Case history: Liang Xiaoyan
Liang Xiaoyan was released after questioning following her detention along with five other human rights defenders on 4 and 5 May 2014. Their detentions related to their attendance at a private commemoration for the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
Liang Xiaoyan is an environmentalist and children's rights activist who was involved in setting up one of the first environmental protection organisations in China in 1994.
On 4 and 5 May 2014 a number of human rights defenders in Beijing were taken in for questioning by police following their participation in a commemoration of the crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.
Human rights lawyer Mr Pu Zhiqiang, detained on charges of “causing a disturbance,” and Mr Hu Shigen are being held in at Beijing No.1 Detention Centre, while Messrs Xu Youyu and Hao Jian, and Ms Liang Xiaoyan and Ms Liu Di remain out of contact.
On 3 May 2014 the aforementioned human rights defenders, in addition to a number of others, gathered at a private residence in Beijing to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the crackdown on protests in Tiananmen Square. In a statement released after the meeting, participants, who included relatives of those killed during the protests, called on the Chinese government to launch an official investigation into the events in 1989 and to compensate the victims. They also released a photograph of themselves standing behind a banner saying, “2014 Beijing June 4 Anniversary Seminar.”
On 4 May 2014, at around 11pm, Pu Zhiqiang was summoned for questioning about the event by police. At around 4pm on 5 May, his home was searched and a mobile phone, a computer and books were reportedly seized. Police in Beijing subsequently released a statement saying that he had been detained on charges of “causing a disturbance.” Pu Zhiqiang is a well-known human rights lawyer who has taken on a number of freedom of speech cases and who himself participated in protests in 1989.