Who Is Huang Qi?

Tan Zuoren, January 13, 2019

Huang Qi’s trial opens today (January 14, Beijing time) in Mianyang Intermediary Court, Sichuan Province. – The Editors

Huang Qi, second from left, in April, 2016. Photo: RFA

Huang Qi (黄琦), 55, is from Neijiang City in Sichuan Province (四川内江市), southwestern China. He holds a bachelor’s degree and is the founder of 64 Tianwang (六四天网) as well as the China Tianwang Human Rights Affairs Center (中国天网人权事务中心). He has for years devoted himself to public interest work, and he is also a dissident. Huang Qi’s late father was a soldier. His mother is a retired cardiologist Ms. Pu Wenqing (蒲文清), 85 years old this year.

Huang Qi graduated from the Radio Department of Sichuan University in 1984. Following his graduation, he worked for years as a businessman. In 1998, Huang Qi and his wife Zeng Li (曾丽) pooled the resources of their family and founded the “Tianwang Center for Missing Persons” (天网寻人网站)—the first such Chinese public welfare organization—in Chengdu. On October 23 of the same year, he founded China’s first private office for locating lost persons. Through this organization, Huang Qi and his wife helped the police crack down on kidnapping and assist the relatives of abducted women and children in finding and rescuing their loved ones. 

Tianwang’s work was acknowledged and praised by major Chinese media. The People’s Daily published a special report called “The Many Exploits of Tianwang’s Searches for the Missing” (《天网寻人故事多》). Feature reports by other media include, among others, “My Dream Is to Reunite Ten Thousand Families” (《万家团圆是我的心愿》), “The Missing Persons Center Handles Every Case With Love and Tears” (《寻人事务所一一用爱和泪水来经营》), and “She Founded China’s First Missing Persons Center” (《她创办了中国首家寻人事务所》).

On June 3, 2000, Huang Qi was arrested and imprisoned for posting “sensitive rights defense information on the website of Tianwang Missing Persons Center. It was his first. After two and a half years of detention, he was sentenced to five years in prison for the charge of “inciting subversion of state power.” During his five-year sentence, Huang Qi was repeatedly beaten by police officers, prison guards, and other inmates, leading to serious ailments such as hydrocephalus, brain atrophy, bilateral ventricle enlargement, and narrowing of the urethra.

The core mission of 64 Tianwang is to “stand in solidarity with those who have no power, no money, and no influence.”

On June 2, 2005, after Huang Qi was released from prison, the Tianwang Missing Persons Center, still running when he served out his sentence, was officially renamed 64 Tianwang. The core mission of 64 Tianwang is to “stand in solidarity with those who have no power, no money, and no influence” (与无权无钱无势的弱势人群站在一起). It has served as a comprehensive, peaceful, and effective service to protect the rights of petitioners throughout the country who have no other recourse available to them. The volunteers who run 64 Tianwang adhere to the facts in their reports, exposing public corruption scandals and information about civil rights activism. It is the first private media organization in China to provide a wide range of information services for petitioners.

During the May 12 Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008, Huang Qi actively participated in disaster relief efforts, and was first to report the shoddily-built tofu-dreg classrooms (校园豆腐渣工程) scandal via 64 Tianwang, incurring the anger of the Sichuan provincial authorities who were under the factional patronage of Zhou Yongkang (周永康). Charged with “Illegal possession of state secrets,” Huang Qi was sentenced again, this time to three years in prison.

By 2011, when Huang Qi was released from his second sentence, he was suffering from a terminal kidney illness. Despite his condition, he continued his public interest activities with 64 Tianwang, and founded the China Tianwang Human Rights Center (中国天网人权事务中心). Huang Qi’s determination did not waver even as his family broke up. Together with other Tianwang volunteers, he established a nationwide information network for petitioners and civil rights, providing first-line, first-hand information from all levels of government about human rights and “stability maintenance” for the public.

On November 28, 2016, Huang Qi was accused of illegally providing state secrets to foreign agencies. This third time, he was arrested and imprisoned for disclosing the contents of a supposedly secret internal document.

On July 28, 2017, after six long-distance trips made in as many months, Huang Qi’s defense lawyer Sui Muqing (隋牧青)[1] was finally able to meet with the ailing Huang Qi at the Mianyang City Detention Center. By this time, Huang Qi’s condition was very serious, and the investigation associated with his criminal case had been concluded several days prior and had been transferred to the prosecution for review.

Despite the obvious deterioration of his health, Huang Qi was in good spirits during the meeting with Sui Muqing. He expressed full confidence that China would move toward constitutional governance, democracy, and social justice.

While Huang Qi remained unyielding throughout his 18-year campaign for civil rights, he has always been willing to provide constructive support for government work in specific issues. In helping a large number of petitioners resolve matters of practical urgency, he won their broad respect and support around the country. Internationally, Huang Qi has earned an honorable reputation for his contributions to the cause of human rights, and has received multiple international awards for his work.

Huang Qi’s rights-protection cause has inevitably hindered the authority and interests of many local governments. Naturally, he has become a crackdown target, spending half of the 18 years of his public interest work in jail! It is indeed very regrettable!

In fact, if we abandon the old ideological prejudice and the unilateral political/rule interest calculation, the human rights cause that Huang Qi supports is indisputably a force that is both in line with fundamental moral values and universal consensus. It is a cause that benefits the fundamental, long-term interests of all society, and as such ought to receive encouragement and support at all levels of government. Especially when China’s political system remains imperfect and society is rife with serious upheaval, Huang Qi is a humanitarian who strives both to protect disadvantaged groups, and as such, he helps maintain social stability. His is perhaps the greatest contribution a citizen can make to the nation!

In view of the uniquely arduous conditions that Chinese political prisoners must cope with, and in view of the painful experience of dissidents such as Li Hong (力虹), Cao Shunli (曹顺利), Peng Ming (彭明), Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), and Yang Tianshui (杨天水), we hope that the authorities will, in keeping with the humanitarian spirit, grant the terminally ill Huang Qi medical leave as soon as possible, so that he can access timely and effective treatment, as well as living conditions suitable for his medical state.

Political issues are complex and perilous, while the humanitarian spirit is humble and simple, and forever. Huang Qi’s release would also mean release for his aging mother, and it would not do the least harm to the authorities. The matter is just this simple: I hope that the relevant authorities will consider this matter and make the decision to release Huang Qi in time and avoid yet another human tragedy!

August 20, 2017

[1] Over the period of this article’s writing to now, both lawyer Sui Muqing and lawyer Liu Zhengqing (刘正清), who succeeded Sui to defend Huang Qi, have been disbarred.

Tan Zuoren (谭作人), born on 15 May 1954, is an environmentalist, writer and former editor of Literati magazine based in Chengdu, Sichuan province. He was imprisoned for five years from 2009-2014 for investigating student deaths during the Wenchuan earthquakes in 2008. [Wikipedia entry]

Translated from Chinese 《民间维权十八年,换来牢狱祸连连》


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54 responses to “Who Is Huang Qi?”

  1. […] about the June 4, 1989 military crackdown on protesters and other human rights issues. Previously, his website had garnered significant attention from authorities for its work locating abducted children. His website states that its mission is to “stand in […]

  2. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  3. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  4. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  5. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  6. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  7. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  8. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  9. […] Writing at the ChinaTrade website online, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren stated that Mr. Huang’s imaginative and prescient of society in fact supported the steadiness that the federal government argues China wishes. […]

  10. […] Writing at the ChinaAlternate web site, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren mentioned that Mr. Huang’s imaginative and prescient of society in fact supported the stableness that the federal government argues China wishes. […]

  11. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  12. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  13. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  14. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  15. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  16. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  17. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  18. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  19. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  20. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  21. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  22. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  23. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  24. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  25. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  26. […] Writing at the ChinaTrade site, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren mentioned that Mr. Huang’s imaginative and prescient of society in truth supported the steadiness that the federal government argues China wishes. […]

  27. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  28. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  29. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  30. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  31. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  32. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  33. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  34. […] Writing at the ChinaExchange site, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren mentioned that Mr. Huang’s imaginative and prescient of society in fact supported the steadiness that the federal government argues China wishes. […]

  35. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  36. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  37. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  38. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  39. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  40. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  41. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  42. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  43. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  44. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  45. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  46. […] Writing at the ChinaExchange web site, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren mentioned that Mr. Huang’s imaginative and prescient of society in reality supported the stableness that the federal government argues China wishes. […]

  47. […] var subscribe = new Subscribe('subscribe_cont', { title: "" } ] }, 'article'); 数年前,在“六四天网”的鼎盛时期,黄琦及其志愿者队伍每天接听的电话多达150个,这些电话的内容会被整理成短文发到网上去。“六四天网”托管在中国境外,虽然在国内遭屏蔽,但许多人用翻墙软件绕过审查去阅读上面发的帖子。 “他是一类活动人士的代表,他们用网站来揭露官员的不法行为,”国际特赦组织驻香港研究员潘嘉伟(Patrick Poon)说。“他是其中最有名的一位。” 但是,他的名声也给他带来了长达20年的法律麻烦。 起初,黄琦曾因帮助寻找失踪者受到过中共主要喉舌《人民日报》等亲政府媒体的赞扬。但是,当他开始调查其他社会问题后却遇到了麻烦。 他曾因发表海外异见人士以及民族和宗教问题批评者的文章,在2000年至2005年间入狱。他后来在接受采访时说,就是在那段时期,特别是在被单独监禁、只能睡在水泥地上一年后,他患上了严重的疾病。 获释后,他重操“六四天网”旧业,但由于揭露导致2008年5月四川汶川地震的死亡人数至少高达6.9万人的建筑质量腐败问题,他于2010年再次入狱。2011年出狱后,他继续在网站上发表文章,直到2016年被捕。 虽然黄琦居住在成都,但他的案子由附近的绵阳市法院审理。他曾获得了有关一名绵阳居民与当地官员发生纠纷的文件,那之后,他被指控泄露国家秘密,虽然这些文件据说是政府官员交给请愿者的。 一位为“六四天网”工作、不愿透露姓名的志愿者说,黄琦病得很重。这位志愿者说,政府发布了一段视频,视频中,一名医生称赞了黄琦得到的医疗服务。这位志愿者说,这与政府曾在2017年淡化诺贝尔和平奖获得者刘晓波病情的努力类似,刘晓波最终在政府关押下去世。 在2013年的一次采访中,黄琦说,他认为自己的角色是要求监督官员们对问题做出更公正的回应。“但我们能做的主要事情是留下记录,”他说。“让当局能够看到发生了什么。” ChinaChange网站翻译了资深异见人士谭作人写的一篇文章,他说,黄琦对社会的憧憬其实支持政府认为中国需要的稳定。 “黄琦所从事的事业是有益于全社会根本利益和长远利益的,”谭作人写道。“应该得到各级政府的鼓励和支持。” […]

  48. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  49. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren said that Mr. Huang’s vision of society actually supported the stability that the government argues China needs. […]

  50. […] Writing on the ChinaChange website, the veteran dissident Tan Zuoren mentioned that Mr. Huang’s imaginative and prescient of society truly supported the soundness that the federal government argues China wants. […]

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