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January 2005


*The information contained in this summary is based on information collected by HRIC in November and is not intended as a complete list. Rather, it should be viewed as a representation of larger trends of dissent and repression in China.

Death Penalty


Media Censorship

Petitions and Protests

Political Dissidents

Religious Persecution

Death Penalty

Violent Crimes:
Chen Kai (陳凱), the wealthiest man in Fuzhou, was sentenced to death for committing a range of organized criminal offences including fraud, abduction, vice trade and drug trade. (

Yuan Baojing (袁寶璟), a billionaire businessman from Beijing, was sentenced to death for murder on January 13, 2005 along with his brother and cousin. He is appealing the ruling, which was handed down by the Intermediate People’s Court of Liaoyang City. (, AFP)

Yan Yanmiung (閰彥明), 21, was executed on January 20, 2005 after being convicted of murder and sentenced to death in December 2004. Yan broke into a high school dormitory Ruzhou, Henan in November 2004 and stabbed nine boys to death. (

Yang Ning (楊寧), a Chinese overseas studies student, was sentenced to death for murdering a Japanese family during his study in Japan. He was convicted after returning to China following the murder. Yang’s accomplice, Wang Liang (王亮), was sentenced to life imprisonment. (

Nine members of what was reputed to be one of China’s biggest criminal gangs were sentenced to death by the Intermediate People’s Court in Xuchang, Henan on January 21, 2005. Gang leader Song Liugen (宋留根) was among those sentenced. (SCMP)

Financial Crimes:
Chen Peng (陳平), former chief procurator in a People’s Procuratorate in Shaanxi, was convicted and sentenced to death on January 19, 2005 by the Xianyang Intermediate People’s Court on charges of corruption, murder and possession of explosives. (

Xu Quangming (徐光明), manager of a state-owned aluminum enterprise, was sentenced to death by the Gangsu Higher People’s Court on January 10, 2005 after being convicted of corruption involving funds totaling 7 million yuan. (CRI Online)

Wang Yan (王雁), an assistant to the mayor of Qingdao, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on January 11, 2005 for his role in an illegal land-leasing scandal. Wang was arrested on October 31, 2004, and his property was confiscated. (AP)

Cheng Minggan (陳明剛), Sun Shuangli (孫雙力) and Liu Fagang (劉發刪) were executed on January 12, 2005 in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, for drug trafficking. Chen and Sun were caught carrying methamphetamine and heroin on March 29, 2003; Liu was detained for involvement in heroin trafficking on April 6, 2004. Their executions were carried out after the Higher People’s Court of Guangxi denied their appeals. (Xinhua News Agency)

A Tibetan court commuted the death sentences of five men convicted of membership in an arms-smuggling gang on January 4, 2005. Three Tibetans, Qubzhag, Celo, and Lobsang Qoizhag, had been sentenced on August 27, 2004, along with two Nepali Maoists, Hirala Lal Shrestha and Gyaljen Sherpa. Qubzhag was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve, while Celo and Lobsang Qoizhag’s death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment (FT).


Ten miners were killed and 17 others injured in a coal mine accident on January 12, 2005, in Henan Province. Qiaoyang coal mine in Chengguan Township was operating in contravention of a temporary ban on regional coal production while inspections were taking place. (AFP)

On January 11, 2005, an explosion at the Xiangliu Firecracker Factory in Xiangfen County, Shanxi Province left 25 dead and nine injured. Most victims were female temporary workers. Victims suffering from burns or suffocation were treated at the Xiangfen County People’s Hospital. (Xinhua News Agency)

Authorities announced in mid-January that 6,027 workers were killed in coal mine accidents in 2004. China is set to revise its nine-year-old coal mining law in an attempt to improve safety standards. (AFP)

Approximately 700 sales staff of the Japanese cosmetics maker Kanebo refused to report to work on January 19, 2005 due to a labor-management dispute. The protest, which affected several Chinese retail outlets, primarily in Beijing and Shanghai, was in response to Kanebo’s decision to replace the Chinese president of the Shanghai branches with a Japanese executive. Workers also alleged human rights violations by a Japanese executive. (AFP)

