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March 2007


The information contained in this summary is based on information collected by HRIC in March and is not intended as a complete list. Rather, it should be viewed as a representation of larger trends of dissent and repression in China.

Media Censorship

Petitions and Protests

Human Rights Defenders


Death Penalty

Media Censorship

New cyber cafes prohibited
Under a new notice issued in mid-February, no new cyber cafes will be allowed to open in 2007.[1] Starting in July, the government will ban the opening of new Internet cafes in a campaign to clamp down on online addiction and juvenile crime. Freedom-of-expression organizations say it is an attempt to control the spread of politically sensitive information.[2]

French Web site blocked
A France-based Web site could not be accessed because it had published an article that warned of investment risks in China in late February.[3]

Aftermath of beating death of journalist
Following the fatal beating of journalist Lan Chengzhang (兰成长) by thugs employed by a Shanxi Province coal mine owner, four management-level employees of the newspaper that employed Lan were dismissed in March. One anonymous employee said the newspaper made the dismissal decision itself, while critics believe the dismissed employees were merely scapegoats.[4]

Victims of anti-rightist campaign seek compensation
Sixty-one victims of the anti-rightist campaign submitted an open letter to the country's top leaders on March 4, seeking a public apology and financial compensation for their trauma.[5]

Seizing of books on Mao Zedong
The Guardian reported in early March that customs officers in Tianjin began stepping up inspections and seizing books on Mao Zedong, according to an international shipping agent who asked not to be identified because his business depends on government cooperation.[6]

Yahoo! cleared of violating privacy laws
Hong Kong investigators announced on March 4 that there was not enough evidence to convict Yahoo! Hong Kong of providing private information that helped convict Shi Tao of leaking state secrets, for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005.[7]

Magazine's latest issue pulled
On March 14, the editor-in-chief of Caijing magazine admitted that the original version of the magazine's latest issue had been withdrawn due to pressure from unnamed authorities.[8] The magazine had planned to publish an article regarding the implications of the draft Property Law to be decided on at the annual NPC meeting in Beijing. However, Chinese authorities prevented the article from going to press until a number of changes were made due to divisions over property rights.[9]

Foreign journalists barred from interview on riot
BBC journalists tried to carry out interviews on a riot in Hunan in mid-March, but were told by the police that the regulations relaxing controls on foreign journalists' reporting activities prior to the Olympics were only for "Olympic-related stories," and that they did not think the journalists were "here for the Olympics." The BBC team was then sent away.[10]

Web site apologizes for censorship
In mid-March, the Web site apologized to rights defender Zan Aizong (昝爱宗) for removing his blog entries, and allowed them to be republished.[11]

Premier's remarks censored
In mid-March, Xinhua removed from its Web site comments by Premier Wen Jiabao about a book on Zhao Ziyang published recently in Hong Kong. Wen had made his comments in response to a question from a journalist during a press conference. A full transcript of the remainder of Wen's comments was provided on the Xinhua Web site.[12]

Editor imprisoned for ‘inciting subversion'
The Intermediate People's Court in Ningbo. Zhejiang Province on March 19 sentenced Zhang Jianhong (penname Li Hong), former editor-in-chief of the Aiqinhai ("Aegean Sea") Web site, to six years imprisonment on charges of inciting subversion through the publication of anti-government essays.[13]

Internet reports on "nail house" banned
In late March, China banned several Internet reports concerning a household's resistance to eviction, popularly known as the "nail house" incident, in Chongqing.[14]

Internet reports on eviction banned
In late March, a Web site was ordered to pull reports on a forced eviction that took place on March 27 and 28 in Guangxi Province.[15]

Journalist takes local government to court
Sheng Xueyou, a Beijing-based journalist, took the Qitaihe municipal Office of Law and Order to court in what may be the first defamation case against a local government agency. Sheng had criticized an arbitration committee in Qitaihe over coal mine disputes, and the Office of Law and Order then attacked Sheng by stating that he lacked journalistic ethics. Sheng has demanded an apology and compensation of 200,000 yuan.[16]

Petitions and Protests

Number of petitions drop: China

According to the Chinese authorities, the number of petitions dropped by 15.5 percent in 2006 compared to 2005.[17]

Roundup of petitioners ahead of/during NPC and CPPCC sessions

Beijing authorities have stepped up action against petitioners ahead of the two sessions. More than 500 petitioners were taken away on the night of February 28. Petitioner Zhou Li (周利) said the local authorities had offered her a free trip to Hainan Province if she would not petition in Beijing during the meetings.[18]

According to witnesses, public security officers took away more than 100 petitioners in Beijing on March 7, while the NPC and CPPCC conferences were underway. Some longtime petitioners have reportedly been sent to reeducation-through-labor centers or placed under administrative detention.[19]

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) on March 30 denied that it had ordered controls over petitioners in Beijing during the NPC and CPPCC sessions.[20] A newspaper reported on March 16 that the MPS had issued an order stipulating that local authorities would be fined 10,000 yuan for every petitioner from their locality who was caught in Beijing.[21]

Protests over bus fares

Protests were launched in Hunan Province after a local firm took over bus routes in Zhushan Town and doubled the fares. Complaints came initially from the parents of elementary school children, who began protesting on March 9. They were joined by others over the weekend, with the number of protesters reportedly reaching 20,000. The protests became violent on March 12 as 1,000 police in riot gear clashed with demonstrators and vehicles were burned. One person was reported killed, though this was denied by the Xinhua News Agency.[22]

Villager dies in Guangdong land clash

It was reported on March 22 that one villager was beaten to death and another was in critical condition after a conflict between construction workers and residents of Guanzhou Island in the Haizhu District of Guangzhou City. Villagers were angered by the seizure of farmland by local officials to build an international biosphere as part of a controversial "College City" project.[23] In the following week, it was reported that four people were detained in connection with the protest, including three villagers who had been beaten and a village vice-head who had allegedly failed to control the situation.[24]

Residents block railway tracks

On March 22, residents of Guixi, Jiangxi Province, blocked railway tracks for six hours to protest a government redistricting plan that they feared could reduce social welfare benefits. An estimated 200 people participated in the protest, while several hundred more looked on. Provincial police arrived on the scene to contain the protest, but there were no mentions of arrests or injuries.[25]

Newspaper urges officials to refrain from using force to control protests

A state-owned newspaper on March 22 urged government officials at all levels to refrain from using force to control protests. The article stated that police force should only be used in cases where mass incidents have violated laws and regulations, and the use of firearms should be undertaken with caution. The article also encouraged officials to make more efforts to prevent mass incidents from erupting.[26]

Human Rights Defenders

Paralyzed activist seeks redress
On March 6, Fu Xiancai (付先财), a Three Gorges activist who was left paralyzed after an attack last June, appealed to the National People's Congress (NPC) for redress. A police investigation into Fu's beating said the activist had inflicted the injuries on himself and local courts had thrown out the case. Fu has thus appealed directly to the NPC Standing Committee chairman.[27]

Whistleblowing policeman dismissed

Hubei policeman Wu Youming (吴幼明) was dismissed on March 16 after he wrote an open letter detailing and criticizing the tactics used to obstruct petitioners.[28]

During a trip to the U.S. to receive a global human rights award in mid-March, Dr. Gao Yaojie (高耀洁) found that her email account and that of her son were being blocked. An editor who had tried to publish Gao's work was also fired, and Gao was worried about what might happen to her after she returned to China. During her visit, Gao said the number of illegal blood banks has continued to rise in China, despite authorities claiming that they had been closed.[29]

Beijing-based lawyer Li Shuangling (李双领) was reported to have gone missing around March 30. Li had advised a group of protestors on land grabs in Guangzhou.[30]

In detention
Yuan Weijing, the wife of Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), a blind activist opposing China's coercive family planning policy, was allowed to visit her husband March 1 for a 10-minute visit, the first such meeting since Chen was detained a year ago. Chen's lawyers were informed on March 20 that his request to serve his sentence outside prison had been turned down, holding that Chen's blindness would not prevent him from taking care of himself inside prison.[31]

