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HRIC Translation: Annotated Excerpts from Hu Shigen and Zhou Shifeng's Trial Transcripts


In the first week of August 2016, the Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People's Court tried and convicted one rights lawyer and three activists of “subversion of state power.” They were Zhai Yanmin (翟岩民), a law firm employee; Hu Shigen (胡石根), a democracy and religious freedom activist; Zhou Shifeng (周世鋒), a lawyer and law firm director; and Gou Hongguo (勾洪国), a rights activist. 

Although Chinese law specifies punishment for the crime of “subversion of state power” (颠覆国家政权罪), it does not define the acts that constitute the crime:

Among those who organize, plot or carry out the scheme of subverting the State power or overthrowing the socialist system, the ringleaders and the others who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years . . . . (Criminal Law, art 105(1))

But as these trials unfolded, “edited transcripts” released by the official Xinhua News Agency provided a glimpse of what the prosecution and the court considered to be acts of “subversion”: these acts can be no more than a discussion over lunch about social change and about how lawyers can help defend the rights of workers.

(From the trial transcript of Hu Shigen)


2) On February 1, 2015, defendant Hu Shigen went to a lunch gathering attended by 15 people, including Zhou Shifeng, Li Heping, and Zhai Yanmin at Qiweishao restaurant in Chaoyang District, Beijing, at which they discussed topics revolved around “how lawyers might get involved in the labor movement” and “how lawyers can get involved in sensitive case incidents,” etc. Hu Shigen put forward three major elements for the transformation of the state: “a strengthened citizenry, a split within the ruling party, and the intervention of international society,” along with the five major programs for the construction of a future state: “transformation, nation-building, people’s livelihoods, remuneration, and punishment,” and actively planned for the subversion of state power.

. . .

This court holds that defendant Hu Shigen organized, planned, and carried out subversion of state power and overthrowing of the socialist system, and his actions violated article 105(1) of the Criminal Law . . . .

HRIC has selected, annotated, and translated excerpts from the official “edited transcripts” in order to provide English readers with a closer view of an episode in a judicial process where the exercise of fundamental rights of citizens, protected by the Chinese Constitution and international law, may be judged to be serious crimes. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China states that citizens of the PRC “enjoy freedom of speech, . . . of assembly, of association” (art. 35), rights that are enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As a signatory to the Covenant, China has the obligation to act in good faith and not defeat the purpose of the ICCPR by undermining such rights.

Individuals Officially Arrested but Not Yet Tried

Subversion of state power

  1. Wang Quanzhang (王全璋)
  2. Li Heping (李和平)
  3. Li Chunfu (李春富)
  4. Liu Sixin (刘四新)
  5. Liu Yongping (刘永平)
  6. Wu Gan (吴淦) (aka Tufu屠夫)

Inciting subversion of state power

  1. Xie Yanyi (谢燕益)
  2. Xie Yang (谢阳)
  3. Bao Longjun (包龙军)
  4. Lin Bin (林斌) (aka Monk Wang Yun (望云和尚))

Gathering a crowd to disturb public order

  1. Liu Xing (刘星 ) (aka Laodao (老道))
  2. Li Yanjun (李燕军)
  3. Yao Jianqing (姚建清)

Picking quarrels and provoking trouble

  1. Yin Xu’an (尹旭安)
  2. Wang Fang (王芳 )
  3. Zhang Weihong (张卫红 (aka Zhang Wanhe (张皖荷))

Organizing people to secretly cross national borders

  1. Xing Qingxian (幸清贤)
  2. Tang Zhishun (唐志顺)


公众知情权 司法公正 行政拘留 任意羁押 公示财产 双边对话
黑监狱 书评 商业与人权 审查 儿童 中国法
翻墙技术 公民行动 公民记者 公民参与 民间社会 中国共产党
消费者安全 腐败 反恐 向强权说“不!” 文革 文化之角
时政述评 网络安全 社会民生 民主和政治改革 拆迁 异议人士
教育 被迫失踪 环境 少数民族 欧盟-中国 计划生育
农民 结社自由 言论自由 新闻自由 信仰自由 政府问责
政策法规 施政透明 Heilongjiang Lawyers’ Detention 历史钩沉 香港 软禁
户口 人权理事会 人权动态 思想争鸣 非法搜查和拘留 煽动颠覆国家政权
信息控制 信息技术 信息、通信、技术 公民权利和政治权利国际公约 国际人权 国际关系
国际窗口 互联网 互联网治理 司法改革 六四 绑架
劳改场 劳工权利 土地、财产、房屋 律师权责 律师 法律制度
法律天地 国内来信 重大事件(环境污染、食品安全、事故等) 毛泽东 微博 全国人大
新公民运动 非政府组织 奥运 网上行动 政府信息公开 人物报道
警察暴行 司法评述 政治犯 政治 良心犯 宣传
抗议和请愿 公开呼吁 公共安全 种族歧视 劳动教养 维权人士
维权 法治 特别专题 国际赔偿 国家秘密 国家安全
颠覆国家政权 监控 科技 思想/理论 天安门母亲 西藏
酷刑 典型案例 联合国 维吾尔族人 弱势群体 妇女
青年 青年视野