Excerpted from AFP:
[Yao Fuxin] was detained in 2002 after speaking at a peaceful demonstration involving at least 5,000 workers from six factories in Liaoyang city, where he lived and worked, the New York-based Human Rights in China said.
HRIC said he had been demanding back wages and pension payments for workers laid off from the region's state-run enterprises, and had vocally demanded investigations into alleged corruption by factory bosses and local officials.
Yao was initially charged with "gathering a crowd to disrupt social order," but that was later changed to the more serious charge of subversion, based on his alleged involvement in the banned China Democracy Party, HRIC said.
"It is tragic for Yao and for China that a labour activist who was demanding back wages and pension payments was imprisoned for seven years and abused," Sharon Hom, director of the rights group, said in a statement.
"Instead of cracking down on workers, the authorities need to focus on protecting their basic rights."
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For more information on this issue:
- “Labor Leader Yao Fuxin Is Released after Completing Seven-year Term,” March 16, 2009
- “About the Individual: Yao Fuxin,” May 1, 2008
- “HRIC Press Statement: Labor Activists Still Facing Harsh Treatment,” May 1, 2008
- “Yao Fuxin's Wife Appeals to National People's Congress, Supreme People's Court,” March 7, 2007
- “Imprisoned Labor Leader’s Wife and Daughter Petition Beijing,” March 3, 2006
- “HRIC Urges President Bush to Raise Human Rights Concerns,” November 17, 2005
- “Imprisoned Labor Activist Threatened with End to Family Visits if Abuse is Revealed,” December 1, 2004
- “Jailed Labor Activists Refused Medical Parole,” December 19, 2003
- “Appeal Proceedings Commence for Liaoyang Labor Activists,” June 23, 2003
- “Liaoyang Activists Warned to Avoid American Delegation,” April 21, 2003
- “Liaoyang Activist Xiao Yunliang’s Health Deteriorates in Prison,” March 20, 2003
- “Liaoyang Labor Activists’ Daughters Detained,” March 3, 2003
- “Liaoyang Authorities in Renewed Crackdown on Worker Protests,” February 24, 2003
- “Liaoyang Workers Negotiating for Release of Yao Fuxin,” February 20, 2003
- “Human Rights in China Calls for Immediate Release of Labor Activist Yao Fuxin,” November 25, 2002 (includes an official English translation of the Chinese government’s reply to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention)