities and seek legal recourse, they meet official retaliation, police brutality, and incarceration. In recent years, and in increasing numbers, human rights activists have been assisting victims of labor rights violations, forced evictions, land and housing confiscations, environmental disasters, and corruption, or seeking care for poor villagers infected with HIV/AIDS. But these activists themselves face great dangers. These activists -- public intellectuals, journalists, doctors, and defense lawyers -- are sometimes harassed, put on trial, or imprisoned for defending their fellow citizens' rights.

In short, the lack of independent media and rule of law in China means the absence of effective constraints on political power, which makes it very difficult to systematically guarantee Chinese citizens' human rights and to provide public opinion and legal aid as well as administrative assistance to victims.

We wish to draw your attention to these facts, and especially to the difficulties and risks that Chinese human rights defenders face. We trust that you will raise these issues with Chinese leaders during your meetings with them. We ask you as well to raise some recent cases of our fellow citizens who have, in our view, been victims of arbitrary detention or unfair trials (please see our Appendix for brief summaries of the cases):

Labor activist Yao Fuxin; journalists Shi Tao, Zhao Yan, Yu Huafeng and Li Minying; defense lawyers Zhu Jiuhu and Zheng Enchong; writers (active on the Internet and in other media) Zhang Lin, Li Jianping, Zheng Yichun, Huang Jinqiu, Ma Xiaoming, Xu Wanping, Zhang Zhengyao, Zhang Ruquan, Yang Zili, Zhang Honghai, Xu Wei, Jin Haike, and Luo Yongzhong, and Cai Lujun; all the defendants in the case of Christian priest Cai Zhuohua, and all the defendants in the case of priest Gong Shengliang; farmer Lin Zhangwang; the four residents of Pingle Country, Jiangxi Province, Fang Chunping, Huang Zhiqiang, Cheng Lihe, and Cheng Fagen, who were sentenced to death after being tortured until they confessed crimes they did not commit; and the four residents of Chengde, Hebei Province, Chen Guoqing, Yang Shiliang, He Guoqiang, and Zhu Yanqiang, who were sentenced to death after tortured confession but then commuted to long jail sentences; rights defenders Feng Xiaoyuan, Ye Guozhu, and Ma Yalian, as well as many others.

We invite you to join us in defending the basic human rights of Chinese citizens, in calling on the responsible officials in the Chinese government to release these and other illegal detainees and prisoners of conscience, and in demanding that the government allow preliminary political reforms and guarantee judicial independence and a free press. These reforms are necessary for improving the basic conditions of human rights in our country.

If possible, well-known activists and coordinators of this letter campaign, Li Jian and Wang Yi, are willing to meet with Ms. Arbour, on behalf of Chinese rights defenders and concerned Chinese citizens, to communicate and advance common cause.

In closing, we wish to express our gratitude for your and your colleagues' good work. We would also like to thank the UN Human Rights Committee and the international community for persistently raising concerns about China's human rights conditions. The Chinese struggle for freedom calls for collaboration by all who believe in "freedom as a universal value."

Respectfully yours,

The Undersigned Citizens of the People's Republic of China (in order of time signed):

Li Jian Qin Geng Teng Biao Liu Xiaobo Yu Zhangfa
Wang Yi He Yongqin Hou Wenzhuo Yu Jie Zhao Dagong
Du Daobin Li Jianhong Fan Baihua Wan Yanhai Sun Wenguang
Huang Zhong Zan Aizong Zhang Zuhua Shi Xiaoyu Wu Mengqian
Wang Zhijing Zhang Jianmin Che Hongnian Gao Han Yang Chunguang
Liu Haofeng Mo Li Tang Jingling Zeng Zheng Du Yilong
Huang Dachuan Chen Qingshan Jiang Fuzhen Huang Xiaomin Ma Yuzhong
Gao Junsheng Wang Zhongling Liu Di Hu Ping Guo Shaokun
Yang Yinbo Xu Shuiliang Deng Yuwen Tian Xiaoming Zhuang Minjun
Chen Shuqing Sun Yongxiang Jing Wa Hu Junxiong Wang Yiliang
Jin Yi Zi Ge Mou Chuanheng Li Changyu Zhang Mingshan
Wang Jinbo Shi Xiaodong Niu Fenghe Chen Qitang Wang Ning
Li Renke Zeng Ning Lu Yongxiang Fang Jiahua Quan Linzhi
Huang Yanming Wei Dengzhong Chen Defu Zhang Zhongfa Xu Ming
Shen Liangqing Yang Weiguang Lu Kun Xu Liansheng Jin Jianguo
Zhang Ruiqing Yang Zaixin Sun Jianguo Dai Xuewu Yu Zhiguan
Liu Feiyue Hu Junxiong Ren Qiuguang Yang Yang Guo Guoting
Shen Liangqing Deng Yongliang Zhou Zhigang Zhang Dehuai Yi Feng
Kang Cheng Bai Yuji Chen Xi Li Xiaolong Li Zhiyou
Wu Yanqiang Xue Zhenbiao Liang Xiwen Zhang Hai Liu Xiaotian


Yang Zhongxia Xu Zhiyong Li Wusi Li Jianping Xu Hui
Lin Aoxiang Zhuang Ling Mo Jiangang Wu Yuqin liao Shuangyuan
long Taiping Jiang Shihua Li Yunsheng Shen Liangqing Yan Jiaxin
He Bing Wang Ming Bai Heping Liao Yiwu Ye Hanxin
Lu Gengsong Zhao Xin Li Shuquan Li Baiguang Chen Baida
Zheng Yi Pu Wenzhong Liu Youming Zhou Qing Shi Zhongping
Yan Zhengxue Chu Tianshu Li Xinde Li He Zhang Yubo
Wang Guangze Pu Zhiqiang Shen Jizhong Dai Xuewu Yang Qinheng
He Yongquan Li Guotao Lai Jinbiao Gao Haibing Tan Kai
Yang Jianming Chen Guangzhong Chen Lihua Jiang Mingfeng Xiao Yong
Zhou Zhiyuan Yuan Langsheng Luo Hong Yang Yaoji Jiang Meili
Zheng Yi Yun Heng Zhang Xiayang Li Suwen Zhou Dan
Chen Xianjun Wang Li Xu Guang Fan Ziliang Wu Wei
Zhang Guotang Bai Zhongwei Chen Ying Xu Peng Zhang Ming
Chen Wei Li Bifeng Lei Fengyun Hou Duoshu Mai Tianrang
Wen Qiang Ou Yangyi Lu Dengchuan Deng Hui Zhu Yiping
Yan Luguo Zeng Fuhong Feng Daxun Han Bin You Xuenian
Song Yufeng Jiang Tianyong Yang Fei Wang Hongmin Jiao Baigu
Peng Guodong Xu Ke Xu Kang Ma Tianlin Gao Zhisheng
Chen Yongmiao Song Hongtao Zhuang Daohe Li Biao Ouyang Xiaorong


Wang Guowei Pi Jiexing Zhang Xiaogang Zhao Gongfu Han Wu
Zhang Yuxiang Chen Kaiquan Liu Xiufeng Yang Ge Wang Zaihe
Li Bingshen Liu Gang Jia Yongmin Fang Caofang Nan Feng
Liu Heng Ye Jiazhen Zhou Fei Chen Mu Yan Yuxiang
Mou Mo Deng Xiaojun Xiang Li Liu Zhengyou Ye Mingjun
Hu Jia Wang Zhijian Li Zhiyou Liu Jiaxin Weng Jianyun
Tan Guanghui Liu Yang Su Shaoxin Xu Yinong Wu Xiang
Su Zuxiang Luo Na Yang Tianshui Xu Zhiyong Qin Bing
Li Yingqiang Lu Ninping Yang Jian Fen Yan Gu Heping
Jin Xuemeng Gao Qinsheng Lin Weihua Gui Yubin Lu Xinhua
Qi Huimin Li Xi'an Jin Dinghua Deng Huanwu Tang Bin
Tan Jianmin Jing Lijun Jiang Feng Liu Er'an Xu Chunyuan
Wang Rong Li Jianhui Guo Ping Wang Youcai Yan Ling
Li Tao Li Jianmin Chi Chang Liu Yi Huangpu Shangyi
Shao Jiahua Chang Kun Liu Weimin Sun Fugui Zhang Jing
Guo Haiyan Lin Chunjing Mo Yan Xu Liuping Fang Hong
Li Mengping Cheng Yong Zeng Tao Mao Guoliang Zhao Hanqing
Huang Juan Wen Jinke Hu Kunzhu Wei He Zhang Chengye
Fen Yanwei Huang Huifang Chen Guangcheng Tian Yongde Hu Kang
Luo Jujian Li Subin Xu Zhenyu Yang Tao Li Ke


