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Published: July 10, 2014
Li Huaping (李化平), known online as “Norwegian Wood” (挪威森林), is a dissident and activist based in Shanghai. A key figure in the New Citizens Movement, he was arrested in August, 2013, charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” Trial of Li Huaping is expected soon. — The editor
Hefei Municipality Shushan District People’s Procuratorate
Shu Procuratorate criminal indict. (2014) No. 152
Defendant Li Huaping, male, born September 6, 1966, ID number: 51010219660906****, ethnic Han, originally from Lianyuan municipality, Hunan Province, undergraduate university education level, freelancer, home address [redacted by translators] Wuchuan Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai, place of household registration: [redacted by translators], Hetang District, Zhuzhou Municipality, Hunan Province. Defendant Li Huaping was criminally detained on August 12, 2013, by Hefei Municipal Public Security Bureau Shushan Branch on suspicion of gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place. On September 18, 2013, this Procuratorate approved the arrest of the defendant and the arrest was carried out by Hefei Municipal Public Security Bureau Shushan Branch.
The Hefei Municipal Public Security Bureau Shushan Branch conducted and completed an investigation on this case, and transferred it to this Procuratorate on November 18, 2013, for review for the indictment of defendant Li Huaping on suspicion of the crime of gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place. Upon receiving the filing, this Procuratorate notified the defendant on November 19, 2013, of his right todefense, interrogated the defendant in accordance with the law, and reviewed all the materials of this case. During this process, [the case] was sent back to the investigating organ twice for supplementary investigations, and the time period for reviewing and deciding on an indictment was extended two times.
Investigation in accordance with the law has ascertained:
On the morning of April 8, 2013, after learning about the matter with Zhang XX’s school enrollment (Zhang XX did not meet the requirement for enrolling in the nearest elementary school), defendant Li Huaping, in collusion with Tang Chunsheng (dealt with in a separate case), Zhang Lin (dealt with in a separate case) and 20 or so others met in Hefei where they went to Hupo Elementary School to discuss the enrollment of Zhang XX. Li Huaping and others gathered next to Hupo Elementary School where they unfurled banners, shot videos, gave speeches, took photos and posted them online, causing people to gather and watch. Pushing and pulling, they also engaged in a lengthy argument with the police officers on duty who had rushed to the site to persuade them to leave, and they refused to leave. At noon on the same day, Li Huaping, Tan Chunsheng, Zhang Lin and others returned to the guesthouse where they were staying to continue discussions of their activities. Li Huaping suggested that they continue to gather by Hupo Elementary School in the afternoon. In the afternoon, Li Huaping, Tan Chunsheng, Zhang Lin and 20 or so others again met at Hupo Elementary School where they unfurled banners, and displayed and shouted slogans to create impact.
Between April 9 and 10, defendant Li Huaping again invited and gathered Chen Yunfei, Gao Rongli, Cai Jiatao and others to unfurl banners insulting to the police in front of Hefei Municipal Public Security Bureau and Anhui Province Public Security Department, both of which are located on thoroughfares, and posted photos online. They also set up tents in front of the provincial Public Security Department and spent a night there in order to create impact. The actions of defendant Li Huaping and others caused many people to gather and watch. During the course of the incident, police officers on duty rushed to the site in front of the provincial Public Security Department, asking Li Huaping and the others to disperse and leave immediately. Li Huaping and the others refused to leave.
On the early evening of April 10, defendant Li Huaping came to where the municipal government plaza once was along with Chen Yunfei and Huang Yi. Li Huaping called others to join them as soon as they could and organized a “Send Zhang XX to School” candle light prayer session. Defendant Li Huaping organized and directed on the site and gave speeches. More than thirty people attended the session which attracted many others to gather and watch.
On April 11 and 12, to amplify the social impact of the event, defendant Li Huaping participated in a 24-hour hunger strike relay next to Hupo Elementary School.
On August 10, 2013, defendant Li Huaping was apprehended by the public security organ.
The evidence affirming the facts stated above is as follows:1. the course of apprehension, explanation of the circumstances, police call record, and other documentary evidence; 2. witness statements by Zhang Lin, Tan Chunsheng and others; 3. defendant Li Huaping’s statement; 4. the electronic physical evidence inspection report provided by Hefei Municipal Public Security Bureau’s Electronic Testing Center; 5. On-site investigation, inspection, search reports produced by Hefei Municipal Public Security Bureau Shushan Branch; 6. Video and audio materials, and electronic data.
This Procuratorate believes that defendants Li Huaping organized and plotted to have others gather in public places where they carried out a series of behaviors that disrupted order in these public places, gathered a crowd to disrupt order in public places in a serious manner, thereby violating Article 291 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China. The criminal facts are clear, the evidence is credible and sufficient, and [the defendant] should be subjected to criminal prosecution for gathering crowds to disrupt order in public places. In accordance with Article 172 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, we hereby indict [the defendant] and ask [the court] to sentence him in accordance with the law.
Sincerely submitted to:
Hefei Municipality Shushan District People’s Court
Hefei Municipality Shushan District People’s Procuratorate (seal)
Prosecutors: Wang Weimin, Dai Wenjun
May 5, 2014
- Defendant Li Huaping is currently detained in Hefei Municipal First Detention Center.
- There are a total of 6 volumes of files and 8 compact discs.
A Chinese Dissident Makes Demands of Xi Jinping, by Li Huaping
(Translated by China Change)
In my recent blog “Lock Up and Lock Down” about crackdowns on dissidents and activists during the Two Meetings, I mentioned an incident about a ten-year-old girl whose father is a dissident in Hefei, Anhui (安徽合肥):
“In a particularly egregious episode of this year’s clamping down on dissidents, on February 27 in Hefei, Anhui (安徽合肥), four men kidnapped Zhang Anni (张安妮), the 10-year-old daughter of Zhang Lin (张林), after the school let out, and took her to the local police station. There she was detained for 20 hours without being given food or water, or even a blanket to stay warm. Later, the police also searched Zhang Lin’s home, taking away his computer, cell phone, cash, and other important necessities. The father and daughter have since been deported to Bengpu (蚌埠) where Anni, scared and refusing to talk for days, has no school to go for the time being.
“A Tsinghua-trained nuclear physicist, Zhang Lin is a veteran dissident who has served three prison terms since the 1980s, totaling 13 years.”
Anni (安妮) still has not been able to go back to school. Before the Two Meetings, Zhang Lin lived in Hefei where Anni went to Hupo Elementary School (琥珀小学) and Anni’s older sister attends college in the same city. For Zhang Lin, a single father now (I believe), Hefei is where he wants to live to be close to both children, but he has been repeatedly forced out of the city and back to Bengbu (安徽蚌埠), his hometown. For Anni, she has made it clear to her dad that she wants to go back to Hupo ES because “there are only 23 kids in my class!” (the typical class size in China is twice as big.)
Monday, in an action called “Sending Anni Back to School,” 40 some lawyers and netizens from across China arrived in Hefei to protest on behalf of Anni, demanding that the child be allowed to resume school in Hupo ES. The school’s representative came out on Monday telling the father to go to the “relevant organ” to get a guarantee that the child will never be taken away from school by unidentified people. Today the school said that Zhang Anni does not meet the requirements for enrollment.
The crowd protested in front of various government sites in Hefei, including the Public Security Bureau and the Education Bureau, but no one has come out to speak to them except for scores of plain clothes and uniformed policemen watching over the crowd, videoing taping them, getting into a couple of scuffles with them, and taking some to police stations to interrogate.
Having no place to turn, Anni wrote a letter today to Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady, appealing for help:
“Grandma Peng, how do you do? I’m a student at Hupo Elementary School in Hefei, Anhui. I’m ten years old. In the afternoon on February 27 this year, several policemen came to my school and took me away. A few days ago, many uncles and aunties who are concerned about me wanted to send me back to school, but the teachers in my school won’t let me. Grandma Peng, I really want to go back to school. Please, can you and Grandpa Xi tell uncle policemen and the teachers to let me go back? Zhang Anni, April 10, 2013.”
The letter is a hot topic on Tencent Weibo and has been re-posted many times.
Will Grandma Peng hear Anni and help her out? We shall see. Meanwhile, I’ll let out a deep sigh: China Dream.
Every year in March, China holds its annual Two Meetings—the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) –to “discuss and decide” the important matters of the country. Chinese citizens might not know who in the Great Hall of the People represents them, but they do know life becomes considerably more inconvenient during the Two Meetings. For some, it can mean major infringement on their rights and freedom. For still others, it can be outright scary and brutal.
If you are a dissident, a rights lawyer, an activist campaigning for any cause, or an outspoken intellectual, you have probably been placed under some sort of house arrest.
Since February 22, dissidents across the country have been Shanggang-ed (上岗). That is, outside their homes, policemen, or guards hired by the authorities, set up posts to watch them and make sure they don’t leave home, or don’t leave home without their company. In Beijing, the list of being shanggang-ed is long. Among them are Hu Jia (胡佳), Xu Zhiyong (许志永), Zhang Zuhua (张祖桦), Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), He Depu (何德普), Zha Jianguo (查建国), Wang Yonghong (王永红), to name just a few. Some veteran dissidents, too tired of the surveillance, chose to leave home. For example, Wang Lihong (王荔蕻) and Wu Gan (吴淦, known as Tufu the Butcher) are travelling in the south, while Mo Zhixu (莫之许), who had been away from Beijing for the Chinese New Year holiday, has been told to stay away.
