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Dissident Artist Trumps PSB in Court

October 29, 2004

Human Rights in China/> (HRIC) has learned that court proceedings in dissident artist Yan Zhengxue’s lawsuit against a Public Security Substation were adjourned after Yan produced evidence that the bureau had manufactured evidence in its defense.

Yan Zhengxue has been embroiled in a legal dispute with local authorities in
Taizhou/>, Zhejiang/>/> Province, stemming from a conflict between Yan and Taizhou Procurator Zhu Yongjie over ownership of a housing unit. Yan claims that Zhu has attempted to intimidate him into surrendering possession of the housing unit by employing thugs to harass and menace him and his family members. Yan says that when he reported the intimidation to the Jiaojiang District Public Security Substation, the police refused to pursue the case. Yan consequently filed a lawsuit against the Jiaojiang Substation on allegations of official malfeasance.

Sources in
China/>/> told HRIC that during court proceedings on October 27, the Jiaojiang District Public Security Substation produced records indicating that officers had in fact taken action on Yan Zhengxue’s case as early as April 6. The substation recorded a cell phone number through which officers had contacted Yan at that time. However, Yan Zhengxue produced records from the Taizhou Telecommunications Bureau showing that he had not begun using that telephone number until June 20, and it was therefore impossible for police officers to have contacted him through that number in early April. According to HRIC’s sources, this disclosure raised a tumultuous response from trial onlookers, and the presiding judge immediately called for an adjournment. No date has yet been set for resumption of the proceedings.

“We will continue to closely monitor this case,” said HRIC president
Liu Qing/>. “This will be an important test of the judicial system’s ability to dispense justice when the interests of a private citizen and a public official come into conflict.”

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