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Citizen Activists on Trial 2013-2014: Schedule/Status and Essays

Updated: May 8, 2015

Starting in late 2013, a number of citizen activists, many of whom were involved in the New Citizens Movement and actively campaigning for official asset transparency, were put on trial in Beijing and Guangdong. The numerous detentions and trials of citizen activists demonstrate a trend of intensifying crackdown on citizen activism, particularly in relation to official asset transparency and corruption. Below is a regularly updated HRIC compilation of trial schedules and statuses, as well as related statements and essays. 

See also: Restrictions, Detentions, Disappearances, Arrests before and beyond June 4, 2014

Trial Schedule and Status

2014

Fri, Nov 28

Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄), also known as Yang Maodong (杨茂东), and Sun Desheng (孙德胜)

Guangzhou Municipal Tianhe District People’s Court (广州市天河区法院 )

Charge: gathering crowds to disrupt order in public places

The charge against Guo stemmed from his involvement in street actions in January 2013 to support the protest by Southern Weekly’s staff against editorial interference by Party officials. In addition, Guo and Sun are accused of planning “raising signs in the street” in eight cities in 2013. The nearly 18-hour trial ended without verdicts for the defendants.

For more detail see: Rights Activist Guo Feixiong’s Trial Ends without Verdict

Tues, Aug  5

Liu Ping (刘萍) , Wei Zhongping (魏忠平), and Li Sihua (李思华)

The Xinyu Intermediate People’s Court upheld the first-instance verdicts.

  • Liu Ping (刘萍) and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平) were sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” (寻衅滋事), “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序), and “using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement” (利用邪教组织破坏法律实施).
  • Li Sihua (李思华) was sentenced to three years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” (寻衅滋事).

For more details, see: Harsh Prison Terms for Advocates Undermine Official Anti-Corruption Efforts

Fri, July 18

Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜) ,  Li Wei (李蔚)

The Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court upheld the first-instance verdicts.

Both were convicted of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序) by the Beijing Municipal Haidian District Court on April 18 and received the following prison sentences:

For more information, see: Court Upholds Prison Sentences for Two Citizen Activists

Mon, July 14

Li Yufang (李玉芳)

The Yangpu District People's Court in Shanghai convicted the Shanghai petitioner of “obstructing office business” (妨害公务罪) and sentenced her t one year in prison.

Upon hearing the verdict, Li shouted: “I am innocent, down with corruption, down with the Yangpu district court.” Li’s husband believed the verdict is a reprisal against Li's ongoing petitioning over the years.

For more information, see:  Shanghai Petitioner Li Yufang Convicted, Sentenced to One Year

Fri, June 27

Zhao Changqing (赵常青), Zhang Baocheng (张宝成)

Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court upheld the first-instance verdicts.

Both were convicted of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序) by the Beijing Municipal Haidian District Court on April 18, 2014 and received the following prison sentences:

Thurs, June 18

 

Yushui District People’s Court in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province convicted three asset transparency advocates:

  • Liu Ping (刘萍) and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平) were sentenced to six and a half years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” (寻衅滋事), “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序), and “using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement” (利用邪教组织破坏法律实施).
  • Li Sihua (李思华) was sentenced to three years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” (寻衅滋事).

The families have decided to appeal. See more details on their conviction.

For more information, see December 3-5, 2013 entry below.

Fri, April 18

Beijing Municipal Haidian District Court

All convicted of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序) and received the following prison sentences:

Lawyers for Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing, and Zhang Baocheng said their clients will appeal.

Wed, April 16

Yuan Dong (袁冬)

The Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court upheld the first-instance verdict.

Yuan was originally tried on January 27. He was convicted and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place on January 29.

See January 27 below for details.

Fri, April 11

Xu Zhiyong (许志永)

Beijing Higher People’s Court upheld the first-instance trial verdict of four years' imprisonment.

After the judge stated the reasons for rejecting his appeal, Xu Zhiyong said: "This absurd judgment cannot stop the tide of human civilization from moving forward. The shadow of authoritarianism will fade, and the light of freedom, justice and love will shine on all of China." (Source: http://xgmyd.com/archives/1907; translation by HRIC.) “Citizen Xu Zhiyong’s Statement at Second-Instance Trial - A Free Soul Imprisoned” 

See details below.

Thurs, April  10

Zhao Changqing (赵常青)

Beijing Municipal Haidian District Court

Charge: gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.

