Skip to content Skip to navigation

Crackdown Worsens on Eve of Beijing Games

July 22, 2008


Just over two weeks before the Olympic Games open in Beijing, Chinese authorities continue to intensify their efforts, under the banner of a "peaceful Olympics" (平安奥运), to suppress rights activists and other individuals speaking out against repression.

"The current state of affairs is intolerable," said Human Rights in China Executive Director Sharon Hom. "Under the banner of a 'peaceful Olympics,' authorities continue to employ contradictory and counterproductive security methods, which only serve to exacerbate the human rights crisis and provoke greater instability in China."

Under the banner of a 'peaceful Olympics,' authorities continue to employ contradictory and counterproductive security methods, which only serve to exacerbate the human rights crisis and provoke greater instability in China.
— Sharon Hom, Executive Director of HRIC

In recent weeks, authorities have stepped up efforts to detain, arrest, and harass numerous rights activists and dissidents in the name of Olympics "security," including by arresting tianwang64.com founder Huang Qi (黄琦) on grounds of "illegally possessing state secrets"; issuing a police summons to Shanghai-based rights lawyer Zheng Enchong (郑恩宠); and detaining Hubei online dissident writer Du Daobin (杜导斌), stating that he violated the terms of his suspended sentence. Authorities also detained labor activist Liu Jianjun (刘建军) in Datong, Shanxi Province, on suspicion of "inciting subversion of state power" (煽动颠覆国家政权罪), and dissident Xie Changfa (谢长发) from Changsha, Hunan Province, on suspicion of "subverting state power" (颠覆国家政权罪). Authorities also detained Tianjin-based dissident Lü Honglai (吕洪来); his present whereabouts are unknown.

Details of these cases can be found below:

  • On July 18, 2008, authorities formally arrested tianwang64.com founder Huang Qi (黄琦), who had been detained for 38 days, on grounds of "illegal possession of state secrets." Prior to Huang's arrest, he had been collecting information from grieving parents who lost children in collapsed schools in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake. He sought to expose official corruption behind the shoddy construction of schools. See "HRIC Case Update: Detained Rights Activist Huang Qi Formally Arrested," July 18, 2008.
  • On the afternoon of July 20, 2008, police summoned and questioned Shanghai-based rights lawyer Zheng Enchong (郑恩宠) for almost eight hours, before finally releasing him at 11 p.m. that night. Zheng thinks that the police questioned him mainly because the Olympics is approaching, and he has recently published some articles and accepted interviews from foreign journalists on his views about Yang Jia and Tibet. See "HRIC Case Update: Intruders Threaten to Beat Lawyer Zheng Enchong," April 30, 2008.
  • On the morning of July 21, 2008, police detained Hubei Internet dissident writer Du Daobin (杜导斌). Du's wife, Xia Chunrong (夏春蓉), was notified by her supervisor to go home because the police wanted to search Du's home. During the search, the police told Xia Chunrong that Du would be imprisoned because he had "violated the terms of his suspended sentence by writing approximately one hundred essays that distorted facts." The police also confiscated draft manuscripts, two computers, CDs, and other items. Police also instructed Xia to change her cell phone number and not accept any interviews. See "Prisoner Profile: Du Daobin, Prisoner Profile," from HRIC's Incorporating Responsibility 2008 Olympics Campaign [First printed in China Rights Forum, No.1 2004].
  • On June 28, 2008, Beijing state security police (北京国保警察) detained Datong railway workers rights activist Liu Jianjun (刘建军) while he was in Beijing. On July 4, 2008, Datong state security police (山西大同国保支队警察) returned Liu to Datong, Shanxi Province. The next day, Liu was criminally detained by the Datong public security bureau on grounds of "suspicion of inciting subversion of state power" (涉嫌煽动颠覆国家政权罪).
  • On June 25, 2008, the Yuhua branch office of the Changsha public security bureau detained Xie Changfa (谢长发), a dissident from Changsha, Hunan Province, on grounds of "suspicion of subverting state power" (涉嫌颠覆国家政权罪). Authorities also detained Xie's younger brother Xie Changzhen (谢长祯), a teacher surnamed Wu (吴);, and three other persons. Wu and the other three persons were subsequently released. Xie Changshou was released on bail on July 17 to await trial, as he was not charged with a serious offense, but Xie Changfa remains in detention.
  • On July 9, 2008, Tianjin national security police (天津国保警察) detained Tianjin-based dissident Lü Honglai (吕洪来) while he was out visiting friends. His present location remains unknown. On July 14, 2008, Lü's wife Li Jiyan (李继妍) went to the Tianjin municipal state security bureau (国保局) and was told by authorities that Lü was "under investigation by the relevant department." Authorities reportedly are keeping Lü under house arrest for the duration of the Olympics.


For HRIC monitoring of Olympics-related issues, see:

For a more detailed summary of incidents reported in the month of June, see: