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Examples of Cases Involving Charges Related to State Secrets from 2007 to Present

July 24, 2009

Sun Xiaodi (孙小弟) and Sun Haiyan (孙海燕) (also known as Sun Dunbai (孙敦白))

Sun Xiaodi is a workers’ rights and environmental justice advocate who has fought over 20 years to publicize contamination hazards and corruption in connection with the operation of China’s No. 792 Uranium Mine. On June 10, 2009, Sun Xiaodi and his daughter, Sun Haiyan, 25, were detained on suspicion of providing state secrets overseas, and subsequently sentenced to Reeducation-Through Labor (RTL) for two years and one-and-a-half years, respectively. According to the sentencing decision, authorities asserted that Sun Xiaodi stole information relating to No. 792 Uranium Mine and gave it to his daughter to supply to overseas organizations.

For information on Sun Xiaodi and Sun Haiyan:

Lin Dagang (林大刚)

Lin Dagang, almost 70 years old, is a property rights advocate for those who, like himself, have had their inherited lands seized by the government. On June 10, 2009, Lin received a summons and was subsequently detained on suspicion of illegally possessing state secrets documents. According to reports, the allegedly “secret” documents at issue are in fact publicly accessible official documents released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.  Specifically, Lin appears to have been charged with possessing copies of the Ministry’s Opinion on Handling the Issue of Rental Housing and its Notice on the Proper Handling of the Issue of Rental Housing. As of July 20, 2009, Lin remains detained at Taizhou Municipal Detention Center.

To read the official summons and detention notice for Lin Dagang:

Huang Qi (黄琦)

Huang Qi is a leading advocate for the survivors of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Huang frequently visited quake-devastated areas, bringing aid to victims and publishing news about the plight of parents who lost children in the disaster. On June 10, 2008, Huang was criminally detained on suspicion of illegally possessing state secrets, for which he was formally arrested on July 18, 2008. A trial scheduled for February 3, 2009 trial has been postponed indefinitely.  Huang, currently detained at Chengdu Detention Center, has been denied access to legal counsel on the grounds that his case involves state secrets.

For information on Huang Qi:  

Zeng Hongling(曾宏玲)

Zeng Hongling is a retired teacher who previously taught at the Southwest China University of Science and Technology in Mianyang, Sichuan Province. In the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake, Zeng published essays on overseas websites decrying the collapse of school buildings and suggesting that corruption may have played a role in increasing the severity of the destruction. On June 9, 2008, Chinese police detained Zeng on suspicion of leaking state secrets overseas. As of July 20, 2009, Zeng remains detained at Mianyang Detention Center.

For information on Zeng Hongling:

Wang Jiyong (王季勇)

Wang Jiyong, a housing rights advocate, has long petitioned the government against the official seizure of his inherited land. In connection with his petitions, Wang has been detained on a number of occasions. Specifically, starting March 4, 2008, Wang was detained for 26 days on suspicion of illegally possessing state secrets documents.

Zhang Qi (张起)

Zhang Qi, an advocate for Sichuan earthquake survivors, has published a number of articles on the government’s quake recovery response. On May 16, 2008, Zhang was detained on suspicion of inciting subversion of state power and subsequently arrested on June 20, 2008 on suspicion of illegally pursuing state secrets. Zhang was convicted for inciting subversion of the state power on July 8, 2009.

For information on Zhang Qi:

Gong Haoming(龚浩明)

Gong Haoming, a petitioner from Shanghai, helped organize an open letter to state authorities entitled “We Want Human Rights, Not the Olympics,” published in May 2007. On November 8, 2007, Gong was detained and subsequently charged for leaking state secrets. On December 8, 2007, upon the guarantee of his wife, Gong was released pending trial for one year on reported grounds that there was insufficient evidence to arrest him.

For information on Gong Haoming:    

Lü Gengsong (吕耿松)

Lü Gengsong, a writer and rights activist based in Hangzhou, was taken into custody on August 24, 2007 and subsequently charged with incitement to subvert state power and illegally possessing state secrets. The charges related to various essays that Lü had published online, including articles on corruption and organized crime. Lü’s trial was held on January 22, 2008 and on February 5, 2008, he was found guilty of inciting subversion of state power and sentenced to four years in prison. On April 14, 2008, his original verdict was upheld on appeal and his request for a new trial denied. He is currently serving his sentence at Hangzhou Prison.

For information on Lü Gengsong: