The Dui Hua Foundation has received confirmation from authoritative sources inside China about sentence reductions for prominent activists serving sentences for “endangering state security” in Sichuan Province as well as lesser-known individuals incarcerated in the province. The information was provided in response to a request for updates on long-serving prisoners in Sichuan.
Li Zhi (李智), aged 38, was granted a one-year sentence reduction by the Dazhou Intermediate People’s Court on January 19, 2007, and is now scheduled for release from Chuandong Prison on August 10, 2010. According to the information, the reduction was granted after Li received two citations of merit from prison authorities in 2006. Li was convicted of subversion by the Dazhou Intermediate People’s Court and sentenced on December 10, 2003, to eight years’ imprisonment. He was charged with using free email accounts to contact overseas representatives of the China Democracy Party (CDP) and posting politically-themed articles on a personal webpage. His is one of four cases in which user account information is known to have been provided to state security police by Yahoo! China.
On May 21, 2008, the Dazhou Intermediate People’s Court also granted a 16-month sentence reduction to veteran political activist and CDP member Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌). This was the third sentence reduction for Liu, who had been given reductions totaling 28 months in 2004 and 2006. Liu, aged 40, was released from Chuandong Prison at the end of his sentence on November 6, 2008.
Liu entered prison in 1992 after being sentenced to 2½ years’ imprisonment for “counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement” for publishing a political journal in 1991 while studying at Beijing’s Renmin University. After his release from prison in 1993, Liu continued his political activity and became a local CDP organizer after the party was established in the late 1990s. He was detained in July 1999 and convicted of subversion by the Suining Intermediate People’s Court one month later. The response to Dui Hua notes that prison authorities recommended sentence reductions for Liu after awarding him several citations for good behavior between 2002 and 2006. Since his release from prison, Liu has been outspoken about rights defense and political reform, penning an open letter in defense of detained anti-corruption activist Deng Yonggu and joining the initial signers of the political manifesto, “Charter 08.”
The response from Sichuan also reported reductions for prisoners incarcerated for counterrevolution or endangering state security whose cases are not as well-known. Zhao Liuneng (赵六能), also known as Zhao Liulun (赵六伦), received a one-year sentence reduction in October 2007, his third since 2004. Zhao and co-defendant Wang Zijun (王子俊), both farmers from Gulin County, were detained by police in July 2000 and charged with “armed rioting.” On June 7, 2001, the Luzhou Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Zhao and Wang to 15 and eight years in prison, respectively. Since entering Chuannan Prison, Zhao and Wang have been awarded many citations for good behavior. Wang was released on April 20, 2006, after receiving two sentence reductions. In February 2007, several months before his latest reduction, Zhao was named an “activist in prison reform,” suggesting his behavior had been particularly outstanding. Zhao is due for release on July 11, 2012.
Liu Zhanghan (刘彰汉) was released from Chengdu’s Chuanzhong Prison in July 1999 after receiving four sentence reductions. In 1981, Liu was sentenced to death, suspended for two years, on charges of theft and “counterrevolutionary sabotage” for allegedly stealing weapons and plotting to derail a train during the Spring Festival holiday. While hiding from police, he and his cousin allegedly wrote a large number of political pamphlets calling for the overthrow of the socialist system. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 1983.
Luo Zhengfang (罗正芳) was also released from Chuanzhong Prison in December 2001 after receiving numerous commendations, citations, and sentence reductions. He had received a suspended death sentence in 1984 for “actively participating in a counterrevolutionary group” and “counterrevolutionary sabotage.”
Wang Ping (王平) was released from Chuandong Prison in March 2007 after receiving two sentence reductions totaling two years in 2004 and 2006. Wang, a former official from the city of Nanchong, had been convicted of espionage for providing military intelligence to Taiwan agents and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in October 1999 by the Nanchong Intermediate People’s Court.