Life Sentence for Professor Rahile Dawut confirmed

According to a source in the Chinese government, Professor Rahile Dawut (راھىلە داۋۇت, 热依拉 · 达吾提), an acclaimed Uyghur intellectual and expert on Uyghur folklore and traditions, is serving a life sentence for endangering state security.

The Dui Hua Foundation (Dui Hua) had previously been told by a Chinese official that Professor Rahile Dawut was tried in December 2018, one year after her detention, for the crime of “splittism” — a crime of endangering state security — by an intermediate people’s court in Xinjiang. She was convicted and appealed the sentence. The most recent information confirmed that her appeal was subsequently rejected by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region High People’s Court.

Professor Rahile Dawut’s sentence comes with the supplemental sentence of deprivation of political rights for life.

For more information of Professor Rahile Dawut’s, please read our press statement.

Inciting subversion trial for Guangzhou activists begins

After spending two years in custody, the trial for women’s rights advocate Huang Xueqin (黄雪琴) and labor activist Wang Jianbin (王建兵) began on September 22, 2023. According to their supporters, family members of Huang and Wang were able to attend the hearing at the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court. The court has yet to announce a judgment at the time of writing.

Details of the allegation were unknown to the public until the supporters posted the indictment and updates on the trial. The document revealed that the two were initially detained for subversion on September 21, 2021. They were formerly arrested on October 27, 2021 for inciting subversion, another endangering state security crime. The indictment listed Huang as the first defendant and Wang as co-defendant.

The prosecutors accused the pair of using overseas communication apps to organize gatherings at Wang’s home to discuss social issues that would incite participants’ “dissatisfaction” with the Chinese government. Huang and Wang allegedly took part in training sessions organized by foreign NGOs on non-violent activism. Wang received the training while studying in the United Kingdom while Huang hosted the online course on non-violent activism from China.

The indictment also accuses Huang of writing and posting “inflammatory” articles on overseas social media platforms and spreading false information and accusations during online video conferences. Wang was similarly accused of posting false statements in several overseas online groups, including those commemorating the Chinese Jasmine Revolution and June Fourth, with the goal of subverting state power.

The indictment also named a third person, identified only by partial name of Chen X-Xiang, who was involved in organizing the gatherings at Wang’s home. Chen will be tried in a separate case.

Taiwan businessman incarcerated for espionage in Fujian

Dui Hua’s research has uncovered a previously unknown espionage case. A Taiwan resident and businessman is serving a 12-and-a-half year sentence for espionage in a Fujian prison.

Chen Shukai (陈树楷) was convicted by the Xiamen Intermediate Court in August 2020. Allegedly under the instruction of Taiwan Military Intelligence Bureau, he received 29 documents with military information between 1998 and 2003 when he visited Beijing.

Chen was the chairman of the board of Bioil International LTD (TW) before his detention. Dui Hua found a business with the same name on a Taiwan business information website. The page still lists Chen Shukai as the company’s chairman, but its tax status is “closed.”

In addition to prison, Chen’s sentence also includes three years of ”deprivation of political rights.” The sentence is expected to expire in June 2029.

In April 2023, the prison submitted a four-month sentence reduction recommendation on Chen’s behalf. At the time of writing, the result has yet to be made public.

Activist sentenced in Jiangxi

Jiangxi activist Ke Youbin (柯有斌) was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a conviction stemming from the critical messages he shared in his WeChat groups. Ke also met regularly with his fellow activists to discuss social issues. He was criminally detained on September 8, 2022 and is scheduled for release on March 7, 2025.

First prison visit for Wang Bingzhang in four years

Prominent activist Wang Bingzhang (王炳章) received his first in-prison visit since the outbreak of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. His daughter visited him at Guangdong’s Shaoguan Prison.

Wang, a permanent US resident, has been in a weakened state following recurrent strokes, and he continues to suffer from hypertension. Since being imprisoned for espionage and terrorism over two decades ago, Wang has been placed under solitary confinement. UN experts have called on member states to end the practice because prolonged solitary confinement amounts to psychological torture.

Mainland student sentenced for sedition in Hong Kong

On September 12, 2023, a Hong Kong court sentenced mainland postgraduate law student Zeng Yuxuan (曾雨璇) to six months in prison under the colonial-era sedition law. She was found guilty of receiving posters about the “Pillar of Shame,” a copper tower made from human figures representing those who died during the June 4, 1989 protests, from US-based activist Zhou Fengsuo (Zhou was a student leader during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest and is now the executive director of Human Rights in China).

Zeng is the first person from the mainland to be convicted of sedition in Hong Kong. The case serves as a warning to other mainlanders in the city who might sympathize with the pro-democracy movement.

Elderly Falun Gong practitioner in Guangdong Women’s Prison receives clemency

Interlocutors confirmed to Dui Hua that elderly Falun Gong practitioner Xu Ruiping (徐瑞萍) was granted a seven-month reduction in February 2023, for good behavior.

A resident of Jieyang, Guangdong, in her late 60s, Xu has been a long-time Falun Gong practitioner. She was previously placed under administrative detention in 2006 but remained unrepentant according to the 2016 judgment. She often recruited and gathered other practitioners at her home for meditation sessions. The police confiscated a large amount of materials at her home, including booklets, DVDs, cassette tapes, and posters.

The February sentence reduction is Xu’s second. She received a six-month reduction in 2020. Her sentence will expire in January 2025.