By: Jessica Ties
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
BEIJING, China –China’s state security police have warned pro-democracy dissident, Qin Yongmin, that he is not to continue his work on plans for a website aimed at promoting peaceful change in the nation.
Qin was release from prison in November 2010 after serving a twelve year prison term following a conviction for subversion which resulted from his role as co-founder of the China Democracy Party and attempt to have the new party registered.
Since his release, he has been on twenty-four hour surveillance by officials and has been subjected to routine searches of his home and confiscation of his belongings.
In April, Qin was subjected to two home searches in a two week period during which he was threatened and verbally abused by authorities who also confiscated articles written by Qin and notebooks.
This week, Qin reported that he was surrounded by police while leaving a computer store and taken to a police station.
While at the police station, a police officer informed Qin that they had information that he had “…been posting articles overseas and giving interviews to journalists, and that this was against Article 82 of the national security law, and that they were going to punish me for that.”
Qin had intentions to launch a website called “Peaceful Transition Advice” which would be hosted overseas but was told by authorities but he was absolutely forbidden to create the website.
According to Qin, “[t]hey said that if I launched it in the morning, they would arrest me in the afternoon, and that they would pursue the harshest kind of punishment for me.”
The police officer also informed Qin that they were alarmed by a meeting he had held at a restaurant with several political activists.
According to Qin, the meeting was held on the second floor of the restaurant and the police “…took over the entire third floor.” He also reports that he was warned by police that no matter where he went or who he was with, they would know about it.
China’s dissidents have been under increased pressure from authorities since the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to imprisoned democracy activist Liu Xiaobo.
Prior to the twelve year sentenced leading to his November release, Qin had been jailed twice before for his political activism. He served an eight year sentence for “anti-revolutionary propaganda and subversion” in 1981 for his involvement in the pro-democracy movement.
Four years later he was sentenced to two years of hard labor in a re-education through labor camp for a writing a document entitled “Peace Charter”.
For more information, please see:
Radio Free Asia – Activist Warned Over Website – 20 February 2012
Asia News – Qin Yongmin, Cofounder of the China Democracy Party Freed Today – 29 November 2010
Human Rights in China – Police Search Qin Yongmin’s Home – 28 April 2011