Cai Chu Shi Xuejie Li Chenghu Li Yongxuan Li Junchao
Li Fuchao Li Luchao Li Xuefang Lu Yuyin Lu Yinxiang
Lu Cuiyue Lu Cuilan Li Taiying Xu Qingcun Lu Xuejiao
Lu Qingjiao Lu Fuxiu Li Weimin Li Ruimin Li Ziying
Li Zikuan Li Zimin Li Dianchen Li Dianzhong Li Taikun
Li Juying Li Dianying Li Liubiao Li Guishu Zhang Lingmin
Liu Cuiying Li Xinfang Xiang Fazhong Tong Shengying Tong Huxiang
Tong Huzhi Tong Hufei Zhang Tianxue Chen Yong Xia Yeliang
Ran Yunfei Yang Yinan Wang Min Sun Bingyin Wang Changrong
Jin Yanming Huang Heqing Bai Zhenxia Chen Yangchao Zhangshan Yiyan
Lu Yuhuang Wei Yongliang Yin Yusheng Liu Xinna Li Heping
Wu Nanliang Qi Qinhong Li Tianqi Yang Xiaomei Chen Guojun
Chen Yang Tan Kewen Huang Jianping Yang Bing'e Deng Songgen
Zhao Baolian Zhu Jianding Zuo Meifeng Zhu jin'e Yi Keliang
Yi Xuezhi Zeng Xiangping Zhao Baoyuan Yang Hanyu Zeng Aiping
Yi Shaolian Xiong Duanyang Yi Qiuxiang Yi Ganquan Yi Ligen
Yang Fangqi Zhu Minghui Yi Liping Yi Lihuai Zhu Heping
Liu Gewei Zhu Xianzhong Zhao Jianmin Zuo Xiaofang Yi Chunfang
Xiong Lixiu Yi Xinbi Yi Zhongping Zhao Xue'e Tang Canying
Yi Changling Yi Tao Yi Feiping Yi Fei Yi Zuoliang


Chen Qiulian Wu Zhimei Yi Xiaoliang Zhang Jianqiang He Guoliang
Zhu Jixing Yi Liguang Zhang Yulan Xiong Zhigen Xiong Huigen
Huang Dingxue Zhu Mingguang Zhu Jiqing Zhu Pingguang Zhu Xinhong
Zhu Pingyao Xiong Aihua Ge Xiaoyu Zuo Bogui Yi Lixiong
Zhang Xihe Yang Qingping Yi Aiqing Zhang Shaonan Tang Haoming
Yi Yulan Zhao Xueju Ye Meiying Yi Mianguang Yi Qungen
Yi Lixu Liu Jianzhong Yi Peinan Yi Peiqiu Yi Ligu
Deng Liyun Zhao Jinghua Yi Jianjun Zhang Jianxin Yi Yuexian
Yi Songliang Luo Chang'e Zhang Xiangcheng Yang Zhaoping Deng Songqing
Yang Dong'e Deng Meigu Zhang Juncheng Xiong Shaochu Yi Xuecong
Tang Qiyun Chen Ailan Chen Songgui Luo Yong'e Chen Shaobing
Yu Qiusheng Yang Chunfang Deng Ailian Liu Bocai Yi Xuequn
Yi Xiqin Liu Xiaohua Liu Guicai Deng Minhui Yang Yuan'e
Wang Shaohai Zhou Hanglong Zhang Changgen Yang Ci'e Huang Shengwen
Wang Peng Zhao Congli Yin Xuntai Ma Shaofang Zhang Xingshui
Tian Qizhuang Hou Wenbao Gan Dagang Yang Yujia Chen Rongjin
Chen Yingsheng Chen Huatai Chen Yongsheng Chen Kangbao Chen Guiquan
Chen Kangzhen Chen Jinyu Chen Jinrong Chen Dirong Chen Rongyu
Kang Xiuqing Zeng Derui Chen Taixing Li Wei Kang Xuefang
Chen Guoxiu Chen Yabao Chen Youbiao Chen Yasheng Chen Yashui


