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Human Rights in China (HRIC) informs  about the arbitrary arrest of  Zheng Enchong, a human rights lawyer in Shanghai, and further acts of harassment against him.

According to the information received, on February 16 and 17, 2008, Mr. Zheng Enchong was reportedly beaten by police officers who were following him and his wife Ms. Jiang Meili. Later on February 17, 2008, he was summoned to the police station and was kept in detention for over 12 hours. The police asked him about the recent legal aid he provided to petitioners and victims of land grabs, as well as the interviews he gave to the Epoch Times on February 12, 2008, in which he talked about the corruption case of Shanghai tycoon Zhou Zhengyi and the possible involvement of former Chinese Communist Party leader Huang Ju. While in detention, he was beaten by unidentified men.

On February 19, 2008, the interview to the Epoch Times went to press and on February 20, 2008, Mr. Zheng was again arrested, before being released in the evening. He was once more beaten by an unidentified person while in detention. As a consequence, he was wounded and bleeding. He would allegedly plan to sue the authorities.


Zheng Enchong,   a lawyer in Shanghai,  had advised more than 500 families displaced by Shanghai’s urban redevelopment projects on their rights to fair compensation. In particular, Zheng, despite the revocation of his licence as a lawyer in 2001, had been advising families involved in a lawsuit alleging corrupt collusion between officials and a wealthy property developer.


Zheng Enchong had been arrested on June 6, 2003 and taken to the Shanghai Public Security Bureau Detention Centre, on charges of “illegally providing state secrets to entities outside of China” (article 111 of the Criminal Law for  sending two communications to HRIC).


At the court hearing on August 28, 2003, Zheng’s wife, Mrs. Jiang Meili, and other observers had been barred from the courtroom on the grounds that the case involved state secrets. Zheng Enchong was sentenced, on October 28, 2003, to three years in prison and deprivation of his political rights for one year by the Shanghai Second Intermediate People’s Court. The Shanghai appeal court upheld the sentence on December 18, 2003.


Mrs. Jiang Meili, the wife of Zheng Enchong, has been detained for three days illegally until March 1, 2004. On   February 28, 2004 Mrs. Jiang went to Beijing to petition the National People's Congress on behalf of her husband. In the same day, shortly after 1:00 a.m., five women and two men burst into her hotel room,  bound and gagged her. She was forced into a vehicle and taken to another hotel in Hubei's Canzhou City. The next day, five person  took her back to Shanghai, where she was held in the Guangdi Hotel in Hutai Road. During this time, to Mrs. Jiang Meili they haven’t presented any arrest warrant or given any reason for her detention. According to the information received, the persons who have been involved in her detention were officials of the Shanghai Representative Office in Beijing, the Shanghai Letters and Petitions Office and the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB). Mrs. Jiang Meili was finally released on March 1.


 During Jiang Meili’s next  visit to her husband on November 10, 2004, along with other family members. During the visit, Zheng said he had been visited a number of times by the director of the Shanghai’s Judicial Bureau and Prisons Bureau, Miao Xiaobao, who had told him that if he admitted wrongdoing, his three-year sentence would be reduced by one year. However, Zheng Enchong refused to do so.


According to information from HRIC, since the beginning of his imprisonment, Zheng has not been allowed to see his lawyer, as a result of which he has not been able to file an appeal application against his sentence before the Shanghai Supreme People’s Court. His wife has filed an application on his behalf but the Court has not acknowledged it.


Moreover, Zheng reportedly also told his visitors that in spite of his relatively light sentence, he has been housed in the prison’s high security section, where he is obliged to share his 3.5 square meter cell with two other prisoners. In addition, Zheng said also that he has been denied several times his right to call his family.


According to the information received, during the visit of  Zheng’s wife to the prison he asked her to urge displaced residents to persevere in their legal action against Zhou Zhengyi, a wealthy property developer, and others involved in a redevelopment project. When he began speaking about this subject, prison guards immediately ended the visit, and five or six guards grabbed Zheng and carried him out of the visiting room.


After the visit, Zheng’s wife and other family members have written an open letter to the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, and Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, calling for their intervention to grant him an appeal through the Supreme People’s Court.


On 9 December 2005 Zheng Enchong was awarded a Human Rights Award by the German Judges' Association in a ceremony attended by the German President Horst Koehler. Zheng Enchong’s wife Jiang Meili, who had planned to represent her husband at the awards ceremony, was refused permission to leave China due to an alleged property dispute that she

was suddenly informed about shortly before her planned departure.


 Zheng Enchong was released on June 5, 2006 after serving a three-year prison term for “illegally providing state secrets overseas”. Since his release, Mr. Zheng and his family have been under effective house arrest and constant surveillance by police .


On July 5, 2007, Mr. Zheng Enchong, together with other 100 evicted householders, signed a petition demanding a public trial for Mr. Zhou Zhengyi and for the evictees to be allowed to attend and testify at the trial. They have received no reply to date.

On July 24, 2007, at approximately 7.30 a.m., Mr. Zheng Enchong and his wife, Mrs. Jiang Meili, went to the Shangai Municipal Higher People’s Court in order to register themselves to attend the Zhou Zhenghyi’s trial, scheduled for the end of July 2007. Once the couple arrived at the Courthouse, they were surrounded by six police officers. Two of them, along with the other officers, knocked Mr. Zheng Enchong to the ground, beat him and dragged him nearly 200 metres in an hour-long assault that was witnessed by hundreds of neighbouring residents. As a result, Mr. Zheng sustained serious abrasions to his left hand during the struggle.

The police officers then reportedly pushed Mr. Zheng and his wife into a taxi that took them to the home of Mrs. Jiang Meili’s older sister, Ms. Jiang Zhongli, on Baochang Road. According to the latest report, five police cars and more than 30 police officers were allegedly blocking the exits of the street, keeping Ms. Jiang Zhongli’s home under close surveillance and preventing the couple from leaving.

In the meantime, more than 50 displaced residents of the Dongbakuai neighbourhood, including Mr. Wei Qin, Mr. Shi Lin, Mr. Shen Peilan and Mr. Wang Liqing, arrived at the Shanghai Municipal Higher People’s Court at approximately 9 a.m. to register to attend the same trial, but they were prevented from entering the court building by security guards and court police.


Actions required:

Please write to the Chinese authorities urging them to:

  1. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Zheng Enchong and his family;
  2. Conduct a fair, impartial and independent investigation into the allegations of ill-treatment above-mentioned, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them to justice and apply to them the civil, penal and/or administrative sanctions provided by law;
  3. Guarantee that adequate reparation is provided to Mr. Zheng Enchong, as a victim of abuses;
  4. Put an end to any kind of act of harassment and threats against Mr. Zheng and his relatives, as well as against all human rights defenders in the country;
  5. 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”, Article 6.b, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others [...] freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms”, as well as Article 12.2, which states 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”;
  6. 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)
  • Mr. 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, /
  • Mr. Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Buzhang Waijiaobu, 2 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Beijingshi 100701, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 6588 2594, Email:;
  • Mr. Meng Jianzhu, Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, Buzhang, Gong’anbu, 14 Dongchang’anjie, Dongchengqu, Beijingshi 100741, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 63099216
  • Mr. Ma Zhenchuan, Director of the Beijing Public Security Bureau, Juzhang, Beijingshi Gong’anju, 9 Qianmen Dongdajie, Dongchengqu, Beijingshi 100740, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 85222320, Email:






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