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Chinese democracy activist detained: Liu Xianbin

ICC Note: Christian and human rights activist Liu Xianbin was arrested on June 28, 2010 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.”

8/3/10 China (AmnestyInternational) – Liu Xianbin is a prominent Sichuan democracy activist, aged 43, who has previously served two prison terms for his human rights and democracy activism. On 28 June, 14 security officers arrived at his home in Suining, Sichuan Province. Some of the officers took Liu Xianbin to the local Public Security Bureau station for questioning, while the others remained to search his home, confiscating two computer hard drives, two portable drives, his bank card and records of payments he received for articles he published online. According to the detention notice provided to his wife, Chen Mingxian, he is being detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”.

According to his lawyer, who met Liu Xianbin on 1 July, police questioned him about his support of other democracy activists and human rights defenders, including Chen Yunfei, as well as his numerous online articles in support of democratic reforms. Local human rights activists believe he is being punished for his continued democracy activism and defence of human rights after being released from prison in November 2008. Since his release in 2008, Liu has been involved in high-profile activities: He has supported Charter 08, a proposal for fundamental legal and political reform in China that aims to achieve a democratic system that respects human rights; he has also published articles on human rights and democracy and worked to increase public awareness of other persecuted activists.

Liu Xianbin is currently being held at the Suining City Detention Centre. On 29 June, security officers summoned Liu Xianbin’s wife and questioned her for approximately three hours about his activities. They also conducted an investigation at the school attended by the couple’s 13-year old daughter, leaving her in tears.

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