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UA 275/14 CHINA - FEMALE ACTIVIST HELD INCOMMUNICADO IN CHINA

4 november 2014

ASA 17/054/2014

 

CHINA

 

Chinese women’s rights activist Su Changlan has not been heard from since she was taken away by police on 27 October. There are concerns that her detention might be as a result of comments she made online in support of protests in Hong Kong. The authorities have refused to reveal her whereabouts to her husband or lawyer, and she is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

 

Activist Su Changlan was questioned by police in Foshan, central Guangdong province, on two occasions in September, after she had made comments on social media in support of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. On 27 October she was taken from her home by police for questioning at the Guicheng police station in Nanhai, Foshan, on suspicion of "picking quarrels and provoking troubles", a charge which can lead to imprisonment of up to five years, and is often used to supress human rights defenders and critics of the government.

 

Su Changlan’s husband went to the local police station and Foshan Public Security Bureau office on 28 October to enquire about her situation but the authorities refused to disclose her whereabouts. Officials at the petition office at the Public Security Bureau said the family would get a response to their enquiry within 60 days. On 31 October, Su Changlan's family went to Nanhai District Detention Centre but the officers said she was not being detained there. Torture and other ill-treatment remain endemic in all places of detention in China, and this risk is even greater for those who are not allowed access to their family or lawyer.

 

Su Changlan is a well-known activist in southern China, who has been detained several times previously due to her peaceful activities defending women’s rights, on issues including family planning and domestic violence.

 

At least 94 people have been detained in mainland China, including approximately a dozen in Guangdong, for showing their support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong since they began on 26 September.

 

Please write immediately in Chinese, English or your own language:

- Demanding that the authorities immediately disclose the whereabouts and legal status of Su Changlan;

- Calling on them to ensure without delay that she has regular, unrestricted access to her lawyer and family, and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment;

- Urge the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those detained solely for peacefully showing support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 DECEMBER 2014 TO:

 

Director

Jiang Kaixin

Foshan City Public Security Bureau

No. 8 Lingnan Dadaobei, Shanchengqu

Foshan City, Guangdong Province

People's Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Director

 

Director

Nanhai District Detention Centre

Shishan Zhaoda Management Zone

Foshan City

Guangdong Province

People's Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Director

 

Director

Li Chunsheng

Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department

No. 97 Huanghualu

Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province

People's Republic of China

Email: xf@gdga.gov.cn, info@gdga.gov.cn

Salutation: Dear Director

 

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

 

KINESISKA FOLKREPUBLIKENS AMBASSAD

LIDOVÄGEN 8

115 25 STOCKHOLM

FAX 08-579 364 54

E-post: protocol@chinaembassy.se

 

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

At least 94 people have been detained in mainland China since pro-democracy protests began in Hong Kong on 26 September, for activities such as expressing their support on social media, shaving their heads in solidarity with the demonstrators, or planning to travel to Hong Kong to join the protests. Some of those detained have since been released. This is part of a wider attempt by the Chinese authorities to silence any discussion or displays of support for the events in Hong Kong. Government censors have attempted to remove all positive mentions of the pro-democracy protests online, while forcing newspapers and TV stations to only use the state-sponsored narrative of the protests.

 

The charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” (Article 293 of Criminal Law) carries a maximum of five years imprisonment if the person commits one of the acts of creating disturbances, thus disrupting public order such as forcibly taking or demanding, damaging, destroying or occupying public or private property with serious circumstances; or creating disturbances in a public place, thus causing serious disorder in such place etc. If the person gathers others and commits the behaviours repeatedly that seriously undermine public order, he or she will receive a maximum of ten years imprisonment but no less than five years imprisonment.

 

Name: Su Changlan

Gender m/f: Female