China
31.01.19
Urgent Interventions

Sentencing and arbitrary detention of Mr. Liu Feiyue

CHN 002 / 0119 / OBS 009

Sentencing/ Arbitrary detention

China

January 31, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection ofHuman Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture(OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situationin China.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has beeninformed by the Networkof Chinese Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD) about the sentencing of Mr. Liu Feiyue, founder and Director of the website CivilRights & Livelihood Watch, which published information onhuman rights violations, especially abuses against activists and dissidents inpsychiatric detention facilities[1].

According to the information received, on January 29,2019, the Suizhou City Intermediate People’s Court in Hubei Province found Mr. Liu Feiyue guilty of “inciting subversion of State power” and sentenced him to fiveyears in prison with deprivation of political rights for threeyears, along with a 1,010,000 RMB (approx. 150,000 USD) fine.

Suizhoupolice initially detained Mr. Liu Feiyue on November 17, 2016, and formally arrested him a monthlater, on December 23, 2016. Mr. Liu was allowed to meet with his lawyers forthe first time only on May 25, 2017, after police had previously denied allvisits from his lawyers on “national security” grounds. On December6, 2017, Mr. Liu was indicted on charges of “inciting subversion". Authoritiesalso accused Mr. Liu of accepting funding from overseas”[2].

In April 2018, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentionissued an opinion that declared Mr. Liu Feiyue’s detentionarbitrary[3].

On August7, 2018, Mr. Liu was finally put on trial before the Suizhou City IntermediatePeople’s Court, after being held for 20 months in pre-trial detention. Mr.Liu’s supporters were not allowed into the courtroom for the hearing, and weredetained by the police outside the courthouse and at train and bus stations inSuizhou, or prevented from leaving their homes.

At the timeof publication of this Urgent Appeal, Mr. LiuFeiyue remains detained at Suizhou City No. 1 Detention Center inHubei Province.

The Observatory strongly condemns the conviction, sentencing, andongoing arbitrary detention of Mr. Liu Feiyue, which seem to be merely aimed at punishing him for his legitimateand peaceful human rights activities, and urges theChinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of the People’sRepublic of China to urge them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physicalintegrity and psychological well-being of Mr. Liu Feiyue and all human rights defenders in China;

ii. Repeal the guilty verdict and release Mr. Liu Feiyueimmediately and unconditionally, as his detention is arbitrary and it onlyseems to aim at punishing him for his human rights activities;

iii.Put an end to all acts of harassment - including at the judicial level- against Mr. Liu Feiyueand all human rights defenders in the country so that they are able tocarry out their work without hindrance, and put an end to reprisals againstfamily members seeking justice on behalf of detained or disappeared humanrights defenders;

iv. Comply with the provisions of the United NationsDeclaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with its Articles1, 6(c) and 12.2;

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for humanrights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration onHuman Rights and other international human rights instruments signed orratified by China.

Addresses:

· Mr. Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of thePeople’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 659 611 09 (c/o Ministry of ForeignAffairs), Email: premier@mail.gov.cn

· Mr. Guo Shengkun, Minister of PublicSecurity of the People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 63099216, Email: gabzfwz@mps.gov.cn

· H.E. Mr. Zhaoxu Ma, Ambassador,Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations inGeneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 793 70 14, E-mail: chinamission_gva@mfa.gov.cn

· H.E. Mr. QU XING, Ambassador, Embassyof the People’s Republic of China in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32-2-7792895;Email: chinaemb_be@mfa.gov.cn

Please also write to the diplomaticrepresentations of China in your respective countries.

***

Geneva-Paris, January 31, 2019

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection ofHuman Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programmeis to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rightsdefenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human RightsDefenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

[1] https://msguancha.com/

[2] The indictment accused Mr. Liuof “six major criminal offenses” and cited as evidence of “inciting subversion”his writings and publications of reports of human rights abuses on the CivilRights & Livelihood Watch website. The indictment also listed applying andaccepting overseas funding to support the NGO’s operations as a “criminal act”.An earlier charge of “leaking State secrets” was dropped from the indictment. Formore information on the case, see https://www.nchrd.org/2016/12/liu-feiyue/

[3] https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/Opinions/Session81/A_HRC_WGAD_2018_22.pdf

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