Yan Zhengxue (严正学) was reportedly interrogated under inhumane conditions around March 13 while being held in detention in Zhejiang Province. Police reportedly questioned Yan around the clock in a seated position, causing excessive pain to his ailing kidneys. According to Chinese PEN, the crimes Yan was accused of committing include: 1) being a secret member of the China Democracy Party; 2) publishing articles on foreign Web sites; 3) fundraising for journalist Liu Binyan (刘宾雁) and 4) intervening in a land grab incident in Zhejiang.[32]

As of March 16, AIDS activists Zhu Longwei (朱龙伟) and Li Xige (李喜阁) had been under house arrest in Henan for nearly two months. Zhu was placed under house arrest in mid-January after being interviewed by a British journalist. Police prevented him from trying to attend a conference in Guangzhou. Li Xige has been under house arrest since early February and has not been allowed to communicate with the outside world.[33]

China Democracy Party member Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫) was released on March 13 after 10 days of administrative detention. He remained under strict surveillance after his release.[34]

On March 23, the Cangzhou City Intermediate People's Court in Hebei Province upheld the original verdict for Internet essayist Guo Qizhen (郭起真), who was sentenced to four years' imprisonment and three years' deprivation of political rights for "inciting subversion of state power." Guo was tried on October 9, 2006, and found guilty of subversion for posting more than 30 essays criticizing the government.[35]

Cai Aimin (蔡爱民), detained on March 25, was reportedly sentenced to one year in a Reeducation-Through-Labor camp for "organizing illegal gatherings." Cai has been an active rights defender and has petitioned in Beijing many times.[36] Earlier in the month he was sent on a "forced vacation" with official escorts so that he would not petition during the NPC and CPPCC sessions.[37]

Trial developments
It was reported on March 12 that Rebiya Kadeer's third son, Ablikim Abdiriyim (阿布德里伊姆), was secretly tried on January 28 in Urumchi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, on subversion charges. The verdict was still unknown as of March 9. He was reportedly tortured and suffered from ill health while in detention.[38]


Penalties for coal mine safety accidents
On March 1, China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) and Supreme People's Procuratorate co-issued a legal interpretation on penalties for coal mine safety accidents. Coal mine bosses and owners will be sentenced to up to three years in prison if illegal production leads to accidents with more than one fatality or three injuries, or causing economic losses of more than one million yuan (about $128,000). Coal mine bosses and owners will face imprisonment of up to seven years if casualties exceed three dead or 10 injured, or economic losses are more than three million yuan.[39]

The State Administration of Work Safety reported on March 5 that 4,000 inefficient and dangerous coalmines will be shut down in 2007. Two thousand mines have already been closed this year.[40]

Draft regulation regarding workplace safety
A draft regulation concerning the handling of workplace accidents was discussed and ratified in principle by the executive session of the State Council on March 28. The meeting stated that production safety is of key importance to people's lives and property, and to the reform, development and stability of the country. Government officials were called on to put safety first and take preventative measures to ensure safety in production. Strict investigation of accidents was also urged, and officials were instructed to report accidents quickly and accurately, with no delays, false reports or cover-ups.[41]

Major labor accidents in March

Date Location Industry Disaster Casualties
3/11 Liaoning Province Laohutai Coal Mine (owned by Fushun Mining Group) Flood, gas leak[42] 22 dead; 7 missing
3/12 Pudong District, Shanghai Construction site (2010 World Expo) Chlorine leak[43] 58 injured
3/15 Hunan Province Fireworks workshop Explosion[44] 6 dead; 1 injured
3/15 Jiayu Town, Xingyang City, Henan Province Coal Mine Gas leak[45] 8 dead
3/15 Zhongwei City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Coal Mine Cave in[46] 2 dead
3/20 Dongliang Town, Liaoning Province Dongfang No.1 Coal Mine Fire[47] 6 dead; 15 injured
3/22 Chengqu District, Jincheng City, Shanxi Province Miaojiang Coal Mine Explosion[48] 20 dead
3/27 Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Ningxia Zhengfeng Construction Co. Ltd. Checking sewage Marsh gas poison[49] 8 injured
3/27 Liupanshui, Guizhou Province Wangjiazhai Coal Mine (owned by Guizhou Shuicheng Mining Group) Explosion[50] 10 missing
3/28 Beijing China Railway 12th Bureau Group Co. Ltd. Collapse[51] 6 trapped (presumed dead)
3/28 Yipingyuan Township, Yaodu District, Linfen City, Shanxi Province Yujialing Coal Mine Explosion[52] 26 dead

Ten people ruled responsible for a gas blast accident that killed 15 miners were arrested in Hunan Province on March 28.[53]

Death Penalty

Xinhua News Agency reported that the number of death sentences reported last year by Chinese courts was the lowest in more than 10 years.[54]

In a joint statement released March 11, the Supreme Peoples' Court, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice have called for a reduction in the number of death sentences. The statement says China cannot abolish the death penalty, but should "gradually reduce its application." It also says that if there is any question about whether the death penalty is appropriate in a given case, a person "should without exception not be killed."[55]

Violent crimes

The death sentence of Li Shumu, convicted on arson and murder charges by a court in Fujian, was approved by the Supreme People's Court (SPC) on March 19.[56]

The death sentence of Liu Shilin, convicted on rape and murder charges by a Jiangsu court, was approved by the SPC on March 19.[57]

The death sentence of Yu Maoge, convicted on murder charges by a Shanghai court, was approved by the SPC on March 19.[58]

The death sentence of Zhao Guiyong, convicted on kidnapping and murder charges by a court in Jiangxi, was approved by the SPC on March 19.[59]

Zeng Qijian (曾其健) was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on March 19 after the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Higher People's Court confirmed the death sentence on vehicular manslaughter charges handed down by the Beihai Intermediate People's Court.[60]

Mo Rilai (莫日来) was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on March 21 by the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court for murdering his ex-girlfriend.[61]

Economic crimes

Gao Shan, accused of siphoning $128 million from Bank of China customer accounts to Canada, may be extradited to China on a minor charge of misrepresentation of available funds on immigration to Canada. Gao could face the death penalty.[62]



[1] "14部委发文 严禁新增网吧 (14 Government Departments Issue Notice Prohibiting New Cyber Cafes in 2007)", Wen Wei Po, March 05, 2007,

[2] "China bans opening of new internet cafes," The Guardian, March 6, 2007,,,2027635,00.html.

[3] "中国封锁载文警告中国投资风险的法国国际危机观察网站 (France-Based Website Blocked Due to Article Warning of Investment Risks in China)", Radio Free Asia, March 30, 2007,

[4] "兰成长事件揭创收黑幕 中国贸易报罚管理人员 (Beating Death of Journalist Reveals Dark Side of China's Newspapers)", Radio Free Asia, March 09, 2007,

[5] "Anti-rightist campaign's victims seek an apology," SCMP, March 5, 2007.

[6] "Outwardly Open, China Keeps Censoring," The Guardian, March 13, 2007,,,-6477830,00.html.

[7] "Hong Kong clears Yahoo of violating privacy laws in jailed journalist's case," Taipei Times, March 5, 2007,

[8] "《财经》主编杨大明承认受到压力撤换封面文章 (Editor-in-Chief of Caijing Magazine Admits Original Version of Latest Issue Withdrawn Due to Pressure)", Radio Free Asia, March 14, 2007,

[9] "China Pulls Article on Controversial Property Rights Bill," News Release Wire, March 14, 2007,

[10] "Reporting Protests in Rural China", BBC, March 16, 2007,

[11] "新浪网就删除个人博客网上所贴文章表示歉意 ( Apologizes for Removing Sensitive Blog Entries)", Radio Free Asia, March 21, 2007,

[12] "简要新闻:官方媒体删除外国记者与温家宝有关赵紫阳一段问答 (Xinhua Removes Wen Jiabao's Remarks About Zhao Ziyang in Interview with French Journalist)", Radio Free Asia, March 19, 2007,

[13] "China jails online editor for subversion," Reuters, March 19, 2007,

[14] "中国下令禁止网上报道钉子户事件 (China Bans Internet Reports on Eviction of the "Nail House" Residents)", Radio Free Asia, March 30, 2007,

[15] "北海政府暴力强迁禁媒体报道 网友热议"钉子户"的不同待遇 (Web site Ordered to Pull Reports on Violent Eviction in Guangxi)", Radio Free Asia, March 30, 2007,

[16] "Daily News Update," China Economic Review, March 21, 2007, daily_news_updates/daily_news_update_march_21_2007.html. Raymond Li, "CHINA: Journalist in landmark defamation court case," South China Morning Post (via Asia Media), March 21, 2007,

[17] "中国信访总量06年下降15% 群体性事件数量下降 (The Number of Petitions Reduced by 15% in 2006)",, March 28, 2007,

[18] "北京公安深夜大搜捕 访民呼吁国际社会关注 (Petitioners Call for International Concern over Massive Arrests Ahead of NPC and CPPCC Sessions)", Radio Free Asia, March 01, 2007,

[19] "北京一百多上访人被带走 (Over 100 Beijing Petitioners Taken Away by Police)", Radio Free Asia, March 07, 2007,

[20] "公安部称未下达控制两会期间上访人员进京指令 (Ministry of Public Security Denies Having Ordered the Control of Petitioners During the Two Sessions)", Radio Free Asia, March 31, 2007,

[21] "上访者被截 所属省市罚1万 (Ministry of Public Security to Fine Local Authorities 10,000 Yuan for Every Petitioner That Is Caught in Beijing)", Ming Pao, March 16, 2007,

[22] "Security tight in China riot town," BBC, March 15, 2007,

[23] "Villager Dies in Guangdong Land Clashes," RFA, March 22, 2007,

[24] "官洲事件后 伤者村民四人被抓 (Victims of Land Grabs in Guangzhou Detained After Being Beaten)", Radio Free Asia, March 30, 2007,

[25] "China: Residents block railway tracks," AP, March 22, 2007,

[26] "China's Party paper tells local governments to restrain from force when dealing with protests," Xinhua News Agency, March 22, 2007,

[27] Human Rights in China, "Fu Xiancai Appeals to National People's Congress," March 5, 2007; "Paralysed China activist seeks justice in parliament," Reuters, March 6, 2007,

[28] "湖北警员致信两会陈述访民疾苦和截访弊端 (Hubei Policeman Criticizes Petition Obstruction in Open Letter to NPC and CPPCC)", Radio Free Asia, March 14, 2007, "针砭时弊民警遭辞退 体制内之声诚可贵 (Police Officer Dismissed for Criticizing Practices to Obstruct Petitioners)", Radio Free Asia, March 19, 2007,

[29] "高耀洁在华盛顿:电邮被封,中国非法血库仍在运作 (Email Accounts of Gao Yaojie and Her Son Shut Down; Illegal Blood Trade Continues in China)", Radio Free Asia, March 14, 2007,

[30] "前往解除官洲岛村民的北京律师失踪 (Whereabouts Unknown of Beijing Lawyer Who Advised Victims of Land Grabs in Guangzhou)", Radio Free Asia, March 30, 2007,

[31] "陈光诚申请监外执行被拒 (Chen Guangcheng's Request to Serve Sentence Outside Prison Turned Down)", Radio Free Asia, March 20, 2007,; "Chinese Activist's Wife to Visit Him," Washington Post, March 1, 2007, article/2007/03/01/AR2007030100318.html.

