China Regional Action Network – April 2008
China: Huang Jinqiu
Concerns: Freedom of expression, internet/media censorship, prisoner of conscience
Huang Jinqiu (pen name: Qing Shuijun) began working as a journalist when he was 18. In 2000, at 26 years old, he won a scholarship to study journalism in Malaysia. With access to new information he became politically active, and contributed regularly to overseas Chinese-language news sites, such as Boxun.com. In January 2003, he announced online his plans to establish the China Patriotic Democracy Party (CPDP).
Upon his return to China seven months later, he was placed under tight police surveillance. He posted his last article, “Me and my public security friends”, to Boxun.com on 10 September 2003. Three days later, he was taken to Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province and held incommunicado until January 2004 when his family in Shandong Province was officially informed about his arrest.
China Regional Action Network – March 2008
China: Ye Guozhu
Concerns: Housing rights activist and Human Rights Defender, prisoner of conscience
In 2003, officials of the Xuanwu District in Beijing reportedly colluded with developers to force a large number of city residents to relocate. Among the properties seized were a restaurant and living quarters belonging to Ye Guozhu, for which he received no compensation.
On 24 August 2004, Ye Guozhu applied for official permission to hold a public demonstration in mid-September, when the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee was to hold its annual meeting. He was detained three days later and tried in secret by the No.2 Beijing Municipal Intermediate People’s Court. Hundreds of Ye’s supporters surrounded the courthouse asking for his release. On 18 December, Ye Guozhu was convicted of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble” and sentenced to four years in prison. His sentence was upheld on appeal.