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【公開信】 please scroll down for English version
27th November, 2018
To delegates of G20 summit member countries,
In view of the predicament of the Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang and activist Huang Qi, who have been detained for over 3 and 2 years respectively, we are writing to call for your attention to the human rights condition in China, and to urge all delegates of member countries to speak out for the Chinese dissidents at the G20 summit.
Lawyer Wang Quanzhang has been missing since July 2015. Over these 3 years, he was once put under “residential surveillance at a designated location”, and has been held captive at the Tianjin No. 2 Detention Centre since his arrest by the Tianjin police on charges of “inciting subversion of state power”. While Wang remains incommunicado, lawyers’ demand to know his whereabouts is ignored and unanswered, which further heightens apprehension about his suffering tortures and inhuman treatment in the detention centre. Moreover, Wang is deprived of the right to meet his family, as neither his family members nor the defence lawyers appointed by his family are allowed to meet him.
Wang’s family has been campaigning for his release in the meantime. His wife Li Wenzu has visited the Supreme People’s Court for no less than 30 times, urging for the hearing of his case to be scheduled as soon as possible. Yet, not only are Li’s appeals rejected by the court, she is also placed under constant surveillance and harassed repeatedly by the police, whereas her son is deprived of the right to education. Such retaliation is none but the authority’s detestable measures of extending persecution of rights lawyers to their families.
On the other hand, we express our great concern about the personal safety of Huang Qi, rights activist from Sichuan and founder of the rights watch website “64 Tianwang”. Huang was taken away on 28th November, 2016 by the Mianyang city police in Sichuan province, 2016, and was officially arrested on 16th December for “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities”. Although Huang has been detained for 2 years at the Mianyang City Detention Centre, no trial has been held for his case yet. In September this year, he was additionally charged with “leaking state secrets”.
Huang Qi suffers from hydrocephalus (accumulation of fluid in the brain), encephalatrophy (atrophy of the brain), heart disease, pneumonia, kidney disease and other illnesses, which require large-volume daily medication. In addition to deprivation of appropriate medical care, though, Huang’s prescribed medicine is withheld in the detention centre, and he is subject to extended interrogations, prolonged periods of being forced to stand, sleep deprivation, beatings, and other forms of torture and ill-treatment, which are inflicted for the purpose of forcing him to plead guilty. Huang’s health is significantly undermined by these inhuman treatments, putting his life in jeopardy.
Undeterred by the regime’s persecution, Wang Quanzhang and Huang Qi have valiantly stood up and voiced for social justice, human rights and the rule of law. The Chinese government’s suppression and retaliation against them is in breach of the Chinese Constitution, and poses a severe contradiction to humanism, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, which was signed by China in 1998 but unfortunately has not been ratified) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).
We express our strong protest against China’s brutal and abominable persecution of political dissidents and human rights lawyers, and appeal to all G20 member countries to urge the Chinese government to comply with CAT, to ratify ICCPR as soon as possible, and to halt all forms of human rights violation. We also implore all G20 members to take into account the country’s human rights development when forming trade pacts with China, so that President Xi Jinping and his administration would eventually address its deplorable human rights situation.
We demand the Chinese government to:
1. Release Huang Qi and Wang Quanzhang immediately and unconditionally;
2. Stop all forms of tortures and persecution of human rights lawyers and dissidents;
3. Grant medical parole to Huang Qi immediately, and
4. Allow Wang Quanzhang to meet his family and the defence lawyer appointed by his family.
Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group
1998 年成立「天網尋人事務所」。1999 年創辦中國民間第一家尋人網站「天網尋人」，以萬家團圓為己任，幫助尋找失散親人，救出不少被拐婦女，獲得官方讚揚。
黃琦無懼強權，勇敢為弱勢社群發聲，刊載各種批評時政的文章而被以言入罪，分別於 2000 年及 2008 年因「煽動顛覆國家政權罪」及「非法持有國家機密文件罪」，被捕入獄，共坐牢 8 年。
2005 年第一次出獄後，黃琦把「天網尋人」網站易名為「六四天網」。2006 年，「六四天網」改名為「中國天網人權事務中心」。
2016 年 11 月 28 日，黃琦被刑事拘留，12 月 16 日被逮捕，罪名是「為境外非法提供國家秘密」。羈押在四川綿陽市看守所。
2017 年 7 月，黃琦被羈押 8 個月後，首次獲准與代理律師會面。之後，他的律師被當局以不同理由阻礙閱卷。
案件原定在 2018 年 6 月 20 日審理。開審前，法院突然說要補充偵查，延期審訊。2018 年 9 月，黃琦被追加「故意洩露國家秘密罪」。現時，健康情況惡劣的黃琦已被關押兩年，仍遲遲得不到審理。
2004 年 6 月，獲「無國界記者」和法蘭西基金會授予第二屆「網際網路自由獎」；2006 年，獲第六屆「中國人權青年獎」；2007 年 2 月，獲「人權觀察」授予「赫爾曼．哈米特獎」(Hellman-Hammett Grants)；
2009 年 12 月，獲「魏京生基金會」授予第六屆「中國民主鬥士獎」；2014 年 4 月，入選「無國界記者」的「100 位新聞自由英雄」；2016 年 11 月，「六四天網」獲「無國界記者」2016 年度新聞自由獎中的「自由媒體獎」。
蒲文清是退休醫生。黃琦被捕時，她的家亦遭公安強行搜查，並被帶到四川成都一間賓館軟禁兩小時後送她回家。之後，帶她到醫院強行住院，直到 2016 年 12 月 16 日才釋放。
蒲文清為了兒子，不停上訪、向各政府機關申訴。現年 85 歲的蒲文清只希望兒子能在身邊陪伴她渡過剩餘的短暫時光。2018 年 11 月 18 日，蒲文清發表聲明，指在黃琦入獄後，當局投入大量警力，監控其行蹤，她的人身安全受到嚴重威脅。她籲請國際社會關注。
蒲文清曾與德國、歐盟、瑞典、英國、美國、日本等駐華使館人權官員會面，他們表示將給予黃琦高度關切。她又曾致信德國總理默克爾，並得到默克爾於 2018 年 10 月 25 日回信，表示已知悉黃琦處境，讚賞黃琦為人權奮鬥的決心和付出，並承諾德國政府將繼續致力協助黃琦重獲自由。
2018 年 11 月 6 日，中國接受聯合國人權理事會普遍定期審議時，美國代表發言呼籲中國政府釋放黃琦及維權律師王全璋。另外，英國在對中國的書面提問中，關注多位維權人士、律師情況，包括黃琦、王全璋等。
Lawyer’s Profile: Wang Quanzhang （王全璋）
1.1. Wang Quanzhang is a lawyer practicing in Beijing Fengrui Law Firm. He graduated in 2000 in Shandong University School of Law, and began practicing law in 2007. He specializes in a wide variety of rights issues, including: criminal defense, defending Falun Gong practitioners, farmers’ land rights, administrative detention, re-education through labour. In 2014, he was one of the lawyers representing defendants in the case of Jiansanjiang black jail incident.
1.2. Lawyer Wang also has written or co-authored many pieces on the legal profession and human rights, including a report on the role of lawyers in pro-democracy movements and one about the Internet and civil society movements. He has faced constant harassment and suffered retaliation for his work, such as a 2008 raid of his home in Shandong by officers from the Ministry of State Security and a severe head injury as a result of an assault by the police in the detention centre in Jiansanjiang. Wang has been held incommunicado for 3 years since the 709 Crackdown in 2015, and among the 321 affected lawyers and activists, he is the only one who has not been tried or released.
2. Authorities’ Suppression: Prolonged Pre-trial Detention
2.1. Wang Quanzhang disappeared on 10 July 2015. He was seized by police on 3 August 2015, but then moved into “residential surveillance at a designated location” by the Hexi District Public Security Bureau. On 8 January 2016, Wang was formally arrested by Tianjin police for allegedly “subverting state power”, detained in Tianjin No.2 Detention Centre. On 31 July 2017, Wang’s family and lawyers found that Wang had been transferred to Tianjin No.1 Detention Centre. The case was transferred to the procuratorate for examination for prosecution on 7 August 2016, with indictment finally issued on 14 February 2017.
2.2. Wang has been held incommunicado for 1148 days since 10 July 2015, while his family and lawyers have had no access to him. His lawyers were intimidated into withdrawing from the case, and were deprived of the right to defend (access to and communication with the client and access to files). The authorities declined to let Wang’s lawyers know the prosecution’s case for “state secrets” reasons. The lawyers filed a complaint with the local procuratorate asking for information regarding Wang’s whereabouts, but received no response.
2.3. The authorities also attempted to terminate, on behalf of Wang, the appointment of lawyers designated by Wang’s family and illegally substitute them with state-appointed lawyers. On August 9, 2016, officials Tianjin No. 2 People’s Procuratorate told Wang’s family-appointed lawyer, Yu Wensheng (余文生), that Wang had given police a letter in February 2016 claiming that he did not want to engage a lawyer and wanted to terminate the employment of his familyappointed lawyer. However, officials refused to allow Yu to take a copy of the document, which is his right under Chinese law.
2.4. Lawyer Liu Weiguo (劉衛國) and Li Wenzu (李文足) announced an update on Wang’s situation for the first time on 18 July and 19 July 2018 respectively. Lawyer Liu, the attorney of Wang Quanzhang, first met Wang on 12 July and claimed that “Wang is normal mentally and physically"; while Li said that Wang did not have high blood pressure but he was made to take medication. Reportedly, the medicine caused Wang to suffer headaches and blurry vision. Wang was also extremely frightened when he met lawyer Liu. On 31 Aug 2018, Li said that lawyer Liu withdrew from Wang’s case due to an injury. Wang has never been granted to meet any family-appointed lawyer.
Li Wenzu, Wang’s wife, went to the Supreme People’s Court for at least 29 times to file suits against the courts with a demand that a trial shall take place if the charge is substantiated; otherwise Wang should be released.
Nonetheless, the Supreme People’s Court refused to take up the case. On 5 April 2018, Li and other 709 family members walked from Beijing to Tianjin to protest against the prolonged detention of Wang but Li was forced to return to Beijing with severe harassment by the state public security.