Human Rights in China has learned that rights activist Huang Qi (黄琦) has been denied access to legal counsel after more than 2 weeks in detention. Huang, who travelled to the Sichuan earthquake zone and published news about the plight of parents who lost children in the disaster, was detained by authorities on June 10, 2008.
On June 23, Huang Qi's lawyer Ding Xikui (丁锡奎) filed an application with the Chengdu public security authorities requesting permission to meet with his client. On June 24, when Huang's wife Zeng Li (曾丽) and lawyer Ding went to the Chengdu public security authorities to follow up on the application, they were handed a decision dated June 23, which stated: "because this case involves state secrets [国家秘密] and Huang Qi illegally holding state secrets, in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China [中华人民共和国刑事诉讼法], Article 96, para. 2, the application of Ding Xikui to meet with criminal suspect Huang Qi is denied."
Lawyer Ding argued that the revised Lawyer's Law (律师法) (effective June 1, 2008) provides that lawyers have the right to meet with a criminal suspect or defendant in detention without first obtaining official permission. The authorities insisted that because this case involves state secrets, permission to meet with the client is denied.
Huang's wife and mother have also been harassed by police, who have searched their residence repeatedly since Huang's detention. Moreover, at the request of the police, Huang's landlord asked the family to move out of their apartment, which had been rented by Huang's organization. Huang's organization, which maintains the website 64tianwang (http://www.64tianwang.com), has been shut down since Monday, June 23.
For more information about Huang Qi, see:
For more information on the revised Lawyer's Law, see:
For more information about China's state secrets system, see: