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PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA:
FEARS FOR TWO ACTIVISTS DETAINED IN CHINA

Update info:
23 Jun 2015
Country:
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Subject:
Guo Bin(m), Yang Zhangqing(m)
Period:
29 Jul 2015
Distribution date:
23 Jun 2015
UA No:
137/2015

Two activists associated with the prominent anti-discrimination NGO Yirenping were detained on 12 June on suspicion of “illegal business operations”. Guo Bin and Yang Zhangqing have since been transferred to Henan province, but their exact whereabouts are unknown. They are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

Guo Bin, director of Zhongyixing, an advocacy NGO promoting the human rights of disadvantaged groups, was taken away by police on 12 June from the bedside of his two-year-old son who was recovering at a hospital in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. On the same day, Yang Zhangqing, who has worked on Hepatitis B carriers’ rights and is involved in activism on consumer rights, was taken from his home in Huizhou, Guangdong province. Both activists have previously worked for Yirenping, one of China most famous NGOs, which fights against the discrimination of women, disabled people, LGBTI people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

On 15 June, the activists were transferred to Henan province.  Police verbally told the families that Guo Bin and Yang Zhangqing were detained on suspicion of “operating illegal business” but did not give them any written notification. Yang Zhangqing was reported to be held at the Zhengzhou #3 Detention centre, but when his lawyer visited on 17 June, the detention centre staff said that he was not there. Guo Bin’s lawyer has not been able to find him at either the Zhengzhou #2 or #3 detention centres.

Their detention appears to be due to their connection with Yirenping, and part of a wider crackdown on civil society groups in China. Yirenping’s office was raided by police in March, and many former employees and volunteers of Yirenping have reported being harassed or intimidated by the authorities in recent months.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

NGOs across China – in different provinces and working in different fields – have come under intense scrutiny in recent years by state security, who often question them repeatedly about any links to foreign funding. Some NGOs have simply been shut down. Weizhiming, a Hangzhou-based NGO working on women’s rights and corporate and social responsibility, had to shut down in late May due to the pressure put on it when its director, Wu Rongrong, was detained along with other female activists earlier in the year.  The Transition Institute, one of China’s few independent research institutions on social and economic issues, was forced to shut down and its former staff members have faced intimidating police interrogation.

Take action

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

  • Calling on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Guo Bin and Yang Zhangqing;
  • Asking them to immediately confirm the whereabouts of Guo Bin and Yang Zhangqing;
  • Calling on them to ensure that pending their release, Guo Bin and Yang Zhangqing have regular, unrestricted access to their lawyers and families, to any medical treatment they may require, and are protected from torture and other ill-treatment.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 JULY 2015 TO:
Governor of Henan Province
Xie Fuzhan
Henan Sheng Renmin Zhengfu
Nongye Lu Dong 28 hao
Hennan Ribao Baoye Dasha 
11 Lou Dong Bangongting
People’s Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Governor

Henan Public Security Bureau Chief
Wang Xiaohong
Henan Sheng Gong’an Ting
Zhengzhou Shi
Jinshui Lu 9 hao
People’s Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director

And copies to:
Minister of Public Security
Guo Kunsheng Buzhang
14 Dongchang’an jie
Dongcheng Qu
Beijing Shi 100741
People’s Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 6626 2550
Salutation: Your Excellency 

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.