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The ‘usual’ Chinese policy: dissidents arrested ahead of National People’s Congress

ICC Note:

In keeping with their usual methods, China had a number of dissidents and human rights activists monitored or arrested ahead of the National People’s Congress in Beijing.


3/6/09 China (AsiaNews) The police have arrested or placed under surveillance dissidents and human rights activists, ahead of the National People’s Congress (NPC), which began yesterday in Beijing. Meanwhile, on March 4 the court of Jixi (Heilongjiang) sentenced the activist Yuan Xianchen to 4 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.”

René Xia of Chinese Human Rights Defenders claims that the sentence is based on confessions that were extracted from Yuan using torture, and that the court did not carry out any investigations into this as requested by the defense.

Meanwhile, Human Rights in China is denouncing numerous arrests made just before the NPC. These include Feng Jusheng and Chen Heying from the village of Wuma, near Changzhi (Shanxi), who led protests against the local authorities, accused of illegally selling land belonging to the farmers.

On March 2 in Beijing, the police put 64-year-old Wang Xiuzhen under house arrest, and beat him. Since 1998, Wang has presented petitions to obtain serious investigations into a fraudulent investment in which many workers lost tens of millions of dollars. Wang, who has been hospitalized for his injuries, will be allowed to leave after the conclusion of the congress, on March 18.

Also placed under strict surveillance are the dissident Jiang Qisheng, member of domestic churches Hua Huiqi (in the photo), and Xu Yonghai, the founder of the Chinese democratic party Zha Jianguo.

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