04/30/2020

Urgent Action Update: Prisoner of Conscience Denied Access to Family (China: UA 284.16)


Huang Qi, founder and director of Sichuan-based human rights website “64 Tianwang”, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment following a secret trial in January 2019. His 87-year-old mother has not been able to see him since 2016 and, as her own health continues to deteriorate, she worries that she may never see him again. Huang Qi continues to suffer from serious health concerns of his own and, without access to a lawyer of his choice or his family, he is at real risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

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Minister Tang Yijun
Minister of Justice
6, Chaoyangmen Nandajie
Chaoyang Qu
Beijing Shi, 100051
People’s Republic of China
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 Minister Tang,

I am writing to express my concern for Huang Qi (黄琦), who is currently serving a 12-year sentence in Sichuan Bazhong Prison for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. His 87-year-old mother, Pu Wenqing, is gravely ill and has been unable to see him since he was taken away in 2016.

On 25 April 2020, Pu published an open letter online stating that she was supposed to have visited Huang Qi two months after his transfer to Sichuan Bazhong Prison in December 2019. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, her visit was canceled and there has been no further information about when she will be allowed to see Huang Qi. Founder and director of Sichuan-based human rights website “64 Tianwang”, Huang Qi was charged with “intentionally leaking state secrets” (故意泄露国家秘密罪) and “providing state secrets to a foreign entity” (为境外非法提供情报罪) by the Mianyang City Intermediate People’s Court on 29 July 2019. Huang Qi is a prisoner of conscience and he should not be imprisoned for peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. Huang Qi has had no access to a lawyer since he was sentenced.

I worry about Huang Qi’s health in prison. Suffering from chronic kidney disease and hydrocephalus, as well as other conditions affecting his heart and lungs, it is unclear whether he even has access to adequate medical care.

I call on you to immediately and unconditionally release Huang Qi 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; pending his release, ensure that Huang Qi has regular, unrestricted access to family and lawyers of his choice and is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment; and allow him prompt, regular and unrestricted access to medical care on request or as necessary.

Yours sincerely,

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