People’s Republic of China: Mr. Zhu Chengzhi at risk of enforced disappearance

Urgent Appeal

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention on the following situation in the People’s Republic of China.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) that human rights defender Mr. Zhu Chengzhi, who has been detained since June 2012, is at risk of enforced disappearance.

According to the information received, on January 4, 2013, Mr. Zhu Chengzhi’s legal representative was informed that the Shaoyang Public Security Bureau decided to subject him to six months of “residential surveillance” at an undisclosed location, beginning on January 4, in what may be the first use of Article 73 of the revised Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), which permits subjecting an individual to “enforced disappearance”[1]. Police in Hunan have merely notified Mr. Zhu Chengzhi’s family of the “residential surveillance” on the charge of “inciting subversion of State power”, but without disclosing his whereabouts or indicating exactly how long he will serve. Moreover, one of his lawyers, Mr. Liu Xiaoyuan, has been blocked from visiting him.

Mr. Zhu was arrested by the Shaoyang police on June 8, 2012 after refusing to guarantee that he would stop investigating the cause of death of labour activist Li Wangyang, who died under suspicious circumstances in June 2012. He was formally arrested on July 25, 2012 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of State power”.

The Observatory expresses its deep concern about the arbitrary detention and risk of enforced disappearance of Mr. Zhu Chengzhi, which seems to be aimed at sanctioning his human rights activities. The Observatory fears for his physical and psychological integrity, and calls upon the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally disclose his whereabouts and to release him.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in the People’s Republic of China, urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Zhu Chengzhi;

ii. Take prompt action in order to disclose the whereabouts of Mr. Zhu Chengzhi, and ensure his immediate release, since his detention is arbitrary and seems to only aim at sanctioning his human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Zhu Chengzhi as well as against all human rights defenders in China;

iv. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the People’s Republic of China.


• Mr. Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Guojia Zongli, The State Council General Office, 2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu, Beijingshi 100017, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 65961109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
• Ms. Wu Aiying, Minister of Justice of the People’s Republic of China, Buzhang Sifabu, 10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyangqu, Beijingshi 100020, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 6529 2345, Emails: /
• Mr. Li Xiaokui Juzhang, Director of the Public Security Bureau of Shaoyang, 8 Hongqilu Qingyunjie, Shaoyang city, Hunan Province, 422000 People’s Republic of China. Tel/Fax: +86 0739 5163018. Email:
• Dai Huafeng Daijianchayuanzhang, Acting Chief Prosecutor of the People’s Procuratorate of Shaoyang, 27 Weiyuandong lu, Shaoyang City, Hunan Province, 422006 People’s Republic of China. Fax: +86 0739 56927954
• Ambassador He Yafei, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China, Chemin de Surville 11, P.O. Box 85, 1213 Petit-Lancy 2, Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7937014, E-mail:
• Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Brussels, Avenue de Tervuren, 463 1160 Auderghem, Belgium, Tel: + 32 2 663 30 10 / + 32 2 663 30 17 / +32 2 771 14 97 / +32 2 779 43 33; Fax: +32 2 762 99 66 / +32 2 779 28 95

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of the People’s Republic of China in your respective country.

Read more