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China 11 July 2008

Case against Chengdu dissident held for past 30 days passed to prosecutors

Reporters Without Borders is very worried by the news that the case against Huang Qi, a well known human rights activist who was arrested on 10 June in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, has been transferred to prosecutors.

The police told his family yesterday that the case has already been sent to the prosecutor’s office, which has not yet taken a decision on whether to press charges or send the case back to the police for further investigation.

Huang’s wife said the police still have not said where he is being held. The police and the prosecutor’s office have also refused to provide his lawyer with any information. Meanwhile, a petition calling for the release of Huang, the creator of the 64Tianwang website, is circulating in Chengdu and other areas that were hit by the 12 May earthquake.

“We urge the prosecutor in charge of the case to reject the allegations made against Huang and to order his release,” Reporters Without Borders said.

Call for release of Huang Qi

Reporters Without Borders today repeated its demand for the release of cyber-dissident Huang Qi, accused of “illegally possessing state secrets” and held by Chengdu police since 10 June 2008.

Huang is known to be in poor health and police have refused to allow his wife, Zeng Li, to bring him medication, despite the fact that since 1st June 2008 it has been permitted for someone facing such a charge to receive visits from family and lawyers.

“The authorities have refused to provide him with adequate care and Huang Qi has stomach problems and suffers terrible headaches as a result of ill-treatment he experienced when he was detained between 2000 and 2005”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

“Moreover, he has still not been allowed to have any visitors despite the fact that the new law concerning possession of state secrets allows it. Huang Qi must be freed,” the organisation added.

Huang Qi is the founder of the website 64tianwang, which posts news about human rights. The editor of the site, Zhang Guo Ting, said it was possible that the latest events were linked to Huang’s most recent article posted online that related to the arrest of a retired professor from the South-Western Technology University, Zheng Hongling, aged 53, for “divulging news abroad”.

To learn more about this case

Read Zheng Hongling’s articles (in Chinese) : ?ID=49485 ?ID=49501 ?ID=49535

When her husband was detained the first time, Zeng Li was interviewed by French channel TF1 in 2003

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