Beijing (AsiaNews) - A number of Chinese citizens have faced reprisals for supporting the protests for universal suffrage in Hong Kong. The occupation of several areas in Hong Kong, including parts of its financial and political centre, has inspired many Chinese on the mainland and encouraged them to speak up for democracy, with many photos appearing on social media of activists holding signs in support of Hong Kong and demanding constitutional democracy for the territory.
Police in China have harassed and warned activists in many cities, concerned that they may try to travel to Hong Kong or take to streets to protest. CHRD has documented the following incidents from reports by Rights Defence Network (RDN) and Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW):
Shenzhen police criminally detained activist Wang Long on the charge of "creating a disturbance" on September 29 after he posted messages online about the Hong Kong protests. He is being held in Longgang District Detention Centre in Shenzhen.
Chongqing activist Luo Yaling was taken away by police on September 30 after she expressed support online for the protests in Hong Kong. National security officers initially kept Luo under soft detention at her home after she posted the messages and photos about the protests on weibo and in a QQ online group. Later, she was taken to Daxin Village Police Station.
Shanghai plainclothes police and unknown thugs went to the home of activist Chen Jianfang on September 30 and tried to take her into custody, but she refused to open the door. Chen believes they came for her because she had called on activists to join a demonstration on October 1 in the Shanghai People's Park in support of the Hong Kong demonstrators. Lawyer Liu Shihui went to Chen's home along with Jiangsu activist Le Senping to try to stop police from harassing her. Reports indicate that police have since seized both Liu and Le Senping, but it is unclear where they are being held.
Plainclothes police in Shanghai also took away activist Shen Yanqiu on September 30. Shen, who shaved her head on September 28 and posted a photo of herself online to show solidarity with Hong Kong protestors, is being held in an unknown location.
Guangzhou police seized dozens of activists and citizens who gathered in the Martyr Memorial Gardens to show support for the Hong Kong protestors on September 30. While reportedly up to 20 citizens were seized and taken to unknown locations, Huang Minpeng and Liu Hui are confirmed to have been taken to Datang Police Station in Yuexiu District, where they were denied food before being released in the afternoon.
Beijing activist Jiang Liuying reportedly was taken away by police along with his wife, activist Li Dongmei, on September 30, after he had received phone calls from officers looking to question him. He told friends that this might be tied to his expression of support for the Hong Kong protests online.
Threats and harassment
On September 30, Chongqing national security officers called activist Xie Dan to say they were coming to his home to question him. Chongqing activist Han Liang was questioned by police in the early morning of September 30, but has since returned home.
Beijing activists Han Ying and Guo Guijun were both visited by police at their homes late at night on September 30. Police demanded entry but did not show any proper documentation and threatened to take them into custody, since the activists refused to open their doors. Their fate remains unclear at the time of this report.
In addition, national security officers from Changyuan County in Henan Province threatened democracy activist Guo Chunping after he sent a message on WeChat, a Chinese text messaging platform, in support of Hong Kong on September 29. An officer called Guo and said he would be in danger if he did not answer her questions.