08/05/2019

Urgent Action: Activist Held Incommunicado for Months (China: UA 67.19)


Yang Zhengjun, a prominent workers’ rights activist has been held incommunicado since 8 January 2019. The editor-in-chief of iLabor.net / “New Generation” (Xinshengdai), an independent website covering workers’ rights stories, his detention is believed to be a part of a nation-wide crackdown targeting workers, students and activists supporting workers’ rights and freedom of speech on university campuses in China. With no access to his family, or a family lawyer, there are grave concerns for his mental and physical wellbeing.

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Song Yiyang
Director of Shenzhen City Pingshan District Public Security Sub-bureau
1 Longping Lu, Pingshan Qu, Dagongye Qu
Shenzhen Shi 518118, People’s Republic of China
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Cui Tiankai
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 495 2266 I Fax: 202 495 2138
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Director,

Yang Zhengjun was taken away from Guangzhou on 8 January 2019 and has been held incommunicado ever since. As the editor-in-chief of iLabor.net / “New Generation” (Xinshengdai), a news site covering workers-related stories and reporting workers’ rights movements, his detention comes amidst a large-scale crackdown on workers, students and labor activists across the country. More than a month after he was taken away, the Pingshan District Public Security Sub-bureau notified Yang Zhengjun’s family that he had been put under “Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location” for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”. While police told his wife that Yang Zhengjun was detained in Dapeng District in Shenzhen City, other lawyers said they had seen Yang in Shenzhen City No.2 Detention Center. There is no way to verify Yang’s whereabouts, nor his wellbeing, as all requests by his wife and lawyer to meet him have been rejected.

Yang Zhengjun’s wife has faced continuous harassment since her husband was detained and, according to her, has been asked numerous times by the police to convince Yang to plead guilty. In March 2019, after a request by the police, their landlord did not renew the lease of their family home. As a result, Yang’s wife, who was five months pregnant at the time, was forced to find somewhere new to live by herself.

I call on you to immediately and unconditionally release Yang Zhengjun, unless there is sufficient credible and admissible evidence that he has committed an internationally recognized offense and is granted a fair trial in line with international standards;  ensure that Yang Zhengjun is not subjected to any torture or other ill-treatment and has regular and unrestricted access to a lawyer of his choice and is able to communicate with family members, without interference unless justified in line with international human rights law; and end all harassment against Yang Zhengjun’s family.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES