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PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA:
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST DETAINED, RISKS TORTURE

Update info:
9 Jul 2015
Country:
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Subject:
Liu Shaoming
Gender m/f: m
Period:
13 Aug 2015
Distribution date:
9 Jul 2015
UA No:
145/2015

Human rights activist Liu Shaoming is being held by police, and the authorities have prevented his lawyer from meeting with him. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Liu Shaoming was detained shortly after publishing a piece online about his experience during the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989 and his work as a labour rights activist in China.

On 25 May, Liu Shaoming published on the US-based website Boxun.com his reflections about joining the pro-democracy movement in Beijing in 1989, becoming a member of China’s first independent trade union, the Beijing Workers’ Autonomous Federation, and supporting numerous other labour and human rights cases in recent years. He went missing five days later. The police confirmed on 14 June that he was detained at the Huadu Detention Centre, in Guangdong Province for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”, a charge that has become increasingly used to suppress dissent in China. 

His lawyer went to the Huadu Detention Centre on 23 June, but was told he would need approval from the police in order to visit Liu Shaoming, as he was being investigated for “inciting subversion of state power”.

In addition to voicing support for workers during various strikes in Guangdong in recent years, Liu Shaoming also started a group called Volunteers for Workers’ Rights. This attempted to merge the democracy and labour rights movements by having Chinese citizens show solidarity for workers involved in collective labour disputes. Liu Shaoming has also protested in support of other important cases involving freedom of expression and association in recent years.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Liu Shaoming was born in 1958 in Jiangxi and worked at the Xinyu Steel Factory. He travelled to Beijing on 23 May 1989 to take part in the “Beijing Spring” and show solidarity for the students who had camped out in Tiananmen Square. He joined the short-lived Beijing Workers’ Autonomous Federation. In the evening of 3 June and the following morning, the Chinese authorities used force on predominantly unarmed civilians, killing hundreds if not thousands. After the crackdown that followed, Liu Shaoming was sentenced to one year in prison by the Xinyu Intermediate Court for “counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement”.

In recent years, he has become active once again in voicing support for activists in landmark human rights cases such as the New Citizen’s Movement cases, including Liu Ping, Ding Jiaxi, and Zhang Baocheng cases, Guo Feixiong’s case, Tang Jingling’s case, as well as many of the important collective labour disputes in recent years in Guangdong: the Yue Yuen strike in Dongguan, the Guangzhou University Town sanitation workers strike, and a strike at the Panyu Xinsheng shoe strike.

It is unclear whether the authorities detained Liu Shaoming for his political activism or for publishing his reflections on the pro-democracy movement and the Tiananmen crackdown, which remains a highly taboo topic in China. The Chinese government censors the internet and the press for mentions of the Tiananmen crackdown, and it suppresses all public commemorations of those who died in the crackdown. This year the Tiananmen Mothers, an advocacy group made up mainly of parents whose children were killed in the 1989 military crackdown, experienced an increase in the usual restrictions on their movement, harassment and surveillance. Activist Chen Yunfei was detained on 25 March, shortly after visiting the graves of students killed in the Tiananmen crackdown in Sichuan province. He was later formally arrested for “picking a quarrel and provoking trouble” and “inciting subversion of state power”.

Name: Liu Shaoming

Gender m/f: m

UA: 145/15 Index: ASA 17/1984/2015 Issue Date: 2 July 2015

Take action

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

  • Calling on the authorities to release Liu Shaoming immediately and unconditionally;
  • Calling on them to ensure that pending his release, Liu Shaoming has regular, unrestricted access to his lawyers, family and any medical attention he may require, and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 13 AUGUST 2015 TO:
Huadu District Detention centre
Furong Zhuanyong Dao
Guangzhou City
Guangzhou Province
People’s Republic of China
Phone: +86 20-86993279 (Chinese speakers only)
Salutation: Dear Director

Director Xie Xiaodan
Guangzhou City Public Security Bureau
No. 200 Qiyilu
Guangzhou City
Guangdong Province
People’s Republic of China
Phone: +86 20-83116688 (Chinese speakers only)
Salutation: Dear Director

Director Li Chunsheng
Guangdong Provincial Security Department
97 Hao Huanghua Lu
Guangzhou City
Guangdong Province
People’s Republic of China
Phone: +86 20-83832980 (Chinese speakers only)
Email: xf@gdga.gov.cninfo@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.