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Zheng Enchong Released Amidst Crackdown on Petitioners

June 5, 2006

 

 

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that jailed lawyer Zheng Enchong was allowed to return directly home following his release on completion of his sentence. However, a number of other Shanghai residents were rounded up for detention and surveillance in the lead up to his release and the anniversary of the June 4th crackdown.

Sources in China told HRIC that officials at Shanghai's Tilanqiao Prison took Zheng Enchong from his cell at 4:00 a.m. on June 5, and at around 5:00 a.m. sent him directly home. As reported by HRIC on June 1, Zheng had previously informed his wife, Jiang Meili, that he would be put through a battery of official procedures over the course of two days before having his freedom entirely restored. Zheng was scheduled for release on June 5 after serving a three-year sentence on charges of illegally providing state secrets overseas. He was detained while providing legal advice to people forcibly relocated in one of Shanghai's major redevelopment schemes.

Sources told HRIC that Jiang Meili, fearing obstruction by the authorities in her plans to meet her husband, spent the previous night at the home of a friend. Upon reaching the prison on the morning of June 5, she found Zheng already gone, and soon received a phone call confirming that he had returned home. HRIC has called Zheng's home to inquire after his welfare, and through his family Zheng expressed his gratitude to the international community for the great interest and concern relating to his case.

HRIC has also learned through sources in China of at least 8 cases of detention, house arrest, and harassment of petitioners leading up to the politically sensitive period surrounding the 17th anniversary of June 4th and Zheng Enchong's release:

 

 

  • As reported by HRIC on May 26, long-time petitioner Mao Hengfeng was detained on the evening of May 23 by police from Shanghai's Yangpu District Public Security Dispatch Station. She was detained without any formal legal procedures in the district's Kelaideng Hostel. In protesting her unwarranted detention, Mao broke a lamp inside her hostel room, with the result that on May 30, police placed her under criminal detention on the charge of "intentionally damaging property."
     
  • On the evening of June 3, police officers from Shanghai's Pudong New District Damuqiao Dispatch Station detained petitioner Chen Enjuan and carried out a search of her home.
     
  • On June 2, petitioner Zhu Libing was detained in Beijing and returned under escort to Shanghai. Sources say Zhu has been placed in criminal detention after being severely beaten by police officers.
     
  • On the evening of June 2, police officers from Pudong New District's Wanggangzhen Dispatch Station placed petitioner Wu Dangying under criminal detention.
     
  • On the morning of June 5, Jing'an District police detained petitioner Wei Qin without a warrant, and left her young child at home temporarily unattended. Wei's current whereabouts are unknown.
     
  • A team of police officers was stationed outside of the home of petitioner Ma Yalian, and she has not been allowed to set foot outside.
     
  • Petitioner Sun Xicheng has also been subjected to effective house arrest, with his door barricaded by neighborhood committee members.
     
  • In Changning District, neighborhood committee representatives have placed petitioners Xue Jianguo and Zhu Hua under detention in the district's Jinghui Hostel.
     

 

 

 

 

 

HRIC welcomes the safe return home of lawyer Zheng Enchong after three years in prison, although his sentence continues with the deprivation of his political rights for one year. HRIC calls on authorities to ensure the physical safety of Zheng and his family, and to ensure that Zheng is able to participate in all legitimate activities without harassment. At the same time, the massive roundup of petitioners, the very people Zheng Enchong has spent years of his life assisting, indicates that the Shanghai authorities remain committed to their campaign of suppressing efforts by citizens to peacefully defend their rights. HRIC calls for the immediate release of all of these petitioners being detained arbitrarily.

 

 

 

 

 

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