Thursday, May 29, 2014

Outside Beijing: Official June Fourth Accounts (Part III)

Thousands of students gather in front of provincial government building in Harbin, Heilongjiang. Photo credit: Harbin Public Security History Record

In the spring of 1989, protests spread to townships and cities in China’s northernmost province of Heilongjiang. Some residents were encouraged to head to Beijing, while others took action closer to home. University students demonstrated in Jiamusi and Daqing on May 18 and 19. In Jiamusi, 5,200 students took the streets and attracted more than 10,000 onlookers. In Daqing, home to China’s largest oilfield, 700 students from Daqing Normal University protested. The unrest appears to have been tame. Even in the wake of the violence in Beijing on June 4, public security in these cities did not report any “beating, smashing, and looting.” Instead they reported scores of reactionary messages and slogans found on college campuses. Similarly, at a checkpoint bordering the Soviet Union in Hegang’s Luobei County, armed police confiscated hundreds of reactionary leaflets, photos, cassettes, Hong Kong newspaper clippings, poems, and speeches from local residents returning from their studies in Beijing.

The protests in the provincial capital of Harbin were larger and presumably more intense. Gaining momentum from the hunger strike in Beijing—said to have been started by 2,000 students demanding direct negotiation with the central government on May 13—a total of 100,000 Harbin residents took to the streets between May 15-19 with 40,000 people (including 80 hunger strikers) demonstrating on May 18 alone, according to government sources. Participation ebbed after martial law was declared in Beijing on May 20, with the number of protesters dropping to an average of 4,600 per day between May 21-28. By the end of the month, three-quarters of schools had resumed classes. The situation took another turn, however, after the killings in Beijing on June 4. Within days, a third of Harbin’s students joined strikes and set up barricades to paralyze traffic under the leadership of the Harbin University Student Federation of the Patriotic Democratic Movement (HUF). “Beating, smashing, and looting” began and continued until around June 17.

Among those detained for the “political turmoil” was Zhang Jianhua (张建华), a HUF leader and assistant professor at Shandong College of Civil Engineering and Architecture. He was detained on July 18, 1989. Eighteen months later, in January 1991, he was exempted from indictment on charges of disturbing social order and gathering a crowd to disturb traffic.

Not all detainees were students. By June 8, 1989, 38 members of the “Citizens’ Support Group,” later renamed the “Patriotic Dare-to-Die Brigade,” had been detained, and six group leaders went on trial that year. According to Heilongjiang Daily, the group comprised people recently released from prison, people who were unemployed, and “hooligans” who were “dissatisfied with the party and government.”

By June 28, the Harbin Public Security Bureau had arrested a total of 11 labor organizers. The municipal government identified the Harbin Workers’ Autonomous Federation (HWAF) as an illegal organization along with HUF and the Citizens’ Support Group in a notice it issued on June 15. Established on June 5, HWAF aimed to collaborate with students to organize workers’ strikes and demonstrations and to resist any military control that might have been imposed in Harbin, according to an unofficial account widely circulated online. Wu Renhua (吴仁华), a historian in exile in the United States, wrote that 1,000 workers from bearings factories and automotive plants joined the demonstrations in Harbin on June 7.

Harbin Local Party Organization Records: click to expand

Chapter Five Putting Down the 1989 Political Turmoil
Harbin Local Party Organization Records
(April 1999)

Between the spring and summer of 1989, the political turmoil that occurred in Beijing spread to Harbin. After mid-April, some students at some Harbin universities successively began to receive illegal propaganda mailed from Beijing. Individuals who claimed to be students from Beijing came to some universities to agitate, while posters with content like “Support the Beijing student movement” appeared in other universities, interfering with the normal order of the campuses.

On April 19, the Harbin Municipal Party Committee held a city-wide meeting with responsible people from relevant departments to convey the provincial party committee’s instructions “to pay attention to social trends and be vigilant for a few troublemakers” and “to pay attention to student tendencies and offer timely persuasion and education.” The committee also announced the establishment of the Emergent Incidents Prevention and Management Leading Small Group led by Deputy Municipal Party Secretary Zhang Delin and with Vice Mayor Fan Pengxu as one of the deputy heads. On April 27, the committee held a city-wide meeting with party and government leaders and cadres to convey the speeches by central leaders and the spirit embodied in the April 26 People’s Daily editorial titled “We Must Unequivocally Oppose Unrest.” On April 28, in accordance with the instructions of the provincial party committee, the municipal party committee established a Counter-turmoil Team led by Deputy Municipal Party Secretary Shan Rongfan. On April 30, nearly a thousand students from two universities protested near university campuses. They were dissuaded from doing so and quickly returned to school.

On May 13, some Beijing college students conducted sit-ins, hunger strikes, and petitions. On May 16, the municipal party committee held a city-wide meeting with party and government leaders and cadres to inform and communicate about the situation and to give instructions to “stabilize the situation, be persistent on positive persuasion, and avoid the intensification of conflicts.” The municipal party committee put forth a seven-point requirement for stabilizing the situation. It specifically required that party and government cadres obey a strict political discipline of “no onlooking, no donating, no supporting, and no participating.” The municipal party committee also required leaders and cadres at all levels to have a good grasp on stabilizing the situation and on [maintaining] production, work, and daily life. On the same day, the municipal party committee and municipal government held a meeting with cadres at the three levels of city, district, and street (township) requesting each district and street (township) to strengthen social control to prevent bad people from seizing the opportunity to reoffend. On May 18, nearly 40,000 people took the streets of Harbin, and more than 80 students gathered at the provincial government office and announced a hunger strike (later [the number of hunger strikers] gradually increased to nearly 200). Some students gave speeches on major streets in the city center, fundraised, and hung posters with information on the Beijing student movement. On May 19, nearly a thousand students charged the Harbin Railway Station, ready to forcefully board trains to Beijing to provide support.

After some students began to hunger strike, the municipal party committee and municipal government instructed the municipal health bureau director-general to take full responsibility for rescue work and required emergency centers to send 20 ambulances to ensure the safety and lives of the students. The No. 1 Provincial Hospital and the No. 2 Hospital of Harbin Medical University each provided 50 beds; doctors at every major hospital adjusted their shifts to prepare for any emergencies. On the same day, the municipal party committee met separately with party and government leaders and cadres from different branches, requiring them to righteously educate and counsel the branch offices, employees, teachers, and students to make every effort to control the development of events and to maintain the order of production, work, studies, and daily life with a firm focus on production and work. The municipal party committee also required public transport and business service departments to ensure normal operations and to ensure the normal supply of grain, oil, and other necessities. The education department was required to instruct primary and secondary students not to join the protests, not to engage in activities to support the movement, and to maintain the normal order of teaching. News and propaganda departments were asked to follow party principles and have a good grasp of propaganda directions. Public security departments were asked to concentrate on fighting itinerant criminals to ensure social security.

At 6pm on May 20, the day that martial law was declared in parts of Beijing, representatives of the “Students Autonomous Council,” who hailed from 12 Harbin universities, held a meeting and established an illegal organization called the “Harbin University Student Federation of the Patriotic Democratic Movement” (referred to below as “HUF”). They decided to carry out a city-wide university protest against martial law on May 21. At the same time, they decided to go to factories and enterprises to establish ties, to go to the city center to give speeches, to distribute propaganda, and to engage in a so-called “rouse up the people” campaign to gain sympathy and support from society. From May 21‒28, a total of 37,000 Harbin university students marched to the offices of the provincial party committee, provincial government, provincial people’s congress standing committee, and local garrison liaison office to petition, conduct a sit-in, and submit a Protest Memorandum and a Petition Letter. Student demonstrators and bystanders caused traffic jams on some roads. Some students also illegally set up “radio stations” to broadcast recordings of rumors and posted slogans and posters everywhere. On May 24, one university organized a “Dare-to-Die Brigade to Beijing” of 250 people to forcibly board train No. 138 bound for Beijing, causing a seven-hour train delay.

Starting on May 20, the municipal party committee organized all party members, cadres, and masses in the city to diligently study the important speeches made by Li Peng and Yang Shangkun on May 19, and declared that the central government’s spirit be used to unify ideology and direct action. On May 21, the municipal public security bureau caught nine criminals who were disturbing social order in the square in front of the provincial government’s office, [thus] deterring bad people. On May 22, the municipal government issued the Notice to City Residents expressing its hope that all students would “no longer demonstrate, strike, or petition” and would “resume normal campus order”; that all cadres and workers would “obey discipline, remain at their posts, work hard, work efficiently, and maintain the normal order of production and daily life”; that all city residents would “not believe or spread rumors or put up any banners or posters”; and that all police officers would “maintain the flow of traffic and social order” and “relentlessly strike against all illegal criminal activities.” On May 23, the municipal party committee held a city-wide meeting with leading party cadres to convey the instructions of the provincial party committee and to require leading cadres at all levels to handle affairs in accordance with the law, widely publicize the law, refuse to allow students to give speeches and to establish ties at factories and shops, take effective measures, and restore order as soon as possible. On the same day, leading members of the municipal party committee, municipal people’s congress standing committee, municipal government, municipal Chinese people’s political consultative conference, and municipal commission for discipline inspection were divided into eight groups to conduct thorough investigations of 29 major enterprises to assist in stability work.

On June 4, more than 8,000 students organized and commanded by HUF marched in protest on the streets of Harbin. On June 5, more than 8,000 students set up 132 roadblocks at 83 major junctions around the city. They used public electric buses to block traffic and caused blockages among 26 bus routes. Some students went downtown and incited labor strikes at the entrances of 15 large and medium-sized enterprises. Meanwhile, some criminals took the opportunity to set up illegal organizations, like the “Citizens’ Support Group” (later called the “Patriotic Dare-to-Die Brigade”) and “Harbin Workers’ Autonomous Council,” and commit other illegal activities like beating, smashing, and looting. Around the city, this caused 9.6 million people to be unable to go to work and nearly 100,000 factory workers to be unable to get to the factory on time, reducing the city’s output value by 60 million yuan and affecting nearly 10 million yuan in profit tax. Tensions surrounded the production and supply of grain, oil, vegetables, and other staple foods. By June 8, 20,000 students across the city (accounting for 36.7% of the total number of students) walked out of schools due to HUF’s incitement. In order to calm the turmoil, the municipal party committee conscientiously implemented the Party Central Committee and the State Council’s “Notice to All Communist Party Members and People across the Nation.” On June 6, the municipal party committee held a city-wide meeting with party and government leaders and cadres to inform and communicate about the situation. It required all factories and enterprises to unequivocally publicize the law and defend the labor rights of workers. After the situation had calmed down, the municipal party committee again called on all city residents to “quickly restore the normal order of production, to regain lost time and wealth, to effectively boost supply, and to take concrete actions to maintain overall peace and unity.” From June 7‒9, 200 vehicle trips and more than 5,000 people were sent to cleanup traffic barriers, to restore public transportation operations, and to remove all the posters on the streets. In accordance with the municipal party committee’s directive to “grasp trends, strike momentum, and prevent a situation,” public security organs first struck against and captured key members of some armed, illegal organizations that incited disturbances. On June 16, the municipal government issued the Notice on Banning Illegal Organizations and demanded that the leaders and key members of illegal organizations and people who committed illegal criminal acts register or surrender themselves to public security organs by June 23. Starting June 17, the key members of the illegal organizations successively registered with the public security organs. Thus, the political turmoil in Harbin was completely put down.

Chinese Source(原文):
“平息一九八九年政治风波”,《哈尔滨市志 中共地方组织》,第285-287页。
Click on icon to expand

《哈尔滨市志 中共地方组织》









Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Outside Beijing: Official June Fourth Accounts (Part II)

Workers supporting student protest in Beijing. Source: Internet image.

In most official narratives of the “counterrevolutionary rioting” in 1989, workers are portrayed as passive participants instigated by student rioters and uninformed of the “truth.” While government suppression was carried out in the name of restoring social order and safeguarding the right to work for tens of thousands of working class people, workers had reason to be discontent. Affected by the privatization of state-run enterprises, a key element of Deng Xiaoping’s economic reform since 1978, they questioned why factory cadres held on to management posts while they were first to be laid off. Many worried about mass shutdowns and complained that their pay rises failed to match inflation, which the Hong Kong Monetary Authority says rose close to 30 percent in 1989.

The formation of workers’ federations in 1989, albeit short-lived, represented the first non-Communist Party affiliated, large-scale, grassroots effort to defend labor rights since the founding of “new China” in 1949. For example, the Beijing Workers’ Autonomous Federation, established on May 19, boasted 10,000 members. It supplied student protesters with medicine, food, and water and formed its own “dare-to-die brigades” to prevent the army from entering Beijing.

In other cities similar workers’ federations were set up spontaneously to coordinate strikes and protests, several of which turned violent. (Reports from unofficial sources claim that dozens of people were executed for their involvement in these protests, most of whom were workers.) One of the most violent workers’ protests took place at the Xiangtan Electrical Machinery Plant in Hunan Province. Unofficial media reported that more than 1,000 workers protested after one worker was injured by security staff. At least half a dozen workers were arrested and sentenced to long terms in prison. Chen Gang (陈刚) was sentenced to death with two-year reprieve, while Peng Shi (彭实), Liu Zhihua (刘智华), and Liu Jian (刘健) were sentenced to life imprisonment. All of them were convicted of hooliganism—a crime that was removed from China’s Criminal Law in 1997. As a result of international pressure from governments and civil society actors including Dui Hua, most of these workers sentenced for their involvement in the Xiangtan protest received sentence reductions. Chen and Peng were released in 2004 after serving 15 years in prison, while Liu Zhihua was released in 2009 after serving 20 years. The fate of Liu Jian remains unknown.

Not all strikes organized by workers in response to the suppression of the Beijing protests were dealt with as harshly as the Xiangtan shutdown. The account below vividly recounts what happened at Hefei Steel Company, one of Anhui Province’s largest state-owned factories, on June 7, 1989. In that instance, government information confirms that several young workers—ranging in age from 18 to 36—involved in the disturbances were dealt no more than short sentences of reeducation through labor (RTL).

Prisoner Sex Birth year Punishment
Ding Hua
M 1971 Released after receiving "education"
Huang Dezhen
F 1953 Sentenced to 1 year RTL for disturbing social order
Lin Hua
M 1965 Released after receiving "education"
Liu Zhu
M 1970 Released after receiving "education," sentenced to 1 year RTL for larceny in September 1990.
Lü Weizhong
M 1966 Sentenced to 1 year RTL for injuring a police officer

Two of the workers named in the Anhui Daily account, Huang Dezhen and Zhang Xuezhi (张学芝), are women. Women were disproportionately affected by privatization and earned lower wages for the same work. Women also faced employment discrimination in part due to government propaganda stressing that their main role was in the family, not economic production. To this day women continue to face workplace discrimination as evidenced by, among other things, the enforcement of an earlier retirement age.

Anhui Daily - The Whole Story of Hefei Steel’s June 7 Incident : click to expand

Ironclad Proof Beijing’s Counterrevolutionary Riots Were Coordinated
The Whole Story of Hefei Steel’s June 7 Incident

Anhui Daily
August 12, 1989

The student uprising and turmoil was like an epidemic that spread from the national capital in Beijing to [Anhui’s] provincial capital in Hefei.

After the counterrevolutionary rioting in Beijing in early June of this year, the illegal organizations Hefei “Students’ Autonomous Federation” [SAF] and “Workers’ Autonomous Federation” [WAF] planned a coordinated action with Beijing to block traffic, surround and block factories, incite workers to strike, and, above all, spearhead an attack on the Hefei Steel Company. During the disturbances, a small number of lawbreakers started rumors and incited people at this large-scale, principal enterprise in Hefei, poisoning public sentiment and causing two serious incidents that had a terrible influence.

