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June 2006

June 30, 2006

The information contained in this summary is based on information collected by HRIC in June and is not intended as a complete list. Rather, it should be viewed as a representation of larger trends of dissent and repression in China.

Labor

Media Censorship

Petitions and Protests

Human Rights Defenders

Death Penalty


Labor

Disasters
At least 16 workers were killed following an explosion at a chemical plant in Anhui Province on June 16. The blast occurred at 3:09 PM at the Dun'an Chemical Group Co., Ltd., according to a provincial official. In addition to those killed, many more workers were injured, and as of June 18, 24 were being treated at local hospitals.[1]

Six maintenance workers were poisoned by a gas leak while repairing underground gas pipelines in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province on the afternoon of June 22. The workers, employed by the Hangzhou Gas Co., Ltd., were still in coma at last report.[2]

Twenty-seven miners died and another 36 were hospitalized following a blast at the Wulong Coal Mine in Liaoning Province on June 28. The mine is operated by the state-owned Fuxin Mining Group, which also owned a mine in which more than 200 people were killed in one of China's worst mining disasters last year.[3]

At the end of June, it was reported that the bodies of 56 coal miners had been recovered from the site of a flooding accident that occurred in May at the Xinjing mine in Shanxi Province.[4]


Media Censorship

Chinese search engines blocked
The search engines of two of mainland China's most popular Web portals—Sohu.com (搜狐) and Sina.com (新浪)—were blocked on June 19, reportedly because they failed to filter certain keywords deemed politically harmful in an on-the-spot censorship test.[5] The two engines were re-opened on June 21, but sensitive terms such as "democracy" and "June 4" are now filtered.[6]

Web sites blocked
A decline in the level of international email traffic between China and overseas was reported in late May and early June. Internet users reported trouble accessing email accounts and online chat servers linked to servers overseas, including Google's Gmail and MSN Hotmail accounts. Also in early June, web surfers in China reported problems accessing Google's main page, http://www.google.com. This page, unlike the Chinese site, http://www.google.cn, had been accessible and uncensored until recently. Problems have ranged from irregular access to continued blockage.[7]

Web site licenses revoked
Beijing authorities revoked the licenses of six Internet Web sites and temporarily shut down 12 others during a 90-day city-wide crackdown, according to a report published on June 8. The Beijing Evening News stated that 35 Web sites and Internet service providers were fined a total of 858,000 yuan for allegedly violating the city's Internet regulations. In total, more than 1,700 Internet cafes were inspected, with 30 shut down and 446 computers confiscated. This follows a campaign launched in Beijing in March to rid the Internet of "unhealthy content."[8]

Fines on reporting
On June 26, state media reported that a draft law currently under consideration by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress would impose fines of $6,250 to $12,500 on media outlets covering "sudden events" without prior authorization from government officials. No definition of "sudden events" was provided, but the law is expected to limit coverage of epidemics, major accidents, demonstrations and other disruptive events. Critics are afraid that the law will be interpreted broadly by local officials to prevent reporting on any incidents considered potentially embarrassing. "The way the draft law stands now it could give too much power to local officials to determine that someone has violated the law," said Yu Guoming, a professor of journalism at People's University in Beijing.[9]

Tightened controls on blogs
The Chinese government on June 30 announced tighter controls on blogs and search engines to block material considered subversive or immoral. "As more and more illegal and unhealthy information spreads through blogs and search engines, we will take effective measures to put BBS, blogs and search engines under control," said Cai Wu, director of the Information Office of China's Cabinet.[10]


Petitions and Protests

Shanghai petitioners detained

  • Police officers from Shanghai's Pudong New District Damuqiao Dispatch Station detained petitioner Chen Enjuan (陈恩娟) and carried out a search of her home on the evening of June 3.
  • On the morning of June 5, Jing'an District police detained petitioner Wei Qin (魏勤) without a warrant, and left her young child at home unattended.
  • In addition, a team of police officers was stationed outside of the home of petitioner Ma Yalian (马亚莲), and she has not been allowed to set foot outside.
  • Also subjected to effective house arrest is petitioner Sun Xicheng (孙喜成), whose door has been barricaded by police.
  • In Changning District, neighborhood security officials placed petitioners Xue Jianguo (薛建国) and Zhu Hua (朱华) under soft detention in the district's Jinghui Hostel.

Land disputes
More than 300 villages in Longgang, Guangdong Province, prevented anti-riot police and other local authorities from entering their village to remove illegal structures on June 8, 2006. The dispute ended peacefully.[11]

Villagers from Shantou City in Guangdong Province protested inadequate land compensation at several construction sites during the month of June. Hundreds of protesters occupied a housing construction site in the Chenghai District and clashed with the police, according to reports in Ming Pao Daily. In nearby Batou Township, protesters forced a work stoppage at a wood-processing plant.[12]

Students riot over diplomas
Students at the Shengda Economics, Trade, and Management College rioted in mid-June when they were told that administrative changes meant that they would graduate with less prestigious diplomas than they expected at enrollment. Shengda College had been affiliated with Zhengzhou University, and many students and parents were willing to pay hefty tuition fees in anticipation of receiving Zhengzhou diplomas. A reported 5,000-10,000 students participated in the riots, during which offices, shops, cars and a bank were damaged by fires and ransacking. The school insists that it acted in accordance with orders issued by the central government.[13]


Human Rights Defenders

Harassed
Dissident writer and former 1989 student movement leader Liu Shui (刘水) was released at the end of May after Shenzhen police detained him on May 29 and questioned him over his research into the system of custody and repatriation. Police told Liu to leave the city before June 1 or "he would get summoned every day."[14]

Zheng Enchong (郑恩宠), was released on June 5 after completing his three-year prison sentence for revealing state secrets, but was placed under de facto house arrest during the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Still under close surveillance, he was allowed to go to the local Public Security dispatch station on June 27 to apply for a new identification card, only to learn that the officer in charge of processing applications was not available. His attempt to submit a complaint about the PS dispatch station at the Shanghai Municipal Government offices was stopped by police, who said that Zheng had no freedom of movement because he was still deprived of his political rights under the terms of his sentence. Without an ID, Zheng is unable to obtain employment. He has also been continually harassed: his telephone line has been cut off, and his neighborhood is surrounded by police.[15]

Fu Xiancai (付先财) was struck from behind by an unknown assailant on June 8 after being questioned by Public Security police in Zigui County, Hubei Province about an interview with Fu broadcasted on a German television station. Paralyzed from the shoulders down by injuries to his vertebrae, Fu did not receive vital surgery until 10 days after the assault, and only then after the German government paid for the surgery. Fu‘s condition has stabilized since June 22, and he has regained limited movement to his arms, but doctors reportedly do not expect him to regain the ability to walk or stand. The attack on Fu was the latest in a string of harassment and threats Fu had suffered over the course of more than a year because of his petitioning on behalf of villagers resettled for the Three Gorges Dam project. An investigation into the attack is being carried out by the same PSB unit that questioned Fu about his interview, and which failed to respond to his earlier reports of harassment.[16]

Shanghai petitioner Liu Xinjuan was forcibly admitted to a mental hospital on June 20 for the fifth time in three years, and the third time this year, following her latest attempt to petition the government in Beijing over forced evictions for urban redevelopment. Sources said hospital officials told Liu's son that she could not be released without the permission of the local Public Security Bureau.[17]

Huang Qi (黄琦), the operator of a democracy Web site that reported on the first official payment of compensation to the family of a June 4th victim, had his apartment lease and office rental contract prematurely terminated twice in June. His landlord was apparently pressured by the authorities to revoke the lease.[18] Huang's blocked website was reopened on June 12, but the controversial report was removed, and a related blog reporting on a land grab was shut down.[19] The Web site was blocked again on June 28 but later reopened.[20]

Arrested
Wang Zaiqing (王在庆), a disabled Protestant house church pastor who published and disseminated Bibles and other Christian publications, was formally arrested by Anhui police for illegal business operations in late May. Another pastor was given a three-year prison term for the same activities under the same charge.[21] At about the same time, 28 Protestant house church members were arrested in Henan, with all but three still in custody as of June 9.[22] Nine more house church members were arrested in Sichuan on June 27.[23]

Guo Qizhen (郭起真) was taken away by police from his Cangzhou, Hebei Province home on May 12 and formally arrested for subversion on June 8. His lawyer believes the arrest is related to his participation in a hunger strike in support of human rights in February.[24]

