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Dui Hua Digest, April 2014

To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we are launching our monthly news digest. The Dui Hua Digest will replace quarterly issues of Dialogue with updates on prisoner cases, events, and publications as well as key moments in Dui Hua history.

PRISONER CASES

In accordance with Chinese law, Tibetan filmmaker Dhundop Wangchen (pictured at left, credit: Wikipedia) should be released on April 25, 2014, as he was detained on April 26, 2008, and was subsequently given a six-year sentence. However, the Chinese government told Dui Hua and other concerned parties that his sentence will actually end on June 5 after which he will begin serving a three-year sentence of deprivation of political rights. Chinese interlocutors told Dui Hua that he received a comprehensive medical examination in early 2012. Other sources said his family was able to visit him in January 2013 and that he had been transferred from Qinghai’s Xichuan Prison to Qinghai Women’s Prison, where reports suggest that he is receiving better treatment. Dhundop Wangchen receives monthly family visits.

This month, Dui Hua discovered the names of two Henan natives detained for inciting subversion in June 1998. According to Nanyang Court Records, Huang Chengjun (黄成军) and Ye Xiangfeng (叶向峰) heard about the Chinese Democracy Justice Party by listening to the Voice of America. They then contacted Wang Bingzhang (王炳章), who founded the party along with Fu Shenqi (傅申奇), to request money and “reactionary leaflets” that they intended to distribute by mail.

Wang directed the two men to travel to Beijing to meet with an Associated Press journalist at a designated place. The meeting failed to materialize, and Huang and Ye were detained by the Beijing Public Security Bureau and Nanyang Public Security Bureau, respectively. The Nanyang Intermediate People’s Court tried Huang and Ye, sentencing them to relatively light sentences by today’s standards. Huang received three years’ imprisonment and five years’ deprivation of political rights. Ye received one year’s imprisonment and three years’ deprivation of political rights.

Around the same time, Wang was detained and expelled to the United States, where he had established permanent residency. In June 2002, Wang traveled to Vietnam where he was seized by Chinese agents. Forcibly returned to China, Wang was tried and convicted of espionage and terrorism and sentenced to life in prison. He is currently serving his sentence in Beijiang Prison in Guangdong Province. Wang, about whom Dui Hua frequently asks, has yet to receive a sentence reduction and his family’s request for medical parole has not been granted.

EVENTS

Upcoming

Executive Director John Kamm will give a talk at a roundtable event titled “Human Rights in China: Past, Present and Future” at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark on Monday, April 28, 10:00-11:30 AM. For more information and to RSVP, please click here.

Past

In late March, Kamm headed to the East Coast to give public lectures. At Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, he discussed “The Quality of Mercy” and suggested that a great and confident China would be a China that was merciful and willing to grant clemency to political prisoners. At the Center for Strategic and International Studies (pictured right, credit: CSIS), he outlined developments in China’s human rights diplomacy since June 4, 1989, which include a decline in high-level government engagement on individual prisoner cases (watch the video). At the NYU School of Law, he shared his experiences with the US-Asia Law Institute during a luncheon and lectured students in professors Jerome A. Cohen and Ira Belkin’s course, “Law & Society in China: Criminal Justice in American Perspective Seminar.”

Earlier in March, Kamm and Development Manager Lillian Sie were in Beijing to meet with the Supreme People’s Court; foreign media; and diplomats, including senior representatives of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

PUBLICATIONS ROUND-UP

Featured Article: A Safer, More Harmonious China? (March 11) China indicted an estimated 830 people for state security crimes in 2013, marking a 21 percent decline; there is little indication, however, that political suppression has fallen in step.

RTL End Pushes Kids into Prison, Procurator Calls for Reform (March 25)
China’s Women’s Prisons: Areas for Improvement (March 10)
Bangkok Rules Gain Traction at Hong Kong’s Largest Women’s Prison (March 10)
Prisoner Update (March 10)
To End Arbitrary Detention, Bring Officials to Justice (March 2)

This Month in Dui Hua History
To celebrate 15 years of human rights advocacy, we’ll be highlighting a key moment from this month in Dui Hua history.

In April 2005, Dui Hua received Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council. Dui Hua is the only independent non-governmental organization (NGO) focusing on human rights in China to have achieved this status. Special Consultative Status facilitates Dui Hua’s meetings with various UN bodies and its submission of research and recommendations related to Chinese prisoners, rule of law, and human rights. Later this month—nine years after he made his first statement at the United Nations on human rights in China—Executive Director John Kamm will travel to Geneva to meet with and make presentations to Special Procedures of the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights.