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Zhen Jianghua taken by police to unknown location

Status: 
Imprisoned
About the situation

On 28 December 2018, the Zhuhai City Intermediate People's Court found Zhen Jianghua guilty of "inciting subversion of state power" and sentenced him to two years' imprisonment.

On 30 March 2018, human rights defender Zhen Jianghua’s (甄江华) lawyer notified friends of the defender that he had been formally arrested by Zhuhai City police on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power”. Zhen Jianghua has been held in incommunicado detention since 1 September 2017.

On 1 September 2017, police officers took human rights defender Zhen Jianghua (甄江华) from his home in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province. The defender’s phone, computer, and numerous documents were confiscated from his residence. As of 4 September 2017, no warrant or justification of arrest has been presented to Zhen Jianghua’s family, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

About Zhen Jianghua

Zhen JianghuaZhen Jianghua is a human rights activist with over 10 years’ experience working in China’s rights defence community. He serves as executive director for Human Rights Campaign in China, an organization that campaigns for arrested human rights defenders and helps victims of human rights violations to record and publicize their experiences. The human rights defender has also supported the work of other NGOs, including the management of the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation’s trainings in the Zhuhai region. Zhen Jianghua also supports open access to information in his role as Executive Editor of ATGFW.org, a website that provides information on how to bypass Chinese Internet censorship.

8 January 2019
Zhen Jinghua Found Guilty

On 28 December 2018, the Zhuhai City Intermediate People's Court found Zhen Jianghua guilty of "inciting subversion of state power" and sentenced him to two years' imprisonment. The human rights defender has been kept in incommunicado detention since his arrest in September 2017.

Chinese judicial authorities frequently carry out trials and sentencing of sensitive individuals during the Christmas holiday season in an attempt to limit international monitoring and coverage (see Wang Quanzhang). While Zhen Jianghua's father was reportedly in attendance at the sentencing, no information has been released on evidence presented against the defender during his 10 August trial. The human rights campaigner has been denied access to family or legal representation of his choosing since his 2017 arrest.

30 March 2018
Zhen Jianghua formally arrested

On 30 March 2018, human rights defender Zhen Jianghua’s (甄江华) lawyer notified friends of the defender that he had been formally arrested by Zhuhai City police on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power”. Zhen Jianghua has been held in incommunicado detention since 1 September 2017.

Zhen Jianghua is a human rights defender with over 10 years’ experience working in China’s human rights’ defender community. He serves as executive director for Human Rights Campaign in China, an organization that campaigns for arrested human rights defenders and helps victims of human rights’ violations to record and publicize their experiences. The human rights defender has also supported the work of other NGOs, including the management of the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation’s trainings in the Zhuhai region. Zhen Jianghua also supports open access to information in his role as Executive Editor of ATGFW.org, a website that provides information on how to bypass Chinese Internet censorship.

Since his arrest, Zhen Jianghua has been kept in incommunicado detention. On 29 September 2017, following 28 days criminal detention, he was officially placed under “residential surveillance in a designated location” (RSDL), a detention measure that grants authorities power to keep detainees in unknown locations and prohibit visits from a lawyer. Under RSDL, authorities are still obliged to notify detainees’ families of their whereabouts, but Zhen Jianghua’s family received no such notification. Chinese law prescribes that RSDL can only be enforced for a maximum period of six months before a detainee must be released or formally arrested. Zhen Jianghua's official arrest complies with this legal requirement, but Chinese human rights defenders often find that six months’ detention is used as a standard term rather than an upper limit.

As “inciting subversion of state power” is a crime involving state security, authorities can continue to prevent the defender from meeting with his defense counsel.

Front Line Defenders reiterates its demand for the immediate release of Zhen Jianghua from detention, and believes that this deprivation of Zhen Jianghua’s liberty is solely an attempt by local authorities to punish him for his ongoing support for China’s persecuted and detained human rights defenders.

4 September 2017
Human Rights Campaign in China director Zhen Jianghua taken by police to unknown location

On 1 September 2017, police officers took human rights defender Zhen Jianghua (甄江华) from his home in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province. The defender’s phone, computer, and numerous documents were confiscated from his residence. As of 4 September 2017, no warrant or justification of arrest has been presented to Zhen Jianghua’s family, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Download the Urgent Appeal (PDF)

On 1 September 2017, police took Zhen Jianghua from his home at 10 pm. A force of approximately 20 officers, including plainclothes and special police, returned with the defender to his home at approximately midnight of that same evening, where they performed a search of the residence and confiscated phones and laptops. Zhen Jianghua’s girlfriend was also taken into custody at this time; her phone and computer were also confiscated. She was released from custody at 4 pm on 2 September 2017.

On 2 September 2017, police returned to Zhen Jianghua’s home at approximately 6 pm to perform a second search, confiscating promotional materials and official documents of Human Rights Campaign in China. Since the defender’s arrest, police have questioned numerous friends and family members of the defender, and instructed several of them not to discuss his situation with outside parties.

Front Line Defenders demands the immediate release of Zhen Jianghua from illegal detention, and believes that this deprivation of Zhen Jianghua’s liberty is solely an attempt by local authorities to punish him for his ongoing support for China’s persecuted and detained human rights defenders.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in China to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally release Zhen Jianghua;

2. Provide all required documentation explaining the reason for Zhen Jianghua’s arrest to the defender’s family;

3. Allow Zhen Jianghua immediate and unfettered access to lawyers, and ensure that his treatment adheres to the conditions set out in the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment', adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988;

4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in China are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.