Trial concluded without a verdict. Zhao’s lawyer Zhang Peihong argues in defense statement that the acts for which Zhao has been indicted are lawful and normal expression of grievances and demands, and the court has confused these acts with crimes. Zhang also stated that his client was never at the scene during any of the public demonstrations, let alone acted as a "mastermind." (Original trial on January 23 was adjourned after Zhao dismissed lawyers in protest of procedural problems.)

Wed, April9

Tues, April 8

Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜)Li Wei (李蔚)

Charge:  gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.

Original trial on January 27 was adjourned after following the dismissal or withdrawal of defense counsel.

April 8. Trial did not conclude, continued on April 9.

Heavy police presence outside the court. At least five supporters were reportedly taken away after they tried to attend the trial, unfurled banners, or shouted slogans supporting Ding Jiaxi. Foreign diplomats attempted to enter but were told: "criminal cases are not open to observers." Police stopped Ding’s lawyer Sui Muqing from giving a press interview. Sui said he was punched twice by the police.

Li Wei's parents attended the trial. None of Ding Jiaxi’s friends were allowed to observe the trial even though there were still empty seats. The judge did not allow any prosecution or defense witnesses to testify.

April 9. Trial concluded without a verdict.

One of Ding Jiaxi’s lawyers, Sui Muqing, and one of Li Wei’s lawyers, Jiang Yuanmin, left the court in protest of procedural issues.

Zhang Keke, Ding’s other lawyer, and Chang Weiping, Li Wei’s other lawyer, stayed through the proceeding. (HRIC sources)

From Ding Jiaxi’s final statement: “I want to be a citizen who has an opinion and a voice. I want to be a butterfly. The incessant fluttering of the wings of butterflies will certainly fan the wind of social transformation.” 

Zhang Baocheng (张宝成)

Charge:  gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.

Original trial on January 27 was adjourned after Zhang dismissed his lawyers in protest of procedural problems.

Trial concluded on April 8 without a verdict. (HRIC sources)

Mon, Jan 27

Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜), Li Wei (李蔚)

Haidian District Court, Courtroom #2

Charge:  gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.

Trial adjourned after Ding and Li dismissed lawyers in protest of procedural problems, and one of Ding’s lawyers withdrew also in protest of procedural problems.

Zhang Baocheng (张宝成)Yuan Dong (袁冬)

Haidian District Court, Courtroom #3

Charge:  gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.

Zhang’s trial adjourned after he dismissed his lawyers in protest of procedural problems.

Yuan retained his defense counsel and was convicted of gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment on January 29.

Fri, Jan 24

Liu Yuandong (刘远东)

Tianhe District People’s Court, Guangzhou, Guangdong

Charges:

1.gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place

2.false declaration of registered capital ().

Sentenced to three years in prison; completed sentence and released March 10, 2016.

Thurs, Jan 23

Zhao Changqing (赵常青)

Beijing Municipal Haidian District Court

Charge: gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.

Trial adjourned after Zhao dismissed lawyers in protest of procedural problems.

Hou Xin (侯欣)

Charged with and convicted of gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place. Not sentenced to criminal punishment.

Wed, Jan 22

Xu Zhiyong (许志永)

Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court

Charged with and convicted of gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序). Sentenced to four years' imprisonment.

Ruling of second instance trial expected on April 11, 2014.

Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court upheld the first-instance trial verdict and sentence of four years' imprisonment, April 11, 2014.

2013

Tue, Dec 3-Thu, Dec 5

Liu Ping (刘萍), Wei Zhongping (魏忠平), and Li Sihua (李思华)

Yushui District People’s Court in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province

Trial concluded without a verdict.

  • Liu Ping and Wei Zhongping

Charges (3): “illegal assembly” (非法集会), “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序), and “using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement” (利用邪教组织破坏法律实施).

  • Li Sihua (李思华)

Charge: “illegal assembly”

Original trial on October 28 was adjourned after the defendants and their families terminated the client-lawyer relationship in protest of the court’s failure to guarantee the lawyers’ rights to defend the accused.

Essays by and About Citizen Activists on Trial

(Unless otherwise noted, the items listed below are published by HRIC.)


Clockwise from upper left: Liu Yuandong (刘远东), Zhao Changqing (赵常青), Xu Zhiyong (许志永), Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜), Yuan Dong (袁冬), Hou Xin (侯欣), Li Wei (李蔚), Zhang Baocheng (张宝成).

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