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Qi Chonghuai: A Chronology

November 16, 2011

February 7, 1965

Born in Zoucheng, Shandong Province.


Worked at odd jobs at Health News, Dashichang Bao, and Technology News in Jining, Shandong, where he learned to write and edit news articles.


Worked as editor and reporter at Nongcun Kaifa Bao and Shandong Gongren Bao in Shandong.


Worked as editor and reporter at Renmin Gong’an Bao Shandong Zhoukan.

May 2003–October 2005

Set up and served as chief of the Shandong bureau of China Work Safety News.

June 2006–June 2007

Served as head of Fazhi Zaobao’s Shandong service development center, responsible for distribution and advertisement. Also published articles on topics including forced evictions and land requisitions and mistreatment of street vendors by municipal management officers in publications such as Xinhua’s Reporter’s Notes, Legal Weekly of Hunan Economic Television, Nanfangchuang, and The Sun (Hong Kong).

April 2007

Refused bribes from Tengzhou officials who tried to stop his report on the death of a street vendor who died after being hit by a vehicle belonging to the Tengzhou Municipal Bureau of City Administration. Took photos of an ultra-luxurious municipal government office building in Tengzhou, a county-level city in Shandong Province.

June 2007

In interviews with the Epoch Times and Radio Free Asia, criticized the Central Propaganda Department’s 21 censorship rules. Wrote and submitted articles to the Epoch Times. Posted photos of the Tengzhou municipal government office building online, prompting widespread discussions among netizens. Detained by the Tengzhou police on suspicion of “economic problems.” Was subjected to torture during detention.

August 2, 2007

Formally arrested on suspicion of “extortion and blackmail.”

May 13, 2008

Convicted by the Tengzhou Municipal People’s Court of “extortion and blackmail” and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. Appealed verdict.

June 20, 2008

Awarded the John Aubuchon Freedom of the Press Award by the U.S. National Press Club.

July 18, 2008

Zaozhuang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court upheld the lower court’s verdict.

August 8, 2008

Transferred from the Tengzhou Municipal Detention Center to Tengzhou Prison. Beaten on numerous occasions while in prison.

March 9, 2009

Went on hunger strike to protest his maltreatment in prison.

April 30, 2009

Prison guards confiscated Qi’s 300,000-character record of prison events. The record later made its way out of prison, and was published as articles on overseas websites in late 2009.

May 3, 2009

Beaten unconscious while working in a prison-run mine 130 meters below ground surface.

June 15, 2009

Transferred to Zaozhuang Prison, Shandong Province.

May 2011

A month before his scheduled release, told Tengzhou Municipal Party Secretary and other officials—who asked about his plans after release—that he intended to fight them to the end; indicted on “extortion and blackmail” and “embezzlement.”

June 9, 2011

Convicted of “extortion and blackmail” and “embezzlement” and ordered to serve eight additional years. Appealed verdict.

July 25 2011

Zaozhuang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court upheld lower court decision. Projected release date: June 25, 2019.

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