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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)


公眾知​​情權 司法公正 行政拘留 任意羈押 公示財產 雙邊對話
黑監獄 書評 商業與人權 審查 兒童 中國法
翻牆技術 公民行動 公民記者 公民參與 民間社會 中國共產黨
消費者安全 腐敗 反恐 向強權說“不!” 文革 文化之角
時政述評 網絡安全 社會民生 民主和政治改革 拆遷 異議人士
教育 被迫失踪 環境 少數民族 歐盟-中國 計劃生育
農民 結社自由 言論自由 新聞自由 信仰自由 政府問責
政策法規 施政透明 Heilongjiang Lawyers’ Detention 歷史鉤沉 香港 軟禁
戶口 人權理事會 人權動態 思想爭鳴 非法搜查和拘留 煽動顛覆國家政權
信息控制 信息技術 信息、通信、技術 公民權利和政治權利國際公約 國際人權 國際關係
國際窗口 互聯網 互聯網治理 司法改革 六四 綁架
勞改場 勞工權利 土地、財產、房屋 律師權責 律師 法律制度
法律天地 國內來信 重大事件(環境污染、食品安全、事故等) 毛澤東 微博 全國人大
新公民運動 非政府組織 奧運 網上行動 政府信息公開 人物報導
警察暴行 司法評述 政治犯 政治 良心犯 宣傳
抗議和請願 公開呼籲 公共安全 種族歧視 勞動教養 維權人士
維權 法治 特別專題 國家賠償 國家秘密 國家安全
顛覆國家政權 監控 科技 思想/理論 天安門母親 西藏
酷刑 典型案例 聯合國 維吾爾族人 弱勢群體 婦女
青年 青年視野