Husband and Wife Released from Detention in China (UA 85/09)

Human rights lawyer Wei Liangyue and his wife Du Yongjing have been released and returned home after 30 days of detention. Both were released on bail on 30 March 2009 pending further investigation. Wei Liangyue remains under suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order,” and Du Yongjing is still under suspicion of “using a heretical organization to undermine implementation of the law.” Wei Liangyue’s colleagues told Amnesty International that they were released on bail pending investigation because of insufficient evidence to further the charge. In mid-March, according to sources, the police thought of sending Wei Liangyue to Re-education through Labour, a form of administrative detention imposed without charge, trial or judcial review, but gave up the idea because of insufficient evidence to back up the measure. On 28 February, Wei Liangyue drove to pick up his wife Du Yongjing from a gathering at her friend’s home. The police accused them of “attending a Falun Gong meeting” and took them to Nangang District Detention Center in Harbin. Both of them were interrogated repeatedly during the detention. Wei Liangyue was once interrogated throughout the entire night, but was not tortured. Before the detention, Wei Liangyue has been repeatedly warned by the local authorities that he had to stop representing detained Falun Gong practitioners and should stop giving them not guilty defense. Wei Liangyue believes that international attention and pressure contributed to the temporary release of him and his wife, and would like to thank those who have taken actions for them.