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PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA:
HUSBAND AND BROTHER OF ACTIVIST DETAINED

Update info:
3 Mar 2015 (Updated)
Latest info:
4 Dec 2014 (Updated)
8 Nov 2014
Country:
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Subject:
Su Changlan (f), Chen Dequan (m), Su Shangwei (m), Chen Qitang (m)
Gender: Both
Period:
7 Apr 2015
Distribution date:
3 Mar 2015
UA No:
275/2014

The husband and brother of detained women’s rights activist Su Changlan have themselves been criminally detained in China. They were held after submitting an application for permission to visit her on 12 February, during which her brother held a sign declaring her innocence.

On 12 February, Chen Dequan and Su Shangwei, the husband and brother of detained activist Su Changlan, went with her lawyer to Foshan City Public Security Bureau, Guangdong province, to submit an application for permission to visit Su Changlan. While outside the bureau, Su Shangwei held a placard reading ‘Su Changlan is innocent’. He was summoned for investigation by Nanhai Public Security Office on 14 February at 2am, and Chen Dequan was detained later the same day. Their family received formal notices of their detention stating that they were held in Chancheng District Detention Centre on suspicion of ‘picking quarrels and provoking troubles’.

Su Changlan was taken away from her home by police on 27 October 2014, and has been formally arrested for ‘inciting subversion of state power’, a charge which could lead to life imprisonment. It is believed the charges against her are as a result of posts she made online in support of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Su Changlan’s lawyers have made several requests to visit her since her detention, but they have all been rejected.

Su Changlan’s friend, Chen Qitang (also known as Tian Li), who had been providing legal assistance and petitioned for her release, was detained on 25 November and formally arrested on 31 December for ‘inciting subversion of state power’. He has been detained in Nanhai District Detention Centre and has not had access to his lawyers.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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. The current charges against her are believed to be as a result of posts she made online in support of the prodemocracy protests in Hong Kong. She was questioned by police in Nanhai, Foshan, central Guangdong province, on two occasions in September in 2014, and according to friends the police warned her not to continue posting material about the protests. However, after making further comments about the protests on social media, she was taken away from her home by police on 27 October. It was not confirmed where she was being held until her family received a notice of the charges against her on 3 December, which stated that she is detained at Nanhai District Detention Centre.

Su Changlan’s husband Chen Dequan was detained along with Chen Qitang on 25 November. Chen Dequan was held for 11 hours before being released, during which he had his thighs tied to a restraint chair. He also had his bank cards, mobile phone and keys to his home confiscated.

Approximately 100 people were detained in mainland China after the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong began in September 2014, 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. At least twenty-seven remained in detention as of 24 February. Among others, several poets and artists from Songzhuang, an artist community in Beijing, were detained for showing their support for the protests. This was part of a wider attempt by the Chinese authorities to silence any discussion or display of support for the events in Hong Kong. The popular photo-sharing platform Instagram was blocked, government censors 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.

Name: Su Changlan (f), Chen Dequan (m), Su Shangwei (m), Chen Qitang (m)

Gender m/f: Both

Further information on UA: 275/14 Index: ASA 17/1053/2015 Issue Date: 24 February 2015

Take action

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

  • Calling on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Su Changlan, Chen Dequan, Su Shangwei and Chen Qitang:
  • Urging the authorities to ensure that pending their release, they all have regular, unrestricted access to their lawyers and families as well as any medical attention they may require, and are protected from torture and other ill-treatment.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 7 APRIL 2015 TO:
Director
Jiang Kaixin
Foshan City Public Security Bureau
No. 8 Lingnan Dadaobei, Shanchengqu
Foshan City, 528000 Guangdong Province
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director

Director
Chancheng District Detention Centre
Dawuganglu, Chanchengqu
Foshan City 528031, Guangdong Province
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director

Director
Li Chunsheng
Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department
No. 97 Huanghualu, 510005
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.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the third update of UA 275/14. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/054/2014/en