Tibetans Kayi Doega, Yiga, Sonam Lhamo, Sonam Choetso and Jampa Yangtso were reportedly detained by the Chinese authorities in early June for allegedly handling out leaflets promoting Tibetan independence.[25]

Shandong police confirmed on June 11 that they were holding blind activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚) under criminal detention. It was the first official word on Chen's whereabouts since he was reported detained in March. Chen's wife, Yuan Weijing (袁伟静), who is under house arrest, reported that the charges against Chen included "damaging public property" and "inciting disruption of transport."[26] Chen's lawyer Li Jingsong (李劲松) also reportedly received a death threat through an anonymous phone call[27] and was later beaten by unknown assailants while police watched.[28]

Trial developments
Zhao Yan (赵岩), a freelance writer for the New York Times, was tried on state secrets charges in a closed court session on June 16. The verdict is expected to be announced around July 25.[29]

Tan Kai (谭凯), a leader of the environmental group "Green Watch," went to trial at Hangzhou's Xihu District Court on May 15 on charges of illegally obtaining state secrets. The proceedings were closed to the public, and no verdict was issued at the time. On June 20, the court granted the procuratorate's request for postponement of trial. A court official reportedly told Tan's lawyer, Li Heping, that the defense would be notified later about when the trial would be resumed.

Jailed
Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫), a founding member of the outlawed China Democracy Party, was reportedly being held beyond the anticipated release date of his seven-year prison term. Zhu's family contends that according to the Criminal Law, he should have been released on June 19, but the court has said he will be released on September 15, 2006.[30]

Released
Vatican-appointed bishop Jia Zhiguo (贾志国) was released from prison due to ill health in May. The appointment of the 70-year-old Catholic bishop in 1950 was never recognized by the Chinese authorities. Jia has spent a total of 20 years in prison and has been detained eight times since 2004 for participating in illegal religious activities.[31]


Death Penalty

Violent Crimes
Dan Yanqin (粟艳琴) and Dan Duode (粟多德), a sister and brother accused of setting off a deadly explosion on March 11, 2006, were sentenced to death by an Intermediate People's Court in Guangxi Province on May 29.[32]

Ai Xuqiang (艾绪强), 32, a taxi driver, was sentenced to death for vehicular manslaughter by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court on May 30.[33]

Song Minger (宋鸣儿), a policeman, was sentenced to death for murdering his lover in September 2005 by the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court in Fujian Province around May 31.[34]

Zeng Qijian (曾其健), a senior customs officer, was sentenced to death with two-year reprieve by the Beihai Intermediate People's Court in Guangxi Province on June 2 for vehicular manslaughter in April 2005.[35]

Lu Shuangfu (陆双福) and Ren Jianhua (任建华), sentenced to death by the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court for robbery and murder, were executed on June 6 after their verdicts were upheld on appeal.[36]

Gao Hongying (高洪英), a 36-year-old farmer, was sentenced to death by an Intermediate People's Court in Anhui Province around June 9 for repeatedly raping his 13-year-old daughter.[37]

Yang Fubiao (杨富彪), a tertiary student, was sentenced to death by an Intermediate People's Court in Yunnan Province on June 12 for robbing and killing a taxi driver in February 2006.[38]

Xu Yongliang (徐永亮), 20, a security officer, sentenced to death by Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court for murdering another officer, was executed on June 13.[39]

Wang Qunwei (王群伟) and Zou Xiaogang (邹小刚) were sentenced to death by an Intermediate People's Court in Anhui Province around June 16 for gang-raping 16 girls with six accomplices between March 2004 and January 2005.[40]

Zhou Jingzhi (周景志), 44, was sentenced to death with two-year reprieve by an Intermediate People's Court in Jilin Province on June 20 for tattooing insulting and obscene words on the bodies of three women against their will.[41]

Tang Rulin (唐如林) was sentenced to death by the Lanzhou Intermediate People's Court in Gansu Province on June 21 for murdering a sex worker in September 2005.[42]

Zhong Wenguang (钟文广) and Liu Xiangyong (刘祥永), sentenced to death by an Intermediate People's Court in Guangdong for conducting a deadly arson attack in December 2004, were executed on June 27 after their verdicts were upheld on appeal to the provincial Supreme People's Court.[43]

