Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Li Xiaoling in an undated photo. RFA
  • Li was transferred to the Xicheng Detention Center in Guangdong’s Zhuhai city after she complained about her treatment at the hands of police
  • She is being held without access to daily exercise, and is unable to buy food or daily necessities such as medicines via an internal account
  • Li was ordered to leave Beijing, but said in an interview at the time that she hadn’t broken any laws

June 12, 2017: A rights activist who publicly commemorated the June 4, 1989, military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square student movement last year is being mistreated in detention as she awaits trial on public order charges, her lawyer told RFA on Friday.

Li Xiaoling will stand trial on charges of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” after she wore a T-shirt with a commemorative slogan on Tiananmen Square last year, her lawyer Lin Qilei said after visiting her in detention on Thursday.


Li was transferred to the Xicheng Detention Center in Guangdong’s Zhuhai city after she complained about her treatment at the hands of police, Lin said.

Now, she is being held without access to daily exercise, and is unable to buy food or daily necessities such as medicines via an internal account, as other prisoners are, he said.

“I met with Li Xiaoling inside the Xicheng Detention Center on Wednesday,” Lin said. “She seemed pretty exhausted, and there was clearly something wrong with her eyes.”

“She said she needs eyedrops three times a day, and that her eyes are very painful right now.”

Fellow activists Zhou Li, Li Xuehui, Kuang Jianhu, Zhao Chunhong, Bu Yongzhu, Liang Yankui and Zhao Xin were also being held under criminal detention on the same charges, for similar activities last June, their lawyers said.

Kuang’s lawyer Shang Baojun said he had also visited his client on Wednesday.

“I asked Kuang Jianhu [what the charges were for] … and he said it was because they had allowed Li Xiaoling to stay over one night in their home, which had implicated him,” Shang said. “The police didn’t want to ask him about anything else.”

“[Kuang’s girlfriend] Zhou Li was detained first, and then they went for him,” he said.

Shang said Kuang didn’t appear to have broken any law, and called for his immediate release.

Zhou was also able to meet with her lawyer Ma Guangquan on Wednesday.

“Zhou Li seemed pretty chipper, and told me she is fine,” Ma said. “The police had told her she is under criminal detention for providing Li Xiaoling with a place to stay.”

“Quite a few people have gotten involved in this case, which is like other, similar, sensitive cases,” Ma said. “I don’t think they’ll be releasing them anytime soon.”

Meanwhile, Li Xuehui’s lawyer Ding Xikui said it is still unclear whether his client’s detention is linked to Li Xiaoling’s protest.

Zhou Jie, a friend of the detainees, said he isn’t ruling out a forthcoming trial.

“These out-of-town lawyers charge pretty high fees, and we’re going to have to find the money for 16 lawyers,” Zhou said. “We are talking about around 10,000 yuan (U.S. $1,471) in total.”

“But the most important thing is to have these lawyers meet with them,” Zhou said.

Sources said Bu Yongzhu and Liang Yankui have yet to hire defense attorneys, however.

ALSO READ: China Extends Ban on“extreme” Islamic names for Ethnic Uyghur babies Under 16

Massacre anniversary

Li was among a group of activists that included Beijing-based Qi Zhiyong, who was maimed when a tank ran over his legs on the night of June 3, 1989 in Beijing, along with Dalian-based Jiang Jianjun and Shandong-based Wang Fulei.

The group had taken photos of themselves wearing T-shirts and holding placards as an act of protest ahead of the 27th anniversary of the massacre last June.

The T-shirts bore the words “June 4th. Never Forget”, and state security police quickly launched a probe into the photographs.

Li was ordered to leave Beijing, but said in an interview at the time that she hadn’t broken any laws.

The protest came as a group of activists posted photos of themselves online also wearing T-shirts commemorating the bloodshed, which came when People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops cleared Beijing of thousands of protesters calling for democracy who had camped for weeks in on Tiananmen Square.

Guangdong activist Bu Yongzhu said at the time that younger people in China must get past the “Great Firewall” of Internet censorship to find out about the events of 1989, and that he acted out of concern that they would forget, or never learn, what really happened.

The administration of President Xi Jinping has broadened government control over freedoms of expression, assembly, and association, and the right to political participation, continuing a trend set in place after the 1989 crackdown, and detaining hundreds of activists in recent years, rights groups say.

The Tiananmen massacre was precipitated by the peaceful gatherings of students, workers, and others in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and other cities in April 1989 calling for freedom of expression, accountability, and an end to corruption, but the government responded by instituting martial law, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report issued on last year’s anniversary.

The number of deaths in the violence remains unknown, although the victims’ group the Tiananmen Mothers have compiled exact accounts of the deaths of 202 people across China, including Beijing. (RFA)


Popular

Unsplash

Canadian researchers have discovered an overlooked gene that plays a major role in the development of antibodies

Canadian researchers have discovered an overlooked gene that plays a major role in the development of antibodies, which help the immune system recognize and fight viruses including SARS-CoV-2, bacteria and other causes of infectious disease. The gene -- FAM72A -- facilitates production of high-quality antibodies by enabling the effect of an enzyme called AID (for Activation-Induced Deaminase), the researchers showed.

Immunologists have known for two decades that AID is essential to produce antibodies capable of clearing infections, but the full mechanism of its effect has remained unknown. "Our findings answer the long-standing question of how AID does its work," said Alberto Martin, a professor of immunology at the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine. "FAM72A helps AID to promote mutations in antibody genes that are essential for the development of effective antibodies," he added.

Virus Pathogen Antibody - Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. | Pixabay

Keep Reading Show less
IANS

Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India will set up a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Odisha's Sambalpur

Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India will set up a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Odisha's Sambalpur at a total cost of Rs 301.92 crore, moving steadily towards its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. MCL has placed a turnkey order to set-up a 50 MW solar power plant with a Chennai-based firm M/s Hild Energy Ltd, which will establish this green energy project within a timeline of 10 months, the MCL said in a statement on Saturday.

This solar plant would cater to the captive power requirement of MCL. The Central PSU had successfully set-up a 2MW solar power plant in Sambalpur in 2014. The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024 in order to become a net zero energy company, aligning itself to use cleaner forms of energy for coal production.

white and blue solar panel system The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024. | Photo by Mariana Proença on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
IANS

As the nation celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of his father - renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan - megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his dad as he penned a heartfelt note for him.

As the nation celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of his father - renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan - megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his dad as he penned a heartfelt note for him. The actor took to his blog where he poured his heart out and also shared an unseen photo with his father. The image in question is from Big B's wedding in 1973, where the two are caught in a sweet moment as they look at each other.

Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog,

"My Father , my all .. November 27th his birth in the year 1907 .. Which makes it his 114th Anniversary .. He is in the heavens, with my Mother and they celebrate .. as do we , in thought word and deed .. (sic). But first."


Keep reading... Show less