In its efforts to further muffle opposition voices prior to the 16th Party Congress, Chinese authorities have initiated a new round of arrests, with at least two dissidents, Fang Jue and Xu Wanping, reportedly detained.
Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned from a reliable source that Fang Jue, a democracy activist released from a four-year prison sentence on July 22, was arrested in Beijing the morning of November 4.
Fang’s sister, Liu Jing, tried to contact Fang on the afternoon of November 4, but Fang did not answer either his home phone or his cellular phone. Liu was also unable to locate the housekeeper she had hired to look after Fang’s health. Some sources familiar with the situation said that Fang was arrested, but these sources declined to provide further details regarding the time or reason for the arrest, saying only that Fang could not be contacted. As Fang’s only relative, Liu is making inquiries with the Public Security and Judicial Departments, and has called for the authorities to respect the legal right of relatives to be notified of a family member’s arrest.
Also on November 4, Chongqing Public Security police arrested dissident Xu Wanping, who served seven years in prison for his participation in the June 4, 1989 protests. Police also arrested Xu’s female companion, Chen Xianying, and interrogated her for several hours regarding Xu’s activities before releasing her. Xu’s home was also searched twice over a period of several hours.
HRIC deplores the use of the upcoming Party Congress as an excuse for authorities to harass and arrest dissidents. HRIC president Liu Qing says, “Fang Jue and Xu Wanping have been subjected to constant persecution and prejudice for no other reason than the reasonable desire to express their views and demands in the run-up to the Party Congress.” HRIC calls on the Chinese authorities to immediately release Fang Jue and Xu Wanping, and to refrain from arresting or suppressing any other dissidents.
For more information, contact:
Stacy Mosher (English) 212-268-9074
Liu Qing (Chinese) 212-239-4495