Li Minglan Chen Rigui Wu Di Zeng Caiying Chen Yaban
Wu Yazhen Wei Jigui Chen Lianjie Chen Jinshui Chen Fengwei
Chen Quankun Chen Yashui He Xiuming Chen Meifang Chen Shuikang
Zhong Cuihong Chen Shangtu Chen Yahua Chen Yatu Chen Guanming
Chen Musheng Chen Guanbao Chen Kangshui Chen Liguang Chen Jie
Chen Guanping Chen Kangshou Chen Guanshang Chen Tuyang Chen Kangrong
Chen Zhishou Chen Anzhi Chen Kangsheng Chen Ricai Chen Kanggui
Chen Guande Chen Shangbao Chen Xueqin Chen Huakang Chen Yachun
Li Kangming Chen Caixia Yang Liu Lu Ruiping Chen Jingshou
Jia Ping Liang Li Long Jiangnan Yu Fengwu Cheng Shouying
Li Guijun Yu Changhui Liu Huawu Yu Huafu Yu Aiping
Yang San Yu Changlan Yu Changmei Yu Kezhi Yu Huiya
Yang Xiaoyan Guo Yixiu Chen Lifang Hu Chuanhua Li Guichuan
Yu Chuncui Mei Daohua Tan Bijun Chen Lingying Fu Zhongtao
Cheng Liming Cheng Qingling Li Guirui Li Keying Yu Kuiguang
Cao Shangzhen Xu Zhangwen Yang Yiwen Yan Yonggui Chen Zhiwen
Yang Guangxiong Yang Wei Li Shouguang Li Chunyuan Fan Yanhua
Chen Haifeng Yu Xinying Zhang Anping Li Shuiyuan Tang Caihua
Ban Guorong Gong Jingmei Chen Aihong Zhou Yuanfang Yang Jiaojiao
Huang Taofang Liu Zigui Chen Guohua Chen Xueying Xiong Anhong


Xiong Anxiu Xing Anxiang Huo Furong Du Xiangfa Kong Xiaoyan
Xiong Anhua Xiong Anmei Xiong Anju Xiong Xiaoguang Zhang Jingdong
Hu yingping Liu Chaofa Liu Lifang Deng Songping Qian Kebin
Wei Qiuhong Shao Qianjin Xiong Anying Ding Chengxiang Zhao Hai
Dai Xia Huo Ke Xu Xianxiang Li Hongwei Wu Changzhong
Zhu hongping Zhu Xiaoping Peng Guiyang Cheng Chunxiu Zhu Gui'e
Chen Songzhu Qi Zhiyong Yang Jing Liu Jingsheng Li Hai
Wang Guoqi Ni Yulan


Appendix: 29 cases of prisoners of conscience and victims of unfair procedures

Yao Fuxin, male, 55. A factory worker at Liaoyang City Steel Mill and an activist for labor rights. Arrested for "illegal demonstrations and protests with others" after joining Liaoyang workers in a strike on March 29, 2002. On June 25, 2003, the Supreme Court of Liaoning Province affirmed a lower court's decision to sentence him to seven years imprisonment and three years of deprivation of political rights for "subversion of the government." He is now imprisoned at the No. 2 Prison in Linyuan City, Liaoning Province.

Shi Tao, male, 37. A freelance writer, and before that a journalist, arrested on December 14, 2004. On June 2, 2005, the Supreme Court of Hunan Province affirmed a lower court's decision to sentence him to 10 years imprisonment and two years of deprivation of political rights for "illegal supply of state secrets." Currently imprisoned at the Dispatching Center of the Prison Management Agency of Hunan Province.

Zhao Yan, male, 43. A researcher formerly working at the Beijing bureau of The New York Times. On October 20, 2004, he was arrested on charges of fraud and of "suspicion of providing state secrets to an overseas organization." He has not been tried and is now confined at a detention center of the Beijing State Security Agency.