Drug Trafficking Crimes
Mu Yousu and Ma Wenhai were sentenced to death for illegal drug manufacturing by the Intermediate People's Court of Lanzhou, Gansu Province on June 25. Ma was given a two-year reprieve.[44]

Economic Crimes
Liu Feng (刘峰), the deputy manager of a corporation, was sentenced to death with two-year reprieve for corruption and other charges by an Intermediate People's Court in Anhui Province on June 18.[45]

Li Rongxing (李荣兴), a senior official at a state-owned enterprise, was sentenced to death with two-year reprieve for corruption during 1994 and 2003 by an Intermediate People's Court in Shandong Province around June 25.[46]


//

ENDNOTES

[1] "Six killed in chemical plant blast in E. China," Xinhua News Agency, June 16, 2006.

[2] "Six maintenance workers poisoned in gas leakage in E. China," Xinhua News Agency, June 22, 2006.

[3] "Death toll in northern China mine explosion rises to 27," Australian Broadcasting Corporation, June 29, 2006.

[4] "Bodies recovered from flooded coal mine, Agence France Presse, June 29, 2006.

[5] "Two Mainland Web Portals Blocked", SCMP, June 20, 2006, http://www.scmp.com.

[6] "搜狐新浪搜索引擎重启使用 (Blocked Search Engines of Two Chinese Websites Reopened)", Radio Free Asia, June 21, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[7] "China net users miffed at Google access issues," Reuters, June 7, 2006.

[8] "Chinese capital shuts down 18 websites in Internet crackdown," Agence France Presse, June 8, 2006.

[9] "China Weighs Fines for Reports on 'Sudden Events,'" The New York Times, June 26, 2006.

[10] "China steps up controls on blogs," Associated Press, June 30, 2006.

[11] "龙岗村民阻清拆 武警让步 (Shenzhen Villagers Stop Local Authorities and Paramilitary Police from Demolishing Illegal Houses)", Ming Pao, June 09, 2006, http://www.mingpaonews.com.

[12] Protesters block construction projects in S. China: report, Kyodo News, June 14, 2006.

[13] "Students riot at Chinese university over changes to diploma," Associated Press, June 19, 2006.

[14] "警方释放刘水 威胁其离开深圳 (Police Release Liu Shui but Warn Him to Leave Shenzhen by June 1)", Radio Free Asia, May 30, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[15] Human Rights in China, "Zheng Enchong Released Amidst Crackdown on Petitioners," June 05, 2006.

[16] Human Rights in China, "News Update: Fu Xiancai Gradually Recovering, but Fairness of Attack Investigation in Doubt," June 28, 2006.

[17] Human Rights in China, "Petitioner Liu Xinjuan Forcibly Admitted to Mental Hospital for the Fifth Time," June 22, 2006.

[18] "披露六四补偿 網主被逼迁 (Website Owner Forced to Move Home Twice in a Month for Revealing June 4th Compensation)", Ming Pao, June 02, 2006, http://www.mingpaonews.com.

[19] "中国国情咨询网"重新开通 (Blocked Democracy Website Allowed to Reopen)", Radio Free Asia, June 12, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[20] "中国国情咨询网被频繁关闭 前景堪忧 (China's Democracy Web Frequently Blocked)", Radio Free Asia, June 29, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[21] "安徽残疾牧师被捕 冠以经济罪名实为打压信仰 (Disabled Pastor in Anhui Formally Arrested on Economic Charges)", Radio Free Asia, June 6, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[22] "中国拘28名家庭教会基督徒 (China Arrests 28 Christians in Unapproved Protestant House Church)", Voice of America, June 9, 2006, http://www.voanews.com.

[23] "四川阆中9名家庭教会成员被抓 (Nine Protestant House Church Members Arrested in Sichuan)", Radio Free Asia, June 27, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[24] "人权活动家郭起真被逮捕 (Human Rights Activist Guo Qizhen Arrested)", Radio Free Asia, June 8, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[25] "Chinese Authorities Detain Five Tibetans for Alleged Leafleting", Radio Free Asia, June 16, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[26] "山东公安扣留 失明維权斗士 (Shandong Public Security Bureau Detains Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng)", Apple Daily, June 12, 2006, http://appledaily.atnext.com.

