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【An open letter to delegates of G20 summit members】

27thNovember, 2018

 

To delegates of G20 summit members,

 

In view of the predicament of the Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang and activist Huang Qi, who have been detained for over 3 and 2 years respectively, we are writing to call for your attention to the human rights condition in China, and to urge all delegates of the member countries to speak out for the Chinese dissidents at the G20 summit.

 

Lawyer Wang Quanzhang has been missing since July 2015. Over these 3 years, he was once put under “residential surveillance at a designated location”, and has been held captive at the Tianjin No. 2 Detention Centre since his arrest by the Tianjin police on charges of “inciting subversion of state power”. While Wang remains incommunicado, lawyers’ demand to know his whereabouts is ignored and unanswered, which further heightens apprehension about his suffering tortures and inhuman treatment in the detention centre. Moreover, Wang is deprived of the right to meet his family, as neither his family members nor the defence lawyers appointed by his family are allowed to meet him.

 

Wang’s family has been campaigning for his release in the meantime. His wife Li Wenzu has visited the Supreme People’s Court for no less than 30 times, urging for the hearing of his case to be scheduled as soon as possible. Yet, not only are Li’s appeals rejected by the court, she is also placed under constant surveillance and harassed repeatedly by the police, whereas her son was once deprived of the right to education. Such retaliation is none but the authority’s detestable measures of extending persecution of rights lawyers to their families.

 

On the other hand, we express our great concern about the personal safety of Huang Qi, rights activist from Sichuan and founder of the rights watch website “64 Tianwang”. Huang was taken away on 28thNovember, 2016 by the Mianyang city police in Sichuan province, 2016, and was officially arrested on 16thDecember for “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities”. Although Huang has been detained for 2 years at the Mianyang City Detention Centre, no trial has been held for his case yet. In September this year, he was additionally charged with “leaking state secrets”.

 

Huang Qi suffers from hydrocephalus (accumulation of fluid in the brain), encephalatrophy (atrophy of the brain), heart disease, pneumonia, kidney disease and other illnesses, which require large-volume daily medication. In addition to deprivation of appropriate medical care, though, Huang’s prescribed medicine is withheld in the detention centre, and he is subject to extended interrogations, prolonged periods of being forced to stand, sleep deprivation, beatings, and other forms of torture and ill-treatment, which are inflicted for the purpose of forcing him to plead guilty. Huang’s health is significantly undermined by these inhuman treatments, putting his life in jeopardy.

 

Undeterred by the regime’s persecution, Wang Quanzhang and Huang Qi have valiantly stood up and voiced for social justice, human rights and the rule of law. The Chinese government’s suppression and retaliation against them is in breach of the Chinese Constitution, and poses a severe contradiction to humanism, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, which was signed by China in 1998 but unfortunately has not been ratified) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).

 

We express our strong protest against China’s brutal and abominable persecution of political dissidents and human rights lawyers, and appeal to all G20 members to urge the Chinese government to comply with CAT, to ratify ICCPR as soon as possible, and to halt all forms of human rights violation. We also implore all G20 members to take into account the country’s human rights development when forming trade pacts with China, so that President Xi Jinping and his administration would eventually address its deplorable human rights situation.

 

We demand the Chinese government to:

1. Release Huang Qi and Wang Quanzhang immediately and unconditionally;

2. Stop all forms of torture and persecution of human rights lawyers and dissidents;

3. Grant medical parole to Huang Qi immediately, and

4. Allow Wang Quanzhang to meet his family and the defence lawyer appointed by his family.

 

Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China,

China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group

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