Yu Huafeng, male, 37. Former deputy editor-in-chief and general manager of The Southern Metropolitan News. He was arrested on January 14, 2004. On June 15, 2004, the Intermediate Court of Guangzhou City sentenced him to eight years in prison and fines of RBM 50,000 on unsubstantiated charges of "embezzlement" and "bribery." On July 20, 2005, the Supreme Court of Guangdong Province refused to hear his appeal. He is now imprisoned at Guangdong Panyu Prison.

Li Minying, male, 60. Founder and former editor-in-chief of The Southern Metropolitan News. Arrested on January 15, 2004, and on June 15, 2004, sentenced by the Intermediate Court of Guangzhou City to six years imprisonment and fines of RMB 100,000 on unsubstantiated charges of "accepting bribes." He is now imprisoned at Guangdong Panyu Prison.

Zhu Jiuhu, male, 39. An attorney at Beijing Jietong Law Offices and litigator on behalf of Shangbei Petro Enterprises. Arrested on June 22, 2005 after agreeing to represent this client in a lawsuit. His alleged crimes were "suspicion of gathering people to disturb social order" and "illegal demonstration." He is now confined at Shanxi Jinbian Detention Center.

Zheng Enchong, male, 55. Formerly an attorney. Arrested on June 18, 2003 for "illegally providing state secrets to overseas interests." On December 28, 2003, the Supreme Court of Shanghai City affirmed a lower court's decision finding him guilty of this charge and sentencing him to three years of imprisonment and one year of deprivation of political rights. He is now imprisoned at Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai City.

Zhang Lin, male, 42. Freelance writer. Arrested on March 19, 2005 for items he had published on the Internet. On July 28, 2005, the Intermediate Court of Bengbu City sentenced him to five years of imprisonment and four years of deprivation of political rights for "instigating subversion of the government." He is now confined at the No. 1 Prison of Bengbu City.

Li Jianping, male, 39. Freelance writer and Chair of the Board of The Medical Equipment Company. Arrested on June 30, 2005 for publishing on an overseas website. His alleged "crime" was "suspicion of libel." He has not been tried, and is now confined at a detention center in Zibo City, Shandong Province.

Zheng Yichun, male, 46. Freelance writer and poet. Arrested on December 31, 2004 for publication on the Internet. On July 21, 2005, the Intermediate Court of Yingkou City tried him on charges of "instigating subversion of the government." He is yet to be sentenced and now confined at the No.1 Prison of Panjing City.

Huang Jinqiu, male, 31. Freelance writer. Arrested on January 9, 2001 for writing and posting articles on the Internet criticizing the government and calling for organizing "Chinese Patriotic Democratic Party." On December 9, 2004, Jiangsu Province Supreme Court ruled to uphold the lower court's verdict of sentencing him to 12 years imprisonment and 4 years deprivation of political rights on the charge of "Sedition to overthrow the govern-ment." Currently imprisoned at Pukou Prison in Nanjing Municipality, Jiangsu province.

Ma Xiaoming, male, 54. Former reporter and employee of the public TV station of Shanxi. Put under administrative detention on 12 April 2005 after getting into a fight with local traffic police. He was sentenced to one year in Re-education Through Labour camp by the Xian Municipal RTL Management Committee for interference with public function. Now held at Xian Xinzhou Re-education Through Labour Camp.

Xu Wanping, male, 44. Freelance writer. Arrested on May 24, 2005, for writing and posting articles on the Internet. He is being charged with "suspected subversion of the government" without trial. Detained at the Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau's detention center.

Zhang Zhengyao, male, 57. Unemployed. Arrested on October 15, 2004, for distributing articles and on suspicion of sedition to subvert the government. On December 24, 2004, he was sentenced to 3 years in jail on charge of libel by the Jinshui District Court of Zhengzhou Municipality, Henan Province. Now detained at Zhengzhou Municipal No. 1 Detention Center.

Zhang Ruquan, male, 70. Retired worker. House arrested by Zhengzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau on suspicion of inciting to subvert the government for writing articles. On January 31, 2005, he was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment on charge of libel by local court and the Henan Province Zhengzhou Municipal Intermediate Court upheld the verdict. Due to his illness, he was allowed to serve the sentence outside the prison on May 8, 2005.

Yang Zili, male, 34. Freelance writer and software developer. Arrested on April 20, 2001, for joining the New Youth Study Association, founded by Xu Wei, Jin Haike, Zhang Honghai and others, and for setting up the website of "Yangzi Home of Ideas" (Yangzi de sixiang jiayuan). He was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment and 2 years deprivation of political rights on charge of subversion to overthrow the government and the verdict was upheld by the Beijing Municipal Supreme Court on November 10, 2003. Now jailed at the Beijing No. 2 Prison.

Zhang Honghai, male, 32. Freelance writer. Arrested on April 20, 2001, for co-founding the New Youth Study Association with Xu Wei and Jin Haike and for publicizing writings on the Internet. He was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment and 2 years deprivation of political rights on charge of subversion to overthrow the government and the verdict was upheld by the Beijing Municipal Supreme Court on November 10, 2003. Now held in the Zhejiang Province No. 1 Prison.

Xu Wei, male, 31. Reporter and Editor. Arrested on April 20, 2001, for co-founding, with Zhang Honghai and Jin Haike, and taking charge as the chief executive of, the New Youth Study Association, and for publicizing writings on the Internet. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 2 years deprivation of political rights on charge of subversion to overthrow the government and the verdict was upheld by the Beijing Municipal Supreme Court on November 10, 2003. Now jailed at the Beijing No. 2 Prison.

Jin Haike, male, 29. Freelance writer. Arrested on April 20, 2001, for co-founding the New Youth Study Association with Xu Wei and Zhang Honghai and for publicizing writings on the Internet. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 2 years deprivation of political rights on charge of subversion to overthrow the government and the verdict was upheld by the Beijing Municipal Supreme Court on November 10, 2003. Now jailed at the Beijing No. 2 Prison.

Luo Yongzhong, male, 37. Person with disability. Small private food store owner and freelance writer. Arrested on July 7, 2003, for posting articles on the Internet criticizing the government. He was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and 2 years deprivation of political rights on charge of sedition to overthrow the government and the verdict was upheld by the Jilin Province Supreme Court. Now jailed at the Changchun Tiebei Prison in Jilin Province.

Cai Lujun, male, 37. Owner of an export company and freelance writer. Arrested on April 8, 2003, for setting up "Chinese Alliance for Freedom and Democracy" on the website "Crossing the Ocean Strait, and for posting articles online and downloading, copying, and disseminating Internet articles. On August 9, 2004, after he filed appeal, he was re-tried and once again sentenced to three years in jail and one year deprivation of political rights by the Hebei province Shijiazhuang Municipal Intermediate Court for the crime of inciting to overthrow the state. He is now imprisoned at the Shijiazhuang Municipal Zhengding Detention Center (formerly the No. 1 Detention Center).

Cai Zhuohua, male, 34. Manager of the Beijing Maizi Culture and Arts Company (Beijing maizi wenhua yishu gongsi) and leader of a Christian family church. On October 20, 2004, he was arrested for printing and distributing the Bible and other religious books to family churches in China, which he was entrusted to do by the International Bible Association. His wife, Xiao Yunfei, his brother-in-law, Xiao Gaowen, and Xiao Gaowen's wife, Hu Jinyun, were also arrested. On July 7, 2005, they had a first hearing in the Beijing Haidian District Court on charge of illegal business without verdict. They are being detained in Qinghe Detention Center, Haidian District, Beijing.

Gong Shengliang, male, 53. Leader of Christian family churches in southern China, and a third-generation Christian believer, who started missionary work during the last years of the Cultural Revolution. He was arrested on August 8, 2001 in Jingmen City, Hubei Province. On December 25, 2001, he was sentenced to death and deprivation of political right for life by the Jingmen Municipal People's Intermediate Court on charges of destructing national legal facility through cult activities, willful damage of property, intentional physical injury and rape. After he filed appeal, the Hubei Province Supreme Court ruled that the sentence of death penalty verdict lacked evidence and his case was sent back for re-trial. On October 10, 2002, Jingmen Municipal Intermediate Court re-sentenced him for life in prison. He is jailed at Jingzhou Prison in Hubei Province. During the same period, 16 other leaders of Christian family churches in southern China were also sentenced. They received various sentences for imprisonment. (Among them two were sentenced for life in prison.)

