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Human rights lawyers win release of teen in Gansu province arrested for violating new anti-rumor guidelines

Thursday, September 26, 2013

China Aid Association

Yang Hui
(Zhangjiachuan, Gansu–Sept. 24, 2013) A 16-year-old boy arrested and charged with “inciting subversion” for a blog post about the police investigation of a suspicious death has been released from a week in a central China jail after human rights lawyers intervened.

According to updated information received Tuesday, the police chief of Zhangjiachuan county, Bai Yonhqiang, has been dismissed for abuse of power following an investigation prompted by outrage expressed by thousands of Chinese bloggers over the boy’s arrest.

Bai Yonhqiang, former Zhangjiachuan
county police chief
The boy, Yang Hui, was arrested Sept. 17 for “inciting subversion” after his post on the QQ instant messaging site was re-posted more than 500 times, which violates China’s new guidelines about online “rumors.” In his post, Yang called for protest and said that the police investigation into the Sept. 12 death of a local man, which determined that the death was suicide rather than homicide, was too hasty.

Yang Hui and his father
reunite after the boy's
release from jail.
The news of Yang’s arrest quickly spread through the Chinese blogosphere and two human rights lawyers, You Feizhu and Wang Shihua, traveled to Zhangjianchuan to provide Yang’s legal defense. Upon learning of the lawyers’ involvement in the case, local police, apparently worried that subversion was too harsh a charge for the boy, downgraded Yang’s charge to violating security regulations, which is punishable by a seven-day detention.

The initial report of Yang’s arrest issued by police said that Yang’s face could not be shown because he was underage. Yang’s father responded, “My son did nothing wrong. His face does not need to be obscured.”

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Website: www.chinaaid.org