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Shanghai Lawyer Zheng Enchong Formally Arrested

June 20, 2003

For Immediate Release

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that on June 18 Shanghai authorities formally arrested Zheng Enchong, a lawyer who has been assisting residents fighting redevelopment of their neighborhoods.

Zheng was originally detained on June 6 on accusations of stealing state secrets. His house has since been searched at least twice. During the searches Public Security police warned Zheng’s wife, Jiang Meili, not to speak to the foreign media or other parties outside of China.

Zheng Enchong has assisted displaced families in more than 500 cases relating to Shanghai’s urban redevelopment projects. He has continued assisting affected householders even after Chinese authorities revoked his law license. Most recently he has advised families involved in a lawsuit against Shanghai’s Jing’an District Property Development Bureau alleging official collusion with a wealthy property developer, Zhou Zhengyi. The case has raised keen attention in the Mainland and Hong Kong media because of the close relationship between Zhou Zhengyi, now a Hong Kong resident, and certain senior officials in the central government.

Since Zheng’s detention police have also carried out investigations regarding several of the householders Zheng has been assisting. The householders have been taken away for extensive questioning, and their homes have been searched without any legal warrants being presented.

Zheng Enchong is currently being held in the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau Detention Center.

For more information, contact:
Stacy Mosher (English) 212-268-9074
Liu Qing (Chinese) 212-239-4495