Select this search icon to access the search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

China: More activists detained for Liu Xiaobo memorial

    Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 16:50
    Demonstration to free Liu Xiaobo Amnesty International Belgium

    Photo: Via Amnesty International Belgium

    Download PDF of UA 7/18 China

    PDF icon7 China.pdf

    Independent writer Li Xuewen and Zhan Huidong (aka ''Xiaozhang'' or ''Headmaster''), a former finance journalist and an online writer, have been detained due to their participation in the July 2017 seaside memorial for late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

    Li Xuewen was detained at the Guangzhou railway station, southern China, by two plainclothes police officers on 19 December 2017. Li Xuewen told his lawyer during his first meeting with him at the detention centre on 22 December, that police handcuffed him and took him to the railway police station after simply being told that he was on the ''wanted list''. Li Xuewen then had his legs chained and was criminally detained on suspicion of ''gathering a crowd to disturb social order''. Li Xuewen believes that the police used facial recognition software to track him down as he was stopped by the officers before he had entered the gate and had his ID checked at the railway station.

    Li Xuewen was then taken to a police station in Xinhui District in Jiangmen, Guangdong province on 20 December where he was questioned before being taken to the Xinhui District Detention Centre after midnight on 21 December. In subsequent meetings, on 2 and 8 January 2018, Li Xuewen told his lawyer that the officers in the detention centre did not allow him to buy amenities (e.g toothpaste, additional food) as he refused to recite the rules in the detention centre.

    Zhan Huidong has also been criminally detained at Xinhui District Detention Centre on suspicion of the same charge since 26 December, however the police only informed his family of his whereabouts and the charges laid against him on 1 January. According to his lawyer, who met with him on 3 and 9 January, Zhan Huidong maintains that he did not commit any offence.

    Li Xuewen and Zhan Huidong are the most recent activists to have been detained for having joined the seaside memorial in Jiangmen for Liu Xiaobo on 19 July 2017. Six other activists, who also attended the memorial, were detained for about a month before being released in August. The authorities need to decide within 37 days after their detention whether to formally charge the two activists. 

    Please send a letter, email, tweet or fax without delay.

    • Start with a sentence about yourself to make your message unique.
    • Call on authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Li Xuewen and Zhan Huidong unless there is credible evidence that they may have committed an internationally recognized offence and are granted a fair trial in line with international standards.
    • Urge authorities to ensure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and that they are allowed access to their family.

    Address your appeals to:


    Xinhui District Detention Centre    


    Xinhuiqu Duhui    

    Jiangmen Shi    

    Guangdong Sheng 529100    

    People's Republic of China

    Salutation:         Dear Director


    Li Chunsheng    

    Guangdong Provincial Department of Public Security

    97 Huanghualu

    Guangzhou Shi

    Guangdong Sheng 510050

    People's Republic of China


    Salutation:        Dear Director

    Please send a copy to:

    Minister of Public Security

    Zhao Kezhi    

    14 Dong Chang'anjie


    Beijing Shi 100741    

    People's Republic of China    

    Tel:                   00 86 10 66262114 (Chinese only)



    His Excellency Shaye Lu

    Ambassador for the People's Republic of China

    515 St. Patrick Street

    Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5H3

    Fax:                1 (613) 789-1911

    Additional Information

    Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in 2009 for ''inciting subversion of state power'' for co-drafting ''Charter 08'' - a manifesto about the hope of asking the Chinese government to respect universal human rights values and democratic development - in 2008 and writing other articles to criticize the Chinese government. Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer on 13 July 2017 and his body was quickly cremated in Shenyang and his ashes were scattered on 15 July 2017 by the seaside of Dalian, in Liaoning. 

    Six other Guangdong activists Wei Xiaobing (aka ''1.3 billion citizens''), He Lin, Liu Guangxiao, Li Shujia, Wang Meiju (aka Xi Yan) and Qin Mingxin were taken away by police and had their homes raided several days after they conducted a seaside memorial for Liu Xiaobo on 19 July 2017 to mark the seventh day after the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's death. They were released on bail about a month later.

    Several other activists were also detained for conducting seaside memorials for Liu Xiaobo and have since been released. Jiang Jianjun and Wang Chenggang, who went to Laohutan (Tiger Beach) in Dalian (very close to where Liu Xiaobo's ashes were scattered) on 17 July 2017 to pay tribute to Liu Xiaobo, were administratively detained for 10 days before being released on 29 July and 30 July respectively. 

    Li Zhaoqiang, who drove the Hong Kong Cable TV station's journalist to broadcast the 19 July seaside memorial at Jiangmen city, Guangdong live, was taken away by police on 26 July. Detained for three days, he was released on 29 July. 

    Following Liu Xiaobo's death on 13 July, over 20 prominent activists in Beijing and about a dozen petitioners in Shanghai also held indoor memorials for the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate. While none were detained, the activists were kept under surveillance by state security police officers. 

    Other activists were also detained due to their commemorative activities for Liu Xiaobo or showing support to others who joined the commemorative actions. Poet Wu Mingliang, better known by his pen name ''Langzi'', and Peng Heping, who printed Wu Mingliang's exhibition catalogue, were released on 22 September after being criminally detained on suspicion of ''illegal business operations'' on 19 August and 29 August respectively. It is believed Wu Mingliang's detention was with regard to an anthology of poems commemorating Liu Xiaobo that he had helped produce.

    Zhen Jianghua, executive director of an online platform ''Human Rights Campaign in China'' ( which documents the human rights situation in China through reports by grassroots rights activists, was criminally detained on 2 September 2017 for ''inciting subversion of state power'' and held at the Zhuhai City No.1 Detention Centre. His friends believe that he was detained because he supported the other activists who were detained after taking part in the seaside memorial for Liu Xiaobo. 

    Take your activism further!

    Take action - Ask China to end the illegal house arrest and surveillance of Liu Xia

    Take action - Urge China to release Uighur human rights activist Rebiya Kadeer's family memebers

    Take action - Tell China to release singer-songwriters Xu Lin and Liu Sifang

    Take action - Tell Chinese authorities to release human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong

    Take action - Call on authorities in China to release Falun Gong practitioner Chen Huixia

    Read - Amnesty International report on China 2016/17

    GOOD NEWS - Poet commemorating Liu Xiaobo released!

    If you wish to receive updates on this case, email In the subject line, write “Keep me updated on UA 7/18 "China".


    Latest Urgent Actions Amnesty International Canada Urgent Action Twitter