Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), a well-known rights defender from Beijing, was released in the early morning of December 20 from the Chaoyang District Detention Center in Beijing, where she completed a nine-month sentence for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” Wang’s son Qi Jianxiang (齐健翔) posted a public message on Twitter Tuesday asking that those planning to greet Wang outside the detention center not go there, saying that Wang is temporarily staying “another place to recuperate for a couple of days” (暂时在别处静养一两天).
Wang began her rights defense activities after her retirement, advocating for women’s rights and the rights of vulnerable groups. Wang won respect in the rights defense community and is called “Elder sister” by many.
She was detained on March 21, 2011, tried by the Chaoyang District People’s Court of Beijing on August 12, and convicted on September 9. The prosecution’s charge was based on Wang’s role in organizing a protest outside a courthouse in Fujian on April 16, 2010, where the “Three Netizens,” Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), You Jingyou (游精佑), and Wu Huaying (吴华英), were tried after they helped expose a police cover-up of a rape and a murder. The government alleged that the protest resulted in disorder inside the courtroom and traffic confusion in the area.
Wang is one of six activists and rights defenders HRIC features in the 2011 no. 3 issue of China Rights Forum.
A day earlier, on December 19, 2011, dissident Zheng Yichun (郑贻春) was released from Nanshan Prison in Jinzhou, Liaoning Province, after completing a seven-year sentence for “inciting subversion of state power.” He is subjected to post-release deprivation of political rights for three years. According to reliable sources, public security authorities told Zheng’s family members that they are not allowed to accept overseas interviews.
Zheng is a writer and poet, and worked as an English teacher. In 1989, his teaching position at the Liaoning Economic Management Cadre Institute was terminated because of his participation in the 1989 Democracy Movement in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. He was detained in December 2004, and convicted by the Yinkou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court of Liaoning Province in September 2005. Zheng is a recipient of the 2005 Rainer-Hildebrandt-Medaille human rights award from the International Society for Human Rights (Internationalen Gesellschaft fur Menschenrechte).
Earlier, on October 10, 2011, Hunan dissident Bo Xiaomao (柏小毛) was released after serving a 12-year prison term for “inciting subversion of state power.” He is subjected to four years of post-release deprivation of political rights. He was arrested in October 1999, after his attempt to establish the Hunan branch of the now-banned China Democracy Party, and was convicted by the Chenzhou District Intermediate People’s Court of Hunan Province. A former worker at the Zixing Mining Affairs Bureau in Hunan, Bo was previously sentenced to seven years of imprisonment on conviction of “counterrevolutionary” activities following his participation in the 1989 Democracy Movement, and was released in 1995.
For more information on Wang Lihong, see:
- “Wang Lihong—Rights Defender,” China Rights Forum, 2011, no.3
- “Rights Defender Wang Lihong Sentenced to Nine Months,” September 9, 2011
- “Lawyers Report Procedural Irregularities at Trial of Rights Activist Wang Lihong,” August 13, 2011
- Defense Statement for Wang Lihong (in Chinese)
- Wang Lihong’s Criminal Verdict (in Chinese)
- Let the Sun Shine on the Ground, a documentary about Wang Lihong’s case produced by Ai Xiaoming
For more information on Zheng Yichun, see:
- Monthly Brief: March 2005, March 31, 2005
- Zheng Yichun, “Cutting the Devil’s Tail: On Du Daobin’s Literary Inquisition,” China Rights Forum, 2004, no. 3