On January 20, 2005, six of 27 farmers who protested the confiscation of their fields in Sanchawan Village, Shaanxi Province were handed prison sentences of two to six years, while protest leader Gao Lading was sentenced to 15 years. The farmers were charged with offenses including obstructing traffic and attacking government agencies. (Voice of America) 高拉丁

Laid-off workers of Yantai, Shandong were detained by police on November 11, 2004, after they had made several petitions to the district office to request for laid-off compensation since July 2004. Li Xintao (李信濤), leader of the petition, has yet to be released and may face severe charges. (

Media Censorship

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa announced in mid-January its decision to withdraw the visas of two Chinese Canadian journalists. David Ien and Danielle Zhu, who were to cover Prime Minister Paul Martin’s trip to China, are reporters from New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), which has been targeted by the Beijing authorities for its associations with the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and its coverage of sensitive issues such as SARS and human rights. (Reporters Without Borders)

Freelance writer Zhang Lin (張林) was reported by his wife to have been missing for more than 10 days on January 10, 2005. Friends of Zhang, including dissident writer Liu Xiaobo, suspected that Zhang’s disappearance was related to articles he had published on democracy in China. Zhang had been jailed several times previously for his involvement in pro-democracy activities in China. (

The rural edition of the China Reform magazine was formally closed by the authorities after former Chief Editor Chen Min (陳敏) was dismissed from his post and arrested in December. No reason was given for the magazine’s closure. (

Petitions and Protests

A group of around 10 women protested outside a meeting of the Shanghai People’s Congress on January 21, 2005 regarding the demolition of their shops. Many homes and businesses in Shanghai have been demolished to make room for new development projects. A day earlier, a group of nearly 40 people had convened at the same site, singing the socialist revolutionary anthem, “Internationale.” (AP)

Political Dissidents

Xu Zhengqing (許正清), a Shanghai resident, was formally arrested and charged with “suspicion of creating a disturbance in a public place and transport depot” on January 27, 2005 after being detained for more than 50 hours. Xu was detained along with 22 other Shanghai residents who were in Beijing to attend the memorial service of ousted Party Secretary Zhao Ziyang. All 22 were escorted back to Shanghai by train, after which Xu was formally detained and charged. (HRIC)

Nurmehemmet Yasin, a 30-year old Uighur writer, was arrested in November 2004, after publishing a short story entitled “The Blue Pigeon,” which advocated Uighur independence. He was convicted in December for violating article 249 of the criminal code on incitement of racial hatred, according to a state security officer in the Maralwexi district of Kashgar. An official at the local prosecutor’s office confirmed the arrest but maintained that Yasmin had not yet been tried. (AFP)

Sentence extension:
Mao Hengfeng (毛恒鳯), a long-term campaigner against China’s coercive family planning policies, had her custodial sentence at a Reeducation Through Labor (RTL) camp in Shanghai increased by three months. No reason was given for the extension, and Mao and her family were barred from examining any paperwork. (Radio Free Asia, HRIC)

Under surveillance:
AIDS activist Hu Jia (胡 佳) and Tiananmen Mother Ding Zilin (丁子霖) reported police surveillance outside their homes in mid-January. Ding and other dissidents, including Jiang Yanyong (蔣彥永) and Liu Xiabo (劉曉波), were barred from attending Zhao Ziyang’s memorial service. Chinese authorities were reported to be closely monitoring the activities of civil rights campaigners and dissidents to prevent commemorative activities following Zhao’s death. (AFP, AP)

Religious Persecution

Sonam Phuntsok, aged around 30 and identified as a monk, was arrested on suspicion of involvement in a fire in late December in the Tibetan region of Sichuan province. Police suspected the fire was the work of separatists opposed to Chinese rule. (Radio Free Asia)

Tashi Phuntsog, who worked with prominent lama Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, was released in January 2005. His physical condition had deteriorated seriously while in prison. Chinese authorities did not provide a reason for his sentence or for his early release. He served nearly three years of a seven-year sentence in Kangding prison, near Chengdu. (BBC)

错误 | Human Rights in China 中国人权 | HRIC