Urgent Interventions

Arbitrary arrest of Mr. Chen Weixiang

CHN 003 / 1219 / OBS 110

Arbitrary arrest


December 20, 2019

The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requestsyour urgent intervention in the following situation in China.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory hasbeen informed by China Labour Bulletin about the arbitrary arrest of Mr. ChenWeixiang, also known as “Xiangzi”, a labour rights defender well known forhelping sanitation workers defend their rights. Mr. Chen Weixiang runs a public blog on the messaging app WeChat called Heart Sanitation (环卫), which publishes news about sanitation workers’ struggles and providesinformation about their legal rights.

According to theinformation received, Mr. Chen Weixiang was arrested at his home in Guangzhouon December 17, 2019. At the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal, noinformation was available on the reason for Mr. Chen Weixiang’s arrest, and hiswhereabouts remained unknown.

Three days before Mr.Chen Weixiang’s arrest, on December 14, 2019, Heart Sanitation published an article[1]on the situation of 130 sanitation workers in Guangzhou’s UniversityTown district who are owed 1.8 million yuan (approximately 230 850 Euros) inwage arrears.

The Observatory expresses its utmostconcern over thearbitrary arrest of Mr. Chen Weixiang as it seems to be only aimed at punishinghim for his legitimate human rights activities and urges the Chineseauthorities to immediately disclose his whereabouts and unconditionally releasehim and all other human rights defenders, including labour rights defenders,arbitrarily detained in the country.


Please write to the authorities in China,urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, thephysical integrity and psychological well-being of Mr. Chen Weixiang as well asof all human rights defenders, including labour rights defenders, inChina;

ii. Immediately disclose Mr. ChenWeixiang’s whereabouts and release him immediatelyand unconditionally as isdetention is arbitrary;

iii. Guarantee his unhindered access to alawyer of his choosing and his family members;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment -including at the judicial level - against Mr. Chen Weixiangand all other human rights defenders, including labour rights defenders,in China, and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out theirlegitimate activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals;

v. Conform to the provisions of the UNDeclaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of theUnited Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular with Articles 1 and 12.2;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respectfor human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with internationalhuman rights standards and international instruments ratified by China.


· Mr. Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of the People’s Republicof China, Fax: +86 10 659 611 09 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Email:

· Mr. Guo Shengkun, Minister of Public Security ofthe People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 63099216, Email:

· H.E. Mr. Zhaoxu Ma, Ambassador, Permanent Missionof the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland,Fax: +41 22 793 70 14, Email:

· H.E. Mr. Qu Xing, Ambassador, Embassy of thePeople’s Republic of China in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32-2-7792895; Email:

· Mr. Li Jianguo,Chairman of All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), 10 Fuxingmenwai Street, 100865 Beijing, China, Phone: +8610 6859 2114, Email:

Pleasealso write to the diplomatic representations of China located in your country.


Paris-Geneva, December20, 2019

Kindly inform us of anyaction undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human RightsDefenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is toprevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDHand OMCT are both members of, theEuropean Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by internationalcivil society.

[1] See :

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