Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned from an informed source that in the past few months, all members of the Guizhou Human Rights Symposium have been harassed and placed under surveillance by authorities, and their communications with the outside world has also been cut. The source believes that the strict control measures are being taken in preparation for the upcoming 18th Party Congress this autumn, and has been told by the police that the monitoring will be in place until after the conclusion of the Party congress.
Press reports say that at a June 16 seminar, Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu (孟建柱) exhorted heads of public security departments across China to wage a clean-up campaign before the Party congress. He is quoted as saying, “With the strength of the public security organs and the collective wisdom of the people’s police, we will be resolute in winning this battle and guarantee water-right security for the 18th Party Congress” (举全国公安机关之力、集全国公安民警之智，坚决打赢这场硬仗，确保党的十八大安保工作万无一失).
The source provided the following information:
- Li Renke (李仁科) was taken by police on a “trip” on June 24; he has not returned.
- Wu Yuqin (吴玉琴) and her husband Liao Shuangyuan (廖双元) were taken by police on a “trip” on July 7 and have not returned.
- Mi Chongbiao (糜崇彪), in his 70s, was detained by police on May 28 when he went with friends to People’s Square in Guiyang to publically commemorate the upcoming anniversary of June Fourth. He was held for 40 days before being released on July 8. Immediately following his release, Mi was told that he would be held under residential surveillance at home for six months.
- Huang Yanming (黄燕明) has been under police surveillance since June. Police now follow him whenever he goes out.
- Lu Yongxiang (卢勇祥), ill and unable to go out, has been placed under round-the-clock surveillance by domestic security officers stationed at his home of. Calls to his home were answered by a domestic security officer. The phone was later shut off.
- Other members of the Guizhou Human Rights Symposium are under monitoring at home and are not permitted outside contact.
Family members of the Guizhou activists have also reportedly come under pressure from authorities. Zhang Qunxuan (张群选) and Chen Renjie (陈仁杰), the wife and daughter of Chen Xi (陈西), Guizhou rights activist and Charter 08 signer, have been under strict surveillance by the police since around the June Fourth anniversary this year. A patrol car is stationed outside their home, and police follow Chen Renjie when she goes to work. Their phone works only intermittently and is tapped by the police. Chen Xi is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence after being convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” on December 26, 2011.
For more information on rights defenders in Guizhou, see:
- Lu Yongxiang, “Democracy Activists in Guizhou Publicly Commemorate June Fourth,” May 28, 2012 (Chinese only)
- “Veteran Guizhou Activist Chen Xi Sentenced to Ten Years,” December 26, 2011
- Lu Yongxiang, “Why Is Chen Xi Charged a Criminal?,” December 23, 2011 (Chinese only)
- Mi Chongbiao, “If Chen Xi Is Guilty, Then So Am I,” December 23, 2011 (Chinese only)
- “Guizhou Authorities Suppress Activities to Commemorate June Fourth,” June 2, 2010
- “Rights Activists Illegally Held, Harassed Before Human Rights Day,” December 8, 2009
- “Two Guizhou Rights Activists Detained,” December 5, 2008
- “Guizhou Police Threaten Rights Group over Commemoration of 60th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” November 13, 2008
- “Human Rights Situation in China Worsens as Bush Calls for a More Open Society,” August 7, 2008
- “Rights Crackdown Intensifies a Month before the Games,” July 8, 2008
- “Activist Issues Statement Urging International Attention to Ban of Human Rights Day in Guizhou,” January 25, 2008