Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Three Gorges activist Fu
Xiancai has appealed to the National People's Congress (NPC) to intervene in
his assault case. The Fifth Session of the Tenth NPC opened on March 5, while
the Fifth Session of the Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) began on March 3.
advocate for villagers of Zigui County, Hubei Province, displaced as a result of
Three Gorges Dam construction, Fu Xiancai was struck from behind by an unknown
assailant on June 8, 2006, after local police questioned him over an interview
with Fu broadcasted by German television station Das Erste in May. Suffering
from paralysis from the shoulders down, Fu was sent to Yichang No. 1 People's
Hospital, where he received an operation paid for by the German government.
Further interventions and contributions from the public and German media
resulted in Fu being transferred to Beijing's China Rehabilitation Research
Center for further treatment and therapy, and Fu is now able to sit upright in a
wheelchair, although he still has no feeling from the waist down, and has only
limited movement in his hands.
As reported in previous press releases,
the local investigation into Fu's attack concluded that Fu's injuries had been
self-inflicted, resulting from a fall. Fu had submitted formal requests to have
the local Public Security Bureau head and certain other officers removed from
the investigation on the grounds that they were implicated in previous instances
of threats and harassment against him. However, he has received no response to
his requests. In December, Fu sent an open letter to China's Procurator-general,
Jia Chunwang, requesting his intervention, but has received no reply after more
than two months.
On the morning of March 5, Fu's wife took him in his
wheelchair to the NPC's Letters and Petitions office, where Fu attempted to
submit a petition to Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC’s Standing Committee.
However, staff of the letters and petitions office refused to allow Fu into the
building, and when Fu's son tried to submit the petition at the reception booth,
he was likewise denied on the grounds that the letters and petitions office only
handles cases that have completed the full process of judicial appeals. Fu's son
argued that local law enforcement officials had suppressed the case, preventing
any further judicial action on it, but officials at the letters and petitions
office simply had him removed from the building. Fu Xiancai was left with no
further recourse than to mail his letter to the Letters and Petitions office for
forwarding to Wu Bangguo.
Fu Xiancai provided HRIC with the full text of
his open letter, which is appended to the Chinese version of this press release.
The open letter reviews the background of Fu's case, the circumstances leading
up to his attack, and his unsuccessful attempts to obtain justice. Fu concludes,
"Although it has been more than eight months since I was attacked, I have not
completely lost my faith in China's judicial process, and pass every pain-filled
day in hope that justice will soon arrive... With no reply from the
Procurator-general, Jia Chunwang, I can only appeal to you, NPC Standing
Committee Chairman Wu Bangguo. I request that you fulfill your supervisory
authority by urging the Supreme Procuratorate to undertake an investigation into
my case as soon as possible."
HRIC urges the NPC to exercise its
oversight responsibility, and for other relevant authorities to review Fu
Xiancai's case and take appropriate steps to address the serious bias in the
local investigation, and the lack of response to Fu's previous appeals. The
obstruction of Fu's petitioning attempts violates the purpose of the petitioning
system laid out in the Regulations on Letters and Visits. Fu Xiancai's case
presents an opportunity for the Chinese authorities to demonstrate the
effectiveness of the system for individuals where the judicial organs yield no
result. Given Fu Xiancai's position as a human rights defender, the attack on
him raises serious questions that only an independent investigation can resolve.