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Crackdown on Dissidents for National Day

October 2, 2003

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Chinese authorities have carried out a wide-scale crackdown on dissidents during the political sensitive period surrounding China’s national day. HRIC has learned of the following actions against dissidents:

1) On the morning of September 30 Beijing public security police arrested Zhang Chunzhu in his home and took him to a hostel on the city’s outskirts. Another dissident, Wang Guoqi, who was staying in Zhang’s home, has gone missing. Zhang and Wong were both previously imprisoned for their involvement in the China Freedom and Democracy Party and related movements.

2) In the early hours of September 30 Beijing public security police arrested petitioner Ye Guozhu in his home. The police provided no warrant or reason for the arrest, and Ye’s family remains unaware of his current whereabouts. Ye has become an influential leader among Beijing residents petitioning authorities over their displacement and compensation in urban redevelopment schemes.

3) Hua Huiqi and Xu Yonghai, both active in Beijing’s house church movement, have been confined to house arrest. Hua’s elderly parents were arrested on October 1 while protesting at Tiananmen Square over their forced relocation in a redevelopment scheme and other political grievances. The two old people remained in custody at last notice. Police originally intended to arrest Xu Yonghai, but decided on house arrest instead because of the precarious health of Xu’s elderly mother.

4) Xiao Biguang, an active member in a Beijing house church, was arrested on September 26 while attending the wedding of a friend in Ping Dingshan, Henan Province. Another core member of the house church movement, Zhang Yinan, was arrested at the same time, and Zhang’s wife, Ding Guizhen, was arrested separately in their home. Police also searched Zhang’s home and confiscated his computer and other property. Xiao Biguang served as legal counsel for Gong Shengliang, leader of the South China Church, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison. Sources believe Xiao was arrested for revealing to the outside world that Gong was being tortured in prison.

HRIC deeply deplores these oppressive actions against political and religious activists, and calls for the immediate release of everyone detained or under house arrest.