Beijing (AsiaNews) - Into the second week of peaceful demonstrations in Hong Kong demanding universal suffrage, police across China have taken into custody dozens of activists, petitioners, artists, and other citizens who had posted messages online or gathered to show support for the protestors. The majority of the detentions took place in Beijing.
After reporting on a dozen cases last week, Chinese Human Rights Defender (CHRD) has now documented more than 40 cases in total, including 11 criminal detentions and 2 administrative detentions, along with 31 individuals who remain in police custody and at least three known to have gone into hiding. Police have harassed and intimidated countless others by visiting their homes and issuing warnings or taking them to police stations for questioning.
CHRD urges the Chinese government to immediately release the detained individuals and respect their constitutional rights and right to freedom of expression.
The most recent updates are below, organized by location:
A group of 20 housing rights and human rights activists met at a restaurant on September 29, when they took photos holding up a sign that reads "Beijing Families of Forced Eviction Support Hong Kong," which were then posted online. Ten of them have been criminally detained on suspicion of "creating a disturbance." Held at the Fengtai District Detention Center, the detainees include: Chen Lianhe, Ms. Cui Baoti, Ms. Han Ying, Ms. Han Shuqing, Ms. Guo Zhiying, Mr. Jiang Liuying, Ms. Li Dongmei, Ms. Liu Huizhen, Ms. Wu Xiaoping, and Mr. Zhang Zonggang. Eight were taken into custody on September 30, while Han Ying and Liu Huizhen were seized on October 1.
Police have detained 10 artists from the Songzhuang art colony and a journalist over the past week for supporting the Hong Kong protests. All but one are being held at Beijing No. 1 Detention Center, and all but the three detained on October 8th known to be held on suspicion of "creating a disturbance." Police took the artist and poet Wang Zang into custody on October 1. Wang, originally from Yunnan Province, had his home in Songzhuang searched after he was seized. On October 2, police took into custody Ms. Zhang Miao, a journalist with the German magazine Die Zeit who had reportedly discussed the Hong Kong protests with Wang Zang. In addition, artists Mr. Cui Guangxia, Mr. Zhu Yanguang, Mr. Fei Xiaosheng, and Mr. Ren Zhongyuan were taken into custody on October 2, with Ren now being held at Tongzhou District Detention Center. In the early morning of October 6, police took away Mr. Ding, aka Ding Weibing from his home and searched his residence. They confiscated a computer, a hard drive from a notebook computer, and a camera memory card. Ms. Wang Lin was taken into custody on October 7, reportedly for attending a poetry event on October 2 held in support of the Hong Kong movement. Three other artists-Mr. La Shang, Mr. Zhui Hun, and Mr. Li Lei -were taken into police custody on October 8 and are being held on unknown charges.
Police took three activists into custody on September 30 after they attended a dinner to celebrate the release from prison of Yuan Dong, a New Citizens' Movement participant. Guo Hongwei and Mr. Wu Jixin are being held at Fengtai District Detention Center on a charge of "creating a disturbance," and the third detainee, Ms. Li Yufeng, is being held at Daxing District Detention Center. At least 60 people gathered at a restaurant in Daxing, with some holding signs supporting the protests in Hong Kong. Guo's 77-year mother, Xiao Yunling, was seized at the same time as Guo and held for over 12 hours before she was released. On October 3, police took away another dinner attendee, Wang Su'e, after she had left a home church service. She is being held at the Daxing District Detention Center.
Ran Chongbi, a petitioner from Dongguang City in Guangdong, was taken to the Zhujiafen Police Station in Fengtai District on October 2 with Wang Fang, a petitioner from Hubei Province. The two women were taken into custody after holding up signs in support of the Hong Kong protests outside Beijing South Railway Station. As of October 4, Ran is being held at the Fengtai District Detention Center, while Wang's status is unclear.
Another petitioner, Jiang Jiawen from Liaoning Province, is being held at Daxing District Detention Center. He took part in a demonstration on October 1 a village in Fengtai District and was detained the same day.
Additionally, on October 1 Mr. Pei Fugui, who attended the September 29 dinner, was detained and is now being held in Fengtai District Detention Center. Mr. Xu Chongyang and Mr. Wang Chongxi, who were seized the next day, are being held at the same facility. Ms. Ling Lisha, another dinner attendee, is reportedly in police custody, but there is no other information available.
CHRD has also learned that several individuals have gone into hiding, including Yan Bojun, and two others who attended the September 29 dinner: Mr. Li Xuehui, and Ms. Yu Yanhua.
On October 3, plainclothes police officers took three men-Wang Mo, Sun Liyong, and Xie Wenfei - into custody from a residence in Xintang County in Guangzhou. They are being held at Yuexiu District Detention Center, and were detained for holding up a banner in a Guangzhou park that called for freedom and support for the Hong Kong protesters.
Plainclothes police seized Zhang Shengyu on October 3 while he was walking down a street in Guangzhou. He had recently posted a photo of himself holding a sign backing Hong Kong and Beijing activist Han Ying, who had been detained days earlier.
Foshan City police seized "Southern Street Movement" member Jia Pin on October 9 and took him into custody at an unknown location.
Two Chongqing activists, Xie Dan and Ms. Luo Yaling, were given 10-day administrative detentions for uploading photos of themselves showing support for the Hong Kong protests. Last week, CHRD reported national security officers had questioned Xie over the protests and also taken Luo into custody.
Activists Shen Liangqing and Mr. Yi Chun were both criminally summoned by police on October 5 for questioning on suspicion of "creating a disturbance" for supporting the Hong Kong protestors. Both were held at the Baohe Public Security Sub-Bureau in Anhui Province before being released early the next day, after about six hours of interrogation. Both of their homes were searched, and Shen's desktop computer and camera memory card were seized, while Yi's desktop computer and tablet were confiscated.