Name: Liu Zhengyou (刘正有)
Hometown: Hongqi Township, Zigong City, Sichuan province
DOB: March 10, 1952
Profession(s): Farmer, Construction worker, owner of a rural machine tool factory
Detailed information and legal analysis can be found in the case files or Urgent Appeals, please see the files section on your right.
Human Rights work/background:
Type of Work: Farmer leader, leader of rights defense group
Affiliation(s): Charter 08 (signatory)
Liu turned into an activist in 1993, when a massive reconstruction project for a “New High Tech Development Zone”started in Hongqi Township in his home city of Zigong, Sichuan province. During 1993, the township started confiscating 2500 hectares of farm land, hosting 30,000 farmers. The compensation offered was very limited, estimated at one-sixth the cost of buying a new house in the area, and the farmers organized to oppose the confiscation, electing Liu there leader. As their leader, Liu has organized sit-ins, led work to file lawsuits six times, four appeals against the courts’ refusal to hear the case, and one petition to higher levels. During the time, Police units have come by to forcibly remove villagers refusing to move and shut off roads, water and electricity to the area.
Several times large scale confrontations occurred, resulting in the death of four farmers, several others were permanently handicapped. One of the largest confrontations occurred on July 4, 2003, when about 1,000 police descended on Hongqi Township and used sticks and electric prods to disperse the crowd.
Because he is the leader of the Hongqi township farmers Liu has been detained and beaten on several occasions, but he has continuously persisted in his work in opposition of the land grab since 1993.
With expanding experience in leadership and activism, Liu has also worked for many other causes, and documented human rights violations of multiple types. Liu was one of the first human rights defenders to highlight the system of Black Jails, and investigated one of these illegal jails, used to detain petitioners and “trouble-makers” in Zigong city. His work was later published by Chinese Human Rights Defenders, and in a report by the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group.
Liu has continuously provided support to petitioners, and worked to document a variety of rights violations in Zigong, as well as outside of Sichuan province. He helped organize farmers in Shandong province. Liu is also vocal in his support for fellow human rights defenders in China, and openly speaks to Chinese and foreign media about China's human rights problems. He publicly defended fellow human rights defender Tan Zouren ahead of Tan's August 12, 2009 trial.
Liu is a signatory of Charter 08 – a declaration calling for political reforms. Besides this, Liu is a prolific writer, having published at least 57 articles highlighting and exposing human rights violations, and unlawful acts committed by the Zigong local government, at Boxun, a popular Internet portal known for its coverage of human rights violations in China.
This section will provide information on some of the many rights violations Liu has endured.
Physical assault, detention
July 4, 2003, after Liu organized a large demonstration to oppose a land grab by the local authorities about 1,000 police descended on Hongqi Township to crush the opposition using sticks and electric prods. They beat up a large number of farmers, including Liu, and put 21, including Liu in detention for “disturbing traffic”. Four farmers were killed in the melee.
Physical assault, detention
April 20, 2005, Liu organized an opposition to a land grab of farmers' land in Hongqi village, Weiping village and other villages of Zigong city; later, more than 2,000 villagers tried to hand in a petition to Zigong Mayor Wang Hailin. They were stopped by 700 police and officials. During the altercation with police, several villagers were badly injured including Liu. They were taken to the hospital for treatment, after which Liu and four others were detained and later released.
Detention, forced repatriation
April 16, 2006. Detained illegally by Police and airport security at Beijing Capitol airport while on his way to Geneva for a UN human rights training session hosted by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), from June 17 to 25, 2006. One of the detaining policemen said that Liu was stopped and detained because he was under “criminal investigation”. Policemen also told him he had been detained by orders of the Zigong Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB) and Sichuan Provincial PSB.
After being detained Liu was transferred to custody of Zigong policemen and Zigong officials at the Zigong city liaison office in Beijing. Liu was later put, forcibly, on a train to Zigong. No warrant, arrest order, detention certificate, or release certificate was provided to Liu .
While back in Zigong, Liu was questioned by the Huidong Branch of the Zigong PSB.
Detention, house restriction
On June 18, 2008 Liu was detained by police, and told he would be placed under criminal detention; however, he was released the same day upon obtaining a guarantor pending trial as allowed under article 52 of the Criminal Procedure Law. His wife served as his guarantor. While he was not officially placed under house arrest or residential surveillance, he was effectively restricted to his house, granted only limited mobility, until June 16, 2009.
Other violations 2009:
Liu was summoned by the Huidong Branch of the Zigong City Public Security Bureau to “discuss his work” on the following occasions during 2009:
About Liu's wife: Liu's wife Hu Yulan was detained by police on November 27, 2009. Her relatives received the detention notice. She is also being charged with fraud.
About Liu's son: Liu's wife claimed that their son, who is currently serving 15 years of imprisonment on a drug offense, was trapped by the Police in retaliation of Liu's work surrounding human rights violations and the Zigong government. NOTE: The Chinese Urgent Action Working Group has no way of verifying this information.
Detained: Roughly 13 o'clock/1pm on November 11, 2009
Reason: Suspicion of “fraud"
Detention center: Huidong Police Station, Zigong City Public Security Bureau (PSB)
Current situation: Case handed over to court. Trial date set for July 6. See latest updates at bottom of page for details.
- Formal charge notice: Formal Charge Notice Liu.JPG
At roughly 1pm, on November 11, local police came to Liu's home and forcefully detained him, placing him in “criminal detention” on suspicion of “fraud”.
Eight officers detained Liu at his home, and they continued to search his home, and copied material from his computer, and confiscated his residence- and ID card. The Police delayed the giving of a receipt on the articles confiscated until the next day, as Liu's wife refused to sign the letter of confiscated goods.
When relatives of Liu traveled to the Huidong Police Station to visit Liu they were told he was under criminal detention and not allowed to see family or relatives, and that he could only see an appointed lawyer.
- Has been awarded the 2006 “Housing Rights Defender Award ” by the Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE).
- Liu's article on Black Jails: http://www.crd-net.org/Article/fmzj/200911/20091101143451_18041.html
- Liu in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/sep/13/topstories3.china
- November 24, 2010: At 3pm on November 24, 2010 the Zigong city Intermediate Court upheld the original verdict against Liu.
- November 13, 2010: Liu's lawyer Lawyer Zheng Jianwei (郑建伟) visiting Liu at the detention facility on November 12 and is now worried about Liu's health. His blood pressure, already high, has now reached 190, and the detention center staff is not allowing Liu to do any excessive. He has also developed a skin disease, and is not allowed to read newspapers.
- October 22, 2010: Second trial of Liu concludes, date for announcing verdict not yet set.
- September, 2010: The Zigong Intermediary Court, Sichuan Province, approves Liu's appeal after being convicted on 'fraud' on August 20, 2010.
- August 25, 2010: Urgent Appeal is submitted to UN Special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders requesting intervention. On same day Liu submits his appeal to the intermediary Court of Zigong city.
- August 20, 2010: Liu was sentenced at a 4pm session of Ziliujiang district court of Zigong city, Sichuan province on August 20 to 2 years of imprisonment on the charge of fraud.
- August 18, 2010: According to Liu's lawyer Zheng Jianwei verdict will be delivered at 16 O'clock (4pm) on August 20.
- August 12, 2010: Zigong city People's Court is still refusing to announce a verdict in violation of Criminal Procedure law article 168 which obliges the court to announce verdict no later than thirty (30) days after beginning of trial.
- July 6, 2010: Trial of Liu and his wife begins, pleads not guilty. Their daughter is detained at 9.00 am in the morning due to "causing a disturbance" outside the court house, released after conclusion of first day of trial.
- June 24, 2010: Liu's case has been handed over to the court. Trial date set for 9am, July 6. Lawyer Zheng Jianwei (郑建伟) will represent Liu. Court of trial is district court of Ziliujing, Zigong city, Sichuan province.
- June 1, 2010: According to Liu's lawyer who visited Liu on June 3, Liu started a second hunger-strike on June 1. Liu's lawyer expressed concern regarding Liu's health.
- April 23, 2010: Liu's lawyer visited Liu on April 15. He was informed by Liu that he has started a hunger strike on April 12. Liu said that police had tried to get him to write a confession, and that his refusal had led to prolonged interrogation by two police officers. Liu says the hunger strike is a protest over the treatment of Li and his wife Hu Yulan, which are both in detention. His wife's health is deteriorating, and the Procuratorate is continuing to delay any legal process against them.
- March 16, 2010: Procuratorate returns case to PSB for further investigation. PSB has until April 15 to re-submit case to Procuratorate.
- March 8, 2010: Hu Yulan, Liu's wife, is denied bail, despite her bad and deteriorating physical health in the detention center.
- March 2, 2010: Deadline for Procuratorate to bring charges, issues half-month extension.
- February 2, 2010: Liu's case sent to Procuratorate's office.
- December 18, 2009: Liu met with his newly arranged lawyer on December 17, 2009 under the watch of two policemen. According to Liu himself he has not been tortured or seriously mistreated, and besides high blood pressure, is in good spirits.
- January 19, 2010: Liu's case transferred to Procuratorate. No prosecutor assigned to case as of yet (2010-01-25).
Links to articles published by Liu:
CHINESE URGENT ACTION WORKING GROUP
人 权 卫 士 紧 急 救 援 协 会