A Chinese activist who applied to protest in special zones set up for demonstrations during the Beijing Olympics has become the latest applicant to be detained by police, a rights group said Friday.
Ji Sizun disappeared Aug. 11, three days into the Olympic Games, and hasn’t been seen since, the overseas Chinese Human Rights Defenders group said. On Thursday, police from Fuzhou City in southeastern Fujian province told a friend of Ji’s that he had been detained, the group said.
It was not clear when he was taken into police custody.
A man surnamed Teng at the legal department of the Fuzhou City public security bureau said he did not know of Ji’s case. He said his bureau only deals with people once there is a case against them, and Ji might have been detained by lower-level agency.
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On September 23, Liu Xueli (刘学立), a petitioner and activist against forcible land appropriation from Henan Province, was sent to a local Re-education through Labor (RTL) camp. Liu had been under residential surveillance (house arrest) after he submitted an application to protest at the “Protest Zones” in Beijing during the Olympics.
At 2:45 p.m. yesterday, Liu was forcibly dragged into a car by policemen from Song County Public Security Bureau (PSB). Police told Liu that they were going to have a “chat” at the PSB. Hours later, Liu was told that he was to be sent to RTL. However, Liu was not presented with a formal written RTL order and was not informed of the length of, or the reasons for, the punishment.
CHRD calls for Liu’s immediate and unconditional release. CHRD believes that Liu has been detained solely for peaceful expression of opinion and petitioning. The Chinese government has violated Liu’s right to freedom of expression, a right guaranteed in Articles 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which China has signed as well as Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution. The Chinese government has also violated Article 41 of the Constitution, which guarantees citizens’ right to complain about government misconduct.