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Beijing Human Rights Lawyer Ni Yulan Charged with “Creating a Disturbance”

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Translated from Chinese by China Aid Association
Chinese Human Rights Defenders

Reporter Feng Weimin (April 14, 2011)
Beijing human rights lawyer Ni Yulan, who was arrested by Beijing police in the early morning hours of April 7, has been formally placed under criminal detention by the Xicheng District branch of the Beijing Public Security Bureau and charged with “creating a disturbance.” Meanwhile, the whereabouts of her husband, Dong Jiqin, whom police also detained when they took Ni in, remain unknown.

On the morning of April 13, police officers from the Xicheng District branch and the Changqiao police station delivered the criminal detention papers to Ni Yulan’s daughter and asked her, as a family member, to sign. On the same day, relatives of Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin went to the Xicheng District detention center in Qinghe, Haidian District to deliver money to Ni and Dong, only to be told by an officer on duty that he could find no records for these two people. His supervisors said to check in the computer, but there were no computer records either.
According to Ni’s daughter, the criminal detention papers said:  At 11 p.m. April 6, Ni Yulan was charged with “creating a disturbance” and placed under criminal detention. The document carried the official seal of the Xicheng District branch of the Beijing Public Security Bureau.
Even though Ni’s family have received the criminal decision notice, the detention center says she is not detained there. Relatives are even more worried about Dong’s situation because it has already been eight days since he taken away by police and there is still no news of him. Although Xicheng District police had earlier said the couple was in their detention center and advised their family members to go to the detention center to find out what was gong on, when they did, it turned out there was no record of these two persons.
Ni’s daughter says she wants to hire a lawyer for her mother, but because of the crackdown on human rights lawyers, a sensitive case such as this one would probably attract government pressure.
Ni began practicing law in 1986. In 2001, the part of Xicheng District where Ni lived was slated for mandatory demolition in advance of the 2008 Olympic Games. In April 2002, Ni videotaped the forced demolition of neighbor’s house, and was immediately detained by the Xinjiekou police station. In November 2002, she was sentenced to a one-year jail term for the crime of “obstructing official business”; she was also disbarred. After the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Ni was arrested again when her own courtyard house was forcibly demolished and was given a two-year sentence for the same crime of “obstructing official business.”
During her incarceration, Ni was brutally beaten and she now requires crutches or a wheelchair to get around. After her release, she was repeatedly harassed in the small hotel room that she rented (because her house was demolished), forcing her to sleep in the streets. Ni’s misfortunes attracted widespread public attention, resulting in the Xicheng District police temporarily arranging for Ni and her husband to stay at the Yuxingong Hotel, until they were again taken away by police. The electricity in their hotel room had been purposely turned off for more than 100 days, and friends who went to visit were often stopped or had to show their IDs.

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