For Immediate Release
As the Chinese government tightens political restrictions in the run-up to the 16th Party Congress, Beijing’s Public Security Bureau has severely restricted the movement of a well-known dissident, Fang Jue, and has subjected him to arbitrary detention.
Fang Jue, 47, a democracy activist sentenced to four years in prison in 1998, has suffered constant harassment and surveillance from the authorities since his release from Beijing’s Liangxiang Prison on July 22, 2002.
Fang had arranged to meet some friends at Beijing’s Great Wall Hotel on October 20 at 2:00 p.m. But Beijing’s Public Security Bureau, having learned of the meeting through their 24-hour monitoring of Fang’s telephone, sent several police officers to Fang’s home and prevented Fang and a friend, Mr. He, from going to the hotel. Fang entered into a dispute with the police officers, who then arrested and forcibly detained him at the Public Security Bureau. Police also detained Mr. He, a former student of Shanghai’s Fudan University who had participated in the 1989 protests at Tiananmen. Police then interrogated Fang and He for more than three hours, and did not release them until later that evening.
Human Rights in China (HRIC) is deeply concerned at the restrictions imposed on Fang and He, especially as recent reports of detentions and beatings of political and religious dissidents indicate that this case is by no means unique. HRIC president Liu Qing points out that the Chinese government should not use the impending 16th Party Conference as an excuse for restricting personal freedoms. HRIC calls on the Chinese government to respect rather than infringe on human rights in its efforts to ensure a stable and peaceful atmosphere for the Party Congress.
For more information, contact:
Stacy Mosher (212) 268-9074 (English)
Liu Qing (212) 239-4495 (Chinese)