China: rights defender detained in 'quarantine'

Li Qiaochu, a feminist, labor researcher, and human rights defender who has especially advocated for the rights of migrant workers in China, is being held incommunicado following her arrest for "subversion of state power." Li was detained Feb. 6 in Beijing, where she lives, and taken to Linyi city in Shandong province, where her partner and fellow human rights defender Xu Zhiyong is also detained and facing the same charge. Li's detention follows her disclosure of Xu's torture and mistreatment in detention. On Feb. 19, Li's lawyer formally requested that the Linyi Municipal Public Security Bureau grant access to her, and was told she is being held in quarantine at a local hospital. She is apparently to be transferred to the Linyi Municipal Detention Center once the quarantine is completed.

Xu Zhiyong, who was detained over a year ago, was only first allowed a visit from his attorney on Feb. 5. He had previously been allowed two video meetings with lawyers. He was apparently held under Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSLD) in Yantai, Shandong, before being transferred to the Linyi Detention Center.

Li Qiaochu was especially active in documenting abuses and demanding accountability from authorities after the forcible eviction of migrant workers from their residences in Beijing in the winter of 2017. She was also briefly detained after speaking out about Xu's arrest last year. (FrontLine Defenders, China Change, HRW)

See our last post on the crackdown on dissent in China.

Labor crackdown spreads in China

China Worker website reports that labor activist Chen Guojiang faces five years in prison or attempting to organize food delivery workers in China, He has been charged with catch-all "picking quarrels and provoking trouble." Chen was arrested in Beijing on Feb. 25 and charged one month later after a campaign of pressure by his family and supporters demanding information about his detention. This year has seen strikes by delivery workers in Shenzhen, Zhejiang and Linyi.

Hong Kong-based China Worker is one of the few sources for such information within China's national territory. The Beijing-based left-dissident Utopia website, which was ordered closed a few years ago, appears to be back online at the new URL m.wyzxwk.com.