Lin Zhangwang, male, 42. Farmer. On April 30, 2005, he was arrested on suspicion of committing the crime of illegal occupancy of agricultural land. He has not been tried. He is still detained at the Longquan Municipal Detention Center. (He was elected director of village committee, village chief, while in detention.)

Fang Chunping, male, 28, farmer; Huang Zhiqiang, male, 32, farmer; Cheng Lihe, male, 28, farmer; Cheng Fagen, male, 37, carpenter. These four people were arrested on June 19, 2002, for suspicion of committing crimes of robbery, rape and intentional homicide. All defendants stated that they were tortured to extract confession. Although all the defense lawyers and the Jiangxi Province Supreme Court agreed that this case lacked clear facts and sufficient evidence, on November 18, 2004, the Jingdezhen Municipal Intermediate Court re-sentenced them to death, deprivation of political rights for life, and confiscation of personal properties on the same charges. They are now jailed in the Leping Municipal Detention Center.

Chen Guoqing, male, 36, farmer, arrested on January 9, 1996, for robbery; Yang Shiliang, male, 39, driver, arrested on January 10, 1996, for robbery; He Guoqiang, male, 33, farmer, arrested on January 12, 1996, for robbery; Zhu Yanqiang, male, 32, arrested on February 24, 1996, for robbery. These four persons were tortured and confessed to the crime. Although the defense lawyer provided a strong alibi for the accused and proved them not guilty, the four were sentenced to death for robbery by the Chengde Municipal Intermediate Court in the first trial. Thereafter, the Hebei Province Supreme Court sent the case back three times for retrial. However, after handing out the same verdict twice, on the 4th trail, Chen Guoqing and Yang Shiliang were again sentenced to death, He Guoqiang to death sentence with delayed execution, Zhu Yanqiang to life in prison. On March 26, 2004, the Hebei Province Supreme Court ruled that Chen Guoqing, Yang Shiliang and He Guoqiang were sentenced to death sentence with delayed execution and Zhu Yanqiang to life in prison.

Feng Xiaoyuan, male, 64. Rights defender, chief representative of a lawsuit filed by share holders of privatized oil fields in Jinbian County, northern Shanxi Province. Arrested on June 22, 2005, for taking part in the lawsuit and engaging in dialogue with government officials (trying to solve the dispute out of court). He was charged with the crime of "suspected disturbance of social order." He has not been tried. Detained at the Dingbian Detention Center.

Ye Guozhu, male, 50. Rights defender. Arrested on September 15, 2004, for petitioning the government to address grievances. On February 2, 2005, the No. 2 Beijing Municipal Intermediate Court rejected his appeal and handed down the final verdict of sentencing him to 4-year in jail for "picking quarrels and stirring trouble." He is imprisoned at the Tianjin Cha Dian Qing Yuan Prison.

Ma Yalian, female, 42 years old. Rights defender, employee of the Shanghai Tools Company. On February 19, 2004, she was arrested for petitioning the government to address grievances involved in forced housing eviction. On March 16, 2004, the Shanghai Reform Through Labor Management Committee ruled to send her to Reeducation through Labor camp for one year and six months for disturbing social security and order. She was etained at the Huangpu District Detention Center in Shanghai and was released after serving full term at the RTL on August 19, 2005.


CC: [email protected]
[email protected]
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[email protected]


For more information, please contact:

Li Jian 李. 琾hone:0411-87530776 13683084264 Email:[email protected]
Wang Yi 王怡, phone:028-86471173 13094477103 Email:[email protected]

More Information about Contacts:

Li Jian,41, male, activist. No. of Identity Card:230603196404062358 Address:Apartment No. 501, Unit 2, Building 21, Hongmei District, Dalian Development Region, Liaoning Province, PRC 116600

Wang Yi,32, male, university profession. No. of Identity Card:510722197306018819 Address: Apartment 2-13-6, 2 Upper South Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, PRC 610041 (boxun.com)

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