In Guizhou (贵州), Shanghai (上海), Guangzhou (广州), Hubei (湖北), Hunan (湖南), Anhui (安徽), Zhejiang (浙江), more people are being restricted in their movement, media interviews, and online activities. Beijing-based dissident Hu Jia, who has collected information about “stability maintenance” measures during the Two Meetings, reported that dissidents and activists in the provinces had been forced by state security police to write statements pledging that they would not go to Beijing, nor express any views, during the Two Meetings.
Hu Jia also observed that this year, while he had been frequently subjected to house arrest, this time around, the measures are more drastic. As never before, he tweeted that a gang of plainclothes encamped outside his apartment door in the stairwells, smoking and talking loudly, and he and the neighbors had to argue with them.
Ai Weiwei (艾未未) tweeted that a car with a few people in it parked outside his home 24 hours a day. The other day when he and his friends came out with a video camera to film these people, they drove away and didn’t come back. Tweeting a parody of Xi Jinping’s hardline speech in Mexico in 2009, Ai Weiwei said, “There are some police officers, with full bellies, who have nothing better to do than try to interfere with my life. I do not export Jasmine [revolution], embezzlement, corruption, nor do I make trouble for you. Just what else do you want?”
Hu Shigen (胡石根, @hushigen), who served 16 years in prison from 1992 to 2008 for organizing a political opposition party, tweeted Monday that “I want to know, in Beijing and in mainland China, how many more people have been barred from leaving their own homes? I want to seek lawyers to bring lawsuit against the government for illegally restricting citizens’ freedom of movement.
In a particularly egregious episode of this year’s clamping down on dissidents, on February 27 in Hefei, Anhui (安徽合肥), four men kidnapped Zhang Anni (张安妮), the 10-year-old daughter of Zhang Lin (张林), after the school let out, and took her to the local police station. There she was detained for 20 hours without being given food or water, or even a blanket to stay warm. Later, the police also searched Zhang Lin’s home, taking away his computer, cell phone, cash, and other important necessities. The father and daughter have since been deported to Bengpu (蚌埠) where Anni, scared and refusing to talk for days, has no school to go for the time being.
A Tsinghua-trained nuclear physicist, Zhang Lin is a veteran dissident who has served three prison terms since the 1980s, totaling 13 years.
Of course the crackdown on dissidents and activists is only part of the picture, a small part at that. A newspaper in Shanghai reported that, beginning from March 1, passengers taking long-distance buses to Beijing will have to register using their real names, as passengers of trains and airplanes do, and, when boarding the bus, a passenger’s name, address, seat number and ID number will be recorded. In addition, check points have been set up around Beijing to scan or inspect IDs of passengers entering the city.
While the government is on high alert to clamp down on any possible source of perceived trouble, petitioners make special efforts to try to get to Beijing around this time of the year to voice their grievances. Weiquanwang (维权网), a website focusing on rights defense, has reported many ongoing incidents of petitioners being jailed, mistreated, locked up in black jails in Beijing, or rounded up and sent back to where they had come from, while the Economist also has a report on these black jails recently.
In recent days, Sina Weibo blocked many Weibo accounts, including some verified account with large followings. Writer Zan Aizong (昝爱宗), whose account has been repeatedly cancelled, told RFA that the recent raid is part of stability maintenance prior to, and during, the two meetings, and that Weibo has become more and more sophisticated in controlling expression, controlling news, and monitoring “sensitive people.” “They don’t care whether they are sowing seeds for a more and more unstable society in the future; all they want to do is to keep everything under a tight lid for the time being.”
The authorities are certainly not afraid of going too far to stop people from going about their normal business. On March 3, the legal publication Lawyer’s Digest in Beijing was due to hold its annual meeting of lawyers and legal professionals, but some of the high-profile participants, such as Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强), He Weifang (贺卫方) and Mao Yushi (茅于轼) were unable to attend because policemen confined them to their homes, and the meeting was forced out of its original venue to a small conference room in a law firm.
On March 1st and 2nd, renowned independent writer Ran Yunfei (冉云飞) was scheduled to hold book-signing sessions with readers in Xi’an for his new book Give Freedom to Your Beloved, but they were arbitrarily cancelled by police. In Hangzhou, historian Fu Guoyong (傅国涌) received a call from the authorities that ordered him to cancel a lecturer about the recently-deceased Mr. Xu Liangying (许良英).
While citizens’ rights are subjected to arbitrary, gratuitous violations on a daily basis, a signature campaign is making the rounds calling for the NPC to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that China signed in 1998 but never ratified. Hundreds of Chinese intellectuals, lawyers, activists and ordinary citizens have signed up so far and more people are joining in every day by sending their name, city of residence, and profession to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other day when someone commented on Twitter how the heavy-handed security resembles the Olympics in 2008, someone else shot back coolly, “Well, that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Remember who headed the CCP’s Steering Group for Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games?”
Xi Jinping did.