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Huang Jinqiu, Writer and Dissident, Released after Eight Years in Prison

December 13, 2011
Huang Jinqiu, working as a reporter before his arrest.

Huang Jinqiu (黄金秋), a writer and dissident, was released from Pukou Prison in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on October 20, 2011, after serving eight years. According to reports, Huang postponed announcement of his release until today, December 13, his scheduled release date, in deference to his family members who were threatened by the authorities that Huang would be re-arrested if he dared contact anyone overseas after his release. Huang has been living with his parents in Linyi County, Shandong Province.

Huang, a prolific writer who attempted to organize the China Patriot Democracy Party (中华爱国民主党) online, was convicted of “subversion of state power” in 2004, and sentenced to 12 years in prison and four years of post-release deprivation of political rights. Huang’s sentence would have lasted until September 2015, but was reduced by nearly four years for manual labor he performed in prison and other reasons.

Huang began working as a reporter at age 18, and published his first book at 20. He attended the prestigious Chinese Writer’s Association’s Lu Xun Literature Institute in Beijing, the Central Academy of Art in Malaysia, and the University of Lincoln in Lincoln, England.

In 2001, while studying overseas, Huang began writing a series of more than 300 essays under the pen name “Mr. Clear Water” (清水君) which he published on Boxun.com, a U.S.-based Chinese language news website. These essays included over 100 political commentaries that were sharply critical of the Communist Party of China, calling for political reform and an end to the one-party dictatorship. In early 2003, Huang began preparations to form the China Patriot Democracy Party, an opposition party, and outlined its principles in various essays posted online. He returned to China in August 2003, ignoring the advice of his friends and family.

Huang was criminally detained in September 2003 by the Changzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau in Jiangsu Province. He was convicted of subversion in September 2004 by the Changzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, which cited articles he published online on organizing a political party and recruiting members for that party. 

According to reliable sources, Huang, while in prison, was transferred to the Liyang Psychiatric Hospital in Changzhou because he appealed his sentence and refused to kneel on one knee while speaking with prison authorities. After being returned to prison, he was placed in the strict supervision block (严管队), where he was subjected to torture and physical and verbal abuse, including beating, being shocked with an electric baton on his legs and mouth, having his toes crushed, and solitary confinement. During this period, he was forced to run 150 laps a day on gravel, and, when he could not run anymore, was dragged through gravel, which tore through his clothes.

The abuses and torture resulted in torn cartilage in both of his knees and torn ligaments in his legs. He developed traumatic arthritis and inflammation of the joints. At his worst moment, he was unable to stand to walk and lost some of his ability to care for himself. The prison hospital refused him treatment. Sun Zhongxin (孙中新), the hospital’s orthopedist, told him outright several times, “You’re a counterrevolutionary, and I represent the Party and government. I can’t treat you. Go ahead and sue me!”

According to reliable sources, Huang has stated that the vanguard in any field will always pay a great price, and that China’s road toward democracy is a difficult one, a fact he well knew when he made his choice to return to China in 2003. He indicated that he has no complaint and does not harbor resentment or rage as a result of his long imprisonment. He said he will continue to push for soci al progress in China with compassion and that he believes that China will progress. Huang is grateful to everyone who has shown concern for his case, and particularly to those who have shown their love and provided help to him and his family during his imprisonment.


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