Rights activist Huang Qi has been criminally detained on suspicion of illegally possessing state secrets after visiting the Sichuan earthquake zone and publishing news about the plight of parents who lost children in the disaster, Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned.
Huang's family was informed by the police that Huang is suspected of violating China’s complex and restrictive state secrets laws, sources told HRIC.
Huang, founder of the website 64tianwang (http://www.64tian wang.com), has visited quake-devastated Sichuan province numerous times in recent weeks, bringing aid to victims and publishing news about the situation on the site.
"This is another illustration of how a person who is only trying to help might find himself snared by China’s state secrets laws," HRIC Executive Director Sharon Hom said. "This use of the law as a sword hanging over rights activists, like Huang Qi, contradicts the reported ‘new media openness’ in China following the Sichuan earthquake."
Huang previously served five years in prison for the crime of "inciting subversion of state power" over politically sensitive postings on his website. Following his release in 2005, he launched a new website that has supported a wide range of human rights causes.
For more information about Huang Qi, see:
- HRIC Press Release: Human Rights in China Condemns the Detention of Huang Qi by Police in Chengdu, June 14, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/56408.
- HRIC Report: State Secrets: China’s Legal Labyrinth, June 12, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/41421.