Rights Activists as Victims of Beijing’s Jasmine Panic

The following is a list of human rights lawyers and activists in China who have become the latest victims of Beijing’s preemptive move to tighten control over voices of dissent, in the wake of events unfolding in Africa and the Middle East.  An anonymous call for residents of 13 major Chinese cities to take to the streets on 20 February 2010 had given the Chinese Government sufficient reasons to launch a nation-wide crackdown on outspoken activists, many of whom have long been under Police radar for their relentless effort to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of speech.

This list is drawn up with reference to a Chinese Pen press release dated 23 February 2011. I will try my best to revise and update as new information becomes available.

Lawyer Teng Biao (@tengbiao) was taken away by Beijing Police on 19 February and his house was raided. He has not been seen since then.

Lawyer Tang Jitian (@tjitian) was forcibly taken away by Beijing Police on 16 February. His whereabouts remain unknown.

Lawyer Jiang Tianyong (@jtyong) was forcibly removed from home by Beijing Police on 19 February. No one has heard from him since then.

Beijing activist Gu Chuan (@guchuan81) and Sichuan activist Ding Mao have both been detained by Police since 19 February.

Sichuan writer Ran Yunfei (@ranyunfei) was removed from home by Police on 19 February. His wife was informed on 24 February that Ran would be criminally detained on suspicion of “inciting to subvert state authority”. [latest update: the charge is in fact “subversion of state authority”, a much more serious offence.]

Sichuan activist Chen Wei was taken away by Police on 20 February. His house was searched and he was criminally detained the next day on suspicion of “inciting to subvert state authority”.

Jiangsu activist Hua Chunhui (@wxhch64) was taken away by Police on 21 February and criminally detained the next day on suspicion of “inciting to subvert state authority”.

Liang Haiyi (also known as Liang Jingyi or Miaoxiao), netizen from Guangzhou, currently residing in Harbin, was arrested on 20 February on suspicion of “inciting to subvert state authority”.  Police accused her of disseminating “sensitive messages” on the QQ messaging service and of shouting slogans during a rally at Harbin on 20 February.

Once Ran, Chen, Hua and Liang have been charged and found guilty, they will face prison sentences of up to 10 years.

Several unidentified attackers put a hood on Guangzhou lawyer Liu Shihui (@liushihui) and brutally beat him up when he left home at around noon on 20 February. His legs were badly injured and he had to be hospitalised.

Guangzhou rights defending lawyer Tang Jingling (@ginlian) was taken from home by domestic security on 22 February. He has been incommunicado since then.

Retired professor Sun Wenguang, a resident of Shandong Province, has been kept under house arrest since 20 February.

Zhu Yufu, a democracy advocate from Zhejiang and the founder of the out-lawed Democracy Party of China, was taken on a trip out of his hometown on 20 February.

Writer and activist Ye Du (@ye_du) was also taken on a trip out of his hometown on 22 February.

Other members of Chinese Pen who have sustained various forms of harassment by police (such as interrogation, surveillance & intimidation) are: Jiang Danwen, Mo Zhixu (@mozhixu), Liu Di (@liudimouse), Zhu Xinxin, Zhang Lin and Hu Shigen.

Have you heard of other cases of arrests and harassment due to the Chinese Government’s crackdown on dissidents in fear of a Jasmine Revolution. If you have, I invite you to leave a comment below.

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