In June and July, Chinese government sources updated Dui Hua on the status of eight people incarcerated in Guangdong Province. Three were reported to have received sentence reductions.
Liang Jiantian (梁鉴天) received a 15-month sentence reduction on May 3, 2013, according to government sources. As co-owner of a Guangzhou publishing house, Liang was accused of printing 4.5 million Falun Gong publications. (Falun Gong was a widely popular qigong-based practice before it was banned as a “cult” in 1999.) Convicted of “illegal business activity” and “producing obscene material,” Liang was sentenced to life imprisonment. His sentence has since been commuted and, after four sentence reductions totaling 44 months, Liang is scheduled for release from Panyu Prison on May 17, 2023.
Lai Yiwa (赖亦瓦) may have his sentence reduced in the second half of 2014 or first half of 2015. In the first official response Dui Hua has received regarding Lai, government sources said he is currently scheduled for release from Beijiang Prison on December 15, 2019. Sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment in April 2013, Lai allegedly printed 1,600 copies of Almighty God (also known as Real God or Eastern Lightning) publications in his home and distributed them to others. In December 2012, members of the Protestant sect that was banned as a “cult” in 1995 held public gatherings across China to warn of impending apocalypse. Local police came out in force and, according a Xinhua report, 1,300 people were detained nationwide. Qinghai and Guizhou accounted for 800 of the detentions that spanned 16 provinces. Lai is the only individual known to have been convicted in Guangdong in connection with the gatherings.
Guo Li (郭利) is still awaiting his first sentence reduction. Continuing to push back dates of possible clemency, government sources said he may have his sentence commuted sometime before his sentence expires on July 22, 2014. Guo was convicted of extortion and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in 2010. Police took him into custody after he sought medical compensation from Shien Group, a milk producer involved in the melamine poisoning scandal that caused thousands of Chinese infants, including Guo’s daughter, to develop kidney stones.
Chen Yulin (陈瑜琳) received a sentence reduction of 19 months on March 29, 2013, according to government sources. Chen was one of three British citizens and former Xinhua News Agency employees sentenced to life imprisonment for providing state secrets about the Hong Kong handover to the British in the 1990s. This is the fourth of Chen’s sentence reductions, which total 60 months, since 2007. Chen is currently scheduled for release on December 26, 2021, but government sources said that he may receive another sentence reduction in late 2014 or the first half of 2015.
Wei Pingyuan (魏平原), another Briton sentenced in relation to the handover, may receive an additional sentence reduction in late 2013 or early 2014. Wei has received four sentence reductions totaling 58 months. His sentence is currently set to expire in October 2022. The Chinese government does not recognize either Chen Yulin’s or Wei Pingyuan’s British citizenship.
Taiwanese resident Lin Jieshan (林介山) has received four sentence reductions totaling 47 months. In the first official response Dui Hua has received regarding Lin’s case, government sources said he is scheduled for release from Panyu Prison on January 13, 2015. Lin was one of 24 Taiwanese residents detained in the mainland in December 2003. At the time, the central government had instituted a nationwide crackdown on espionage in response to comments Chen Shui-bian made about missile defense deployments during his presidential re-election campaign. Several people detained around the same time in Taiwanese espionage cases, including Tong Taiping (童太平) and Fu Hongzhang (傅宏章), have been released following multiple sentence reductions.
Wang Ruiquan (王瑞泉), one of only five individuals known to have been convicted of Taiwanese espionage after Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, may have his life sentence commuted to a fixed-term of 18‒19 years’ imprisonment in the second half of 2013. Currently in Beijiang Prison, Wang allegedly photographed secret documents including those discussing preparations by the People’s Liberation Army to curb Taiwanese independence.