Note: Case is closed. No further information or updates will be posted.
Name: Hu Bai (胡白) (pseudonym)
Hometown: Taikang county, Henan province
- B.A. in Chinese Literature from Hunan University, Changsha city
Profession(s): Human Rights defender
Type of Work: Farmer organizer, human rights researcher, pro-democracy activist
Human Rights work/background
Hu has been an active Human Rights Defender since the early 1990s when he joined the Henan based pro-Democracy Da Tong Party. With the fledgling party Hu worked tirelessly to engage Chinese citizens to campaign for equality and liberty. Through extensive grassroots activism Hu sought to foster a greater awareness of rights and training for successful defense of those rights. Da Tong later merged with the New Democracy Party. Both parties attracted support and membership from a broad coalition of Chinese citizens from petitioners and farmers, to military officials, business leaders and even a few CCP members.
After his release Hu continued his efforts and grew increasingly involved in organizing farmer activist groups in Guangdong province and extending his network of Human Rights Defenders. In 2003 Hu met and began working with Hou Wenzhuo, founder and director of Empowerment and Rights Institute (ERI), a Beijing based Human Rights Organization. With ERI, Hu led a large campaign for property rights in Guangdong.
In June of 2005 Hu conducted extensive research toward the establishment of a six week training program for farmer organizers. In July 2005 Hu worked with several “barefoot lawyers” and other human rights groups in a grassroots legal advocacy program in Nanhai village, Guangdong. The training educated Nanhai farmers about rights and rights protection, including the necessary skills to conduct their own legal advocacy. As a result of the training farmer organizers were able to educate scholars, lawyers and journalists of their situation and generated considerable public advocacy. The results of the training were a drastic increase in the efficacy of rural rights campaigns in the region.
He has spent time in over twenty provinces throughout China. In 2005 Hu assisted petitioners in Beijing known as the San Chun Da Di (三春大地), lodging a formal complaint about land rights abuses. He successfully helped establish “Farmer's Associations” in Guangdong, and rural elections in Shandong, Guangdong, Hebei, Inner Mongolia and Henan. He has worked with various “Democracy Party” members on numerous pro-democracy projects and training to improve rural collective campaign strategies.
In 2008 Hu worked on the Guangdong portion of the “Human Rights Torch Relay,” (HRTR) a global grassroots campaign to raise awareness of, and stop, human rights abuses prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He has also conducted ongoing research into Black Jails, the system of illegal detentions.
Despite the considerable risks he has continued to work tirelessly as an organizer, researcher and advocate for human rights in China. His work has helped domestic human rights groups and international organizations develop key reports on issues ranging from illegal detentions, petitioner targeted violence and assisted in forming several key grassroots empowerment campaigns.
Several of the people who worked with Hu on the Human Rights Torch in Guangdong, including Liang Mantang and Wen Tianxuan have already been sentenced to several years of RTL for their involvement. Through interrogation and illegally seized documents from other human rights defenders the authorities learned of Song's involvement in the HRTR.
During the crackdown on Human Rights Defenders during and following the Olympics, Hu was alerted by Fan Songping (范颂平) (also a pseudonym), who fled Guangdong in June, that police were looking for him, and he escaped in July.
Starting around June of 2008 his parent's home in Henan has been repeatedly visited by police inquiring about his location. His girlfriend's home in Beijing has also been a constant target of the police and she has been harassed and intimidated. He has narrowly evaded capture on several occasions. He is still at considerable risk and remains in hiding.
Due to Song's involvement with the Da Tong party, an non-registered and therefore illegal political party, Hu was imprisoned in 1998 on charges of “Inciting subversion of state power,” under Criminal Law Article 105(2). He was sentenced to one and a half years of Re-education Through Labor (RTL) in Guangdong Province before being moved to a prison in Henan to serve the remainder of his two year sentence.
Hu has suffered from a string of short-term detention, and has reguarly been watched and monitored.
All updates since posting
- Hu Bai's situation is now resolved and stable.
- As of August 2009 Hu's situation persists.
CHINESE URGENT ACTION WORKING GROUP
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