[27] "Blind Activist and Lawyer Claim They Have Received Death Threats", SCMP, June 24, 2006, http://china.scmp.com.

[28] "陈光诚的律师临沂被打后失踪 (Chen Guangcheng's Lawyer Beaten in Shandong, Whereabouts Unknown)", Radio Free Asia, June 28, 2006, http://www.rfa.org; "律师临沂冒险录像 揭官警迫害陈光诚 (Video of Lawyer Being Beaten Shows Police Persecution of Chen Guangcheng)", Radio Free Asia, June 28, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[29] "北京法院推迟对赵岩判决 (Beijing Court Postpones Verdict for Zhao Yan's Case)", Radio Free Asia, June 23, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[30] "朱虞夫刑满未释 异见人士联署要求正法 (Democracy Activist Zhu Yufu Not Yet Released After Completing Prison Term on June 19, Dissident Calls on Government to Adhere to Law)", Radio Free Asia, June 26, 2006, http://www.rfa.org.

[31] "中国释放梵蒂冈所任命主教贾志国 (Vatican-appointed Bishop Jia Zhiguo Released Due to Ill Health)", Voice of America, June 9, 2006, http://www.voanews.com.

[32] "乐业爆炸案9死4伤两栋三层楼被炸塌 两主犯被判死刑 (Two People Sentenced to Death for Causing Deadly Explosion in Guangxi)", Legal Daily, June 1, 2006, http://www.legaldaily.com.cn.

[33] "凶手在王府井劫车撞9人案赔偿出现同命不同价 (Deadly Car Crash Case Decided in Beijing Court, Victims from Rural Areas Receive Less Damages than Those from Cities)", Xinhuanet, May 31, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[34] "巡警中队长杀情人案一审判死 赔偿原告20余万 (Policeman Sentenced to Death for Murdering Lover in Fuzhou)", Xinhuanet, May 31, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[35] "北海海关副科长闹市驾车撞人一审判死缓 (Beihai Customs Official Sentenced to Death with Two-Year Reprieve for Vehicular Manslaughter)", Xinhuanet, June 3, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[36] "抢劫杀人肢解尸体 持枪杀人犯双双判死刑 (Two Sentenced to Death for Robbery and Murder)", Xinhuanet, June 8, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[37] "妻子举报丈夫奸淫亲女引出15年前杀父血案 (Man Sentenced to Death for Murdering Father and Repeatedly Raping Daughter)", Xinhuanet, June 9, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[38] "云南文山:大专生持枪抢劫出租车一审被判死刑 (College Student Sentenced to Death for Robbing and Murdering Taxi Driver in Yunnan Province)", Xinhuanet, June 13, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[39] "北京一名绑架杀人的保安员被执行死刑 (Beijing Security Officer Sentenced to Death for Kidnapping and Murdering Colleague)", Xinhuanet, June 13, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[40] "安徽阜阳轮奸16名校园少女案宣判 2主犯判死刑 (Two Sentenced to Death for Gang-raping 16 School Girls in Anhui Province)", Xinhuanet, June 16, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[41] "在3名妇女身上钢针刺字 被告人周景志获死缓 (Man Sentenced to Death with Two-Year Reprieve for Torturing 3 Women)", Xinhuanet, June 21, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[42] "痴情卖淫女被勒死留下相思日记案:凶手判死刑 (Client Sentenced to Death for Murdering Sex Worker)", Xinhuanet, June 23, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[43] "致4人死亡 广东龙川网吧纵火案2名主犯被枪决 (Two Executed for Deadly Arson Attack in Guangdong Internet Café), Xinhuanet, June 28, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[44] "Two Men Sentenced to Death for Drug Making in Gansu", Xinhuanet, June 26, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[45] "原双轮集团副总刘峰涉四罪终审被判死缓 (Businessman Sentenced to Death with a Two-year Reprieve for Economic and Other Crimes)", Xinhuanet, June, 19, 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com.

[46] "胜利油田一高管被判死缓 (Senior Official of State-owned Enterprise Sentenced to Death with Two-year Reprieve for Corruption)", The Beijing News, June 26, 2006, http://news.thebeijingnews.com.

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