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Two Guizhou Rights Activists Detained

December 5, 2008

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that two Guizhou rights activists have been detained by the authorities on the eve of Human Rights Day, December 10, which commemorates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Another rights activist who had "disappeared" sent a text message that he would not return until after December 10. Previously, HRIC reported in a November 13, 2008 press release that the police had summoned and threatened the Guizhou rights activists multiple times and demanded they cancel the commemorative activities, or they would be "sent to jail."

Du Heping sent a text message saying that that he had been taken to a "wildlife refuge," and would not return before December 10.

HRIC has learned from reliable sources that Chen Xi (陈西) and Shen Youlian (申有连), two main organizers of the Guizhou Citizens Fourth Annual International Human Rights Symposium and the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights commemorative events, were taken away by the police in the afternoon of December 4, 2008. Chen Xi’s wife, Zhang Qun, said that when she went home on December 4 at about 5:30 PM, the house was in disarray. She said that Chen did not return that night but that she received a phone call from state security police informing her that Chen was in a hotel with them. They did not offer any explanation for taking Chen, and did not tell her when he would be released. Shen Youlian’s wife said that she did not see her husband when she got home that evening at around 8:00 PM.

According to Zhang, three other Symposium organizers, Liao Shuangyuan (廖双元), Huang Yanming (黄燕明), and Du Heping (杜和平), had already “disappeared” before December 4. Liao’s wife, Wu Yuqin (吴玉琴), said that Liao left town on November 13. Liao told her that he would return at the end of November in order to attend a friend’s wedding but she has not heard from him since. Wu also said that Du Heping had used his mobile phone to send a text message to her saying that that he had been taken to a “wildlife refuge,” and that he would not return before December 10.

Since 2005, rights activists in Guizhou have organized human rights activities every year around Human Rights Day on December 10, and have been harassed by the authorities beginning in 2006.

For more information about the rights defenders in Guizhou, see:

  • "Human Rights Situation in China Worsens as Bush Calls for a More Open Society," August 7, 2008,;
  • "Rights Crackdown Intensifies a Month before the Games," July 8, 2008,;
  • "Activist Issues Statement Urging International Attention to Ban of Human Rights Day in Guizhou," January 25, 2008,;
  • "Case Update: Buddhist Monk Shengguan Prevented From Attending Human Rights Conference," December 10, 2007,
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