Lying on the Track Forces Blast Furnace to Stop Production

On June 6, traffic was stopped in Hefei by a roadblock at the intersection of Huizhou Road and Wuhu Road. In the afternoon, the group of students from the Anhui Institute of Chinese Medicine who had set up the roadblock and caused the disturbance started to make their way back to school. When they passed the provincial college of education, a student leader accepted the task from the SAF to help students from Hefei Polytechnic University block the main entrances to Hefei Steel the following day.

On the morning of June 7, three of the main entrances to Hefei Steel’s No. 1 Factory District were blocked by crowds of students from Hefei Polytechnic. At the time, a student leader from the Anhui Institute of Chinese Medicine rushed over with about 80 fellow students to act as “reinforcements.” When they saw that the entrances were already blocked, they went to the intersection of the road near Hefei Steel’s Workshop No. 250. There they gave speeches and showed so-called “color photos of the suppression of students in Beijing,” thereby starting rumors and confusing the crowd. Some of the onlookers suggested that the students go to the No. 2 Factory District. Zhou Jun, the on-duty supervisor of the No. 2 blast furnace in the company’s ironworks, came out of the crowd and led this group of students to the site of the No. 2 Factory District, where they gathered in anticipation. At the entrance to the No. 2 Factory District, Zhou Jun, with ulterior motives and fearful that someone would recognize him, told the students to take off their black armbands and white flowers and roll up their banner. After that, he took three student leaders on a back road straight to the company’s ironworks. Underneath the elevated railway line that led to the blast furnace, he told the students: “You go up above, and I’ll head back.” He then quickly took off. At 9:45 in the morning, the students from the Anhui Institute of Chinese Medicine climbed up and lay down on the elevated railway, thereby interrupting the flow of materials to the three blast furnaces.

At noon, the broadcasting station that had been seized by students on the campus of Hefei Polytechnic sent out a broadcast asking a certain student leader to lead students to Hefei Steel to act as reinforcements. After the student leader heard the broadcast, he immediately gathered more than 20 students from his school, stopped a vehicle, and got a ride to the company’s No. 1 Factory District. Some students told them to go to the [No. 2] Factory District and help the students from the Institute of Chinese Medicine block the railway. On Heyu Road, they stopped a vehicle and got a ride to the No. 2 Factory District. At around 2 p.m., they found the students from the Chinese Medicine Institute where they were blocking the elevated railway to the blast furnace. At the same time, the conveyor belt transporting molten iron that was produced in the blast furnace from the ironworks to the No. 2 Steel Mill’s 20-ton converter was blocked, causing a delay of materials to the converter.

During this time, leaders from the Hefei Steel Company, its ironworks, and the No. 2 Steel Mill, as well as security personnel and school leaders went to the scene on several occasions and tried to persuade the students to stop. It wasn’t until after 5 p.m. that the students finally withdrew from the scene. During this whole incident, the blast furnace had been forced to stop production for 9 hours and 50 minutes, resulting in direct economic losses of 104,469 yuan.

Attack on Hefei Steel’s Special Police Unit

Hefei residents perhaps still remember that there was a rumor going around the city during the turmoil in early June that “Hefei Steel’s special police unit beat students and stole money.” Even some well-meaning people once asked about this. But what really happened? Let’s turn the “camera lens” back to the disturbances of the day!

On June 7, dozens of students from Hefei Polytechnic locked the No. 3 Entrance to the Hefei Steel Company. Thousands of workers and students were stuck on either side of the gate and could not go to work or class. The crowds started to criticize these students. At around 3 p.m., the students saw that their incitement was yielding no results and shouted the slogans, “Overthrow colonial slavery, overthrow the lackies,” and then withdrew from the No. 3 Entrance. Just then, a university student took an unsealed “donations box” and put it on the windowsill of the gate’s sentry post and said, “We’re returning this, we don’t want it.” On-duty workers from the steel company stood in front of the crowd of spectators and counted the 26.30 yuan in the box, then sealed it and instructed someone to safeguard it.

Unexpectedly, a female worker named Zhang Xuezhi who worked in a large collective in one of the company’s mid-sized factories took what had been a very clear situation and muddied it. She jumped up and started the rumor that “the people’s police rob people.” Assistant foreman Guo Zhijun of the company’s first rolling plant and worker Zhang Yingmu heard this rumor and pointed and shouted at the on-duty guard at the gate. Afterwards, Guo Zhijun returned to his team with a group of workers who didn’t know the truth. Entering the No. 3 Entrance, he made the inflammatory statement: “The special police unit beats people and say that workers at our first rolling plant are the ones who beat people.” Zhang Yingmu said, “Anyone who leaves is a coward,” and encouraged the workers not to leave the scene.

At around 3:40, Qian Jiarui, a worker in the ironworks’ sintering workshop who had been previously sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for bodily assault with a knife, went from being a rowdy onlooker at the No. 3 Entrance to locking the door of the No. 1 Entrance. He then got into a car and led the students who were preparing to return to school back to the No. 3 Entrance, shouting as he went, “The special police unit beats people! The special police unit beats people!” thereby poisoning and confusing the minds of the students and crowds laying siege to the No. 3 Entrance. At that time, Zhang Xuezhi smashed the glass of the No. 3 Entrance sentry post with her right hand, causing her hand to bleed. She then put her bleeding hand over the “donations box” and shouted nonsensically, “Blood has been spilled.” Just then, Guo Zhijun went back to the steel mill, stood in the midst of the workers and incited them by saying, “The special police unit beats people and steals their money.” He then took a piece of white cloth from a woman and wrote on it, “All Hefei Steel workers are on strike,” and prepared to lead the people to the security area to demonstrate. Guo was blocked by the factory leaders, but several people who didn’t know the truth went ahead and rushed to the security area to demonstrate, shouting wildly “Support the students, punish the murderers.” Then, the group of people at the No. 3 Entrance sentry post who had been incited, including Zhang Yingmu, Zhang Xuezhi, Qian Jiarui, and Huang Dezhen together with students and a part of the crowd rushed into the courtyard of the security area. Huang Dezhen stood in front of the comrades of the special police unit and spread the rumor: “The special police unit beats people and steals their money. I saw it with my own eyes. They stole 800 yuan. It was Li from Tangchong who did it.” Yu Qingjun, the organizer of the self-proclaimed “Patriotic Corps,” personally went to the security area courtyard and made contact with the students who were then broadcasting speeches. The students broadcast for him a notification to workers to take to the streets and demonstrate. At around 8 p.m., Yu Qingjun led a group of workers and students in a demonstration at the municipal government square. Someone notified the illegal “Voice of the People’s Broadcasting Station,” who then broadcast the rumor that “The special police unit of Hefei Steel Company beat students and stole their money,” a rumor whose influence spread throughout society.

That evening at 11:30, it rained. The workers who were demonstrating at the entrances to alleyways in the city stopped a car and got a ride to the Shu Guang Movie Theater. There they got out of the car and met up with Lin Bin, one of leaders of the WAF and other leaders of the federation, as well as groups of demonstrating students. They went together to the Hefei Steel Company and ran directly toward the special police unit, shouting, “Crush the Hefei Steel special police unit.” Unemployed worker Ding Hua, who had previously received several public security punishments for fighting and theft, along with more than 20 others smashed and pushed over police cars parked in the courtyard. When the police cars were overturned, Ding Hua and others smashed out their windows. After that, these lawbreakers rushed to the door of the special police unit, tore off its placard, flung it to the ground, stamped on it, and smashed it. Just then, someone instigated [the crowd] by saying: “Severely punish the murderer. Go to Tangchong and find this ‘Big Cannon Li.’” Reeducation-through-labor (RTL) escapee Liu Zhu, ex-RTL inmate Lü Weizhong, and close to 20 other people joined the group of students. This group was led to Tangchong by a female worker. At around 1 a.m., they called for the sleeping Li Xuchang, a member of Hefei Steel Company’s special police unit, to come out of his house. They made false charges against him for beating students and then pushed, beat, and insulted comrade Li Xuchang, causing him to sustain many injuries. A temporary Hefei Steel worker surnamed Li also threw bricks and smashed the windows of Li Xuchang’s home. Afterwards, the group took comrade Li Xuchang to