[32] "严正学看守所受刑讯逼供 朱虞夫获释但被严密监控 (Yan Zhengxue Treated Inhumanely During Interrogation; Zhu Yufu Released)", Radio Free Asia, March 13, 2007,

[33] "地方官软禁草根领袖 谁是中国艾滋防治绊脚石? (Henan Authorities Obstructing Work of AIDS Activists)", Radio Free Asia, March 16, 2007,

[34] "严正学看守所受刑讯逼供 朱虞夫获释但被严密监控 (Yan Zhengxue Treated Inhumanely During Interrogation; Zhu Yufu Released)", Radio Free Asia, March 13, 2007,

[35] "维权人士郭起真二审维持原判 (Jailed Activist Guo Qizhen's Appeal Denied)", Radio Free Asia, March 23, 2007,

[36] "泛蓝成员蔡爱民被判劳教一年 (Pan Blue Alliance Member Sentenced to Re-education Through Labor)", Radio Free Asia, March 26, 2007,

[37] "防止到京上访 泛蓝联盟成员被强制旅游 (Pan-Blue Alliance Member Returns from ‘Forced Travels' with Official Escorts to Prevent His Petitioning During Two Sessions)", Radio Free Asia, March 19, 2007,

[38] "热比娅的儿子在乌鲁木齐市天山拘留中心健康严重恶化 (Rebiya Kadeer's Third Son Suffers from Ill Health in Detention Center in Urumqi)", Radio Free Asia, March 12, 2007, - rebiya

[39] "China issues new legal interpretation to improve coal mine safety," Xinhua News Agency, March 1, 2007,

[40] "China to shut 4,000 coal mines in 2007-safety head," Reuters, March 5, 2007,

[41] "Cabinet reviews draft decree on handling of workplace accidents," Xinhua News Agency, March 28, 2007,

[42] "22 killed, 7 missing in coal mine flood," Agence-France Presse, March 12, 2007.

[43] "Chlorine leak injures 59 at 2010 Expo site," South China Morning Post, March 12, 2007.

[44] "Fireworks workshop blast kills 6, injures 1 in central China," Xinhua News Agency, March 15, 2007,

[45] "Two coal mine disasters kill 10 in China," Xinhua, March 15, 2007,

[46] "Two coal mine disasters kill 10 in China," Xinhua, March 15, 2007,

[47] "Coal mine fire kills six, injures 15 in NE China, cover-up attempted," Xinhua, March 20, 2007,

[48] "Twenty confirmed dead in N. China mine gas blast," Xinhua, March 22, 2007,

[49] "Marsh gas poisons eight sewerage workers in northwest China," Xinhua, March 27, 2007,

[50] "Coal mine accident leaves 10 missing in Guizhou," Xinhua, March 27, 2007,

[51] "Six workers buried in collapse of subway construction site in Beijing," Xinhua, March 28, 2007,

[52] "Coal mine explosion kills 26 in north China," Xinhua, March 29, 2007,

[53] "Coal mine bosses arrested for gas blast accident that killed 15," Xinhua, March 28, 2007,

[54] "Least number of death sentences meted out in '07," Xinhua, March 15, 2007,

[55] "China's Top Legal Officials Call For Reduction in Executions," VOA, March 13, 2007,

[56] "Supreme People's Court Approves 4 Death Sentences", Xinhuanet, Mar 19, 2007,

[57] "Supreme People's Court Approves 4 Death Sentences", Xinhuanet, Mar 19, 2007,

[58] "Supreme People's Court Approves 4 Death Sentences", Xinhuanet, Mar 19, 2007,

[59] "Supreme People's Court Approves 4 Death Sentences", Xinhuanet, Mar 19, 2007,

[60] "隐瞒病史酿车祸被判死缓 (Cadre Sentenced to Death with 2-Year Reprieve in Beijing over Vehicular Manslaughter and Hiding His Epilepsy)", The Beijing News, March 20, 2007,

[61] "打工仔杀「违约」女友获死缓 (Man Sentenced to Death with Two-Year Reprieve for Murdering Ex-Lover)", Wen Wei Po, March 21, 2007,

[62] "Attorney: China may execute fugitive," AP, March 7, 2007.

錯誤 | Human Rights in China 中国人权 | HRIC