CHINA – Jail sentence upheld for activist Huang Qi
16 February 2010 12:00 pm
CHRD learned today that Chengdu City Intermediate Court rejected the appeal of human rights activist and director of Tianwang Human Rights Center (www.64tianwang.com) , Huang Qi. Huang was convicted of "illegal possession of state secrets" and sentenced to three years in prison on November 23, 2009.
Chinese Human Rights Defenders, 8 February 2010)
CHRD learned today that Chengdu City Intermediate Court rejected the
appeal of human rights activist and director of Tianwang Human Rights
Center (www.64tianwang.com) , Huang Qi. Huang was convicted of "illegal
possession of state secrets" and sentenced to three years in prison
on November 23, 2009.
According to one source at the Chengdu City Detention Center, where
Huang was held, a judge from the Chengdu City Intermediate Court announced
the decision to Huang at the Detention Center this morning. Huang was
not given an oral appeal hearing before the decision was made. Huang's
wife and his lawyer have not yet been formally notified of the decision.
Court has denied us access to the relevant files and information. Obviously,
they want to make it difficult for us to defend [Huang effectively],"
one of Huang's lawyers told CHRD earlier. The lawyer also said they
were not optimistic about a public appeal hearing.
Reportedly, Huang has just been transferred from the Detention Center
to a midway house for the newly convicted before they are sent to prisons.
Huang is from Chengdu City in Sichuan Province. In 1998, Huang established
the first website in China that disseminated news about people who had
been trafficked and disappeared. The website evolved to report on issues
of injustice and complaints against the government (www.64tianwang.com).
In May 2003, Huang was convicted of "inciting subversion of state
power" and sentenced to five years in prison and one year of political
rights deprivation. After his early release on June 4, 2005, he continued
his human rights work.
However, Huang disappeared on June 10, 2008. It was later discovered
that he had been detained by the police. A few days before his detention,
Huang met with some of the families who wanted to file lawsuits against
officials allegedly responsible for the shoddy school buildings that
killed the children in the Sichuan earthquake.
During Huang's detention, he was barred from accessing his lawyers for
over three months after he was first taken into custody. Huang's family
has not been allowed to visit the activist despite repeated requests.
CHRD reiterates its call for Huang's immediate and unconditional release.
CHRD believes that Huang is jailed for peacefully exercising his right
to freedom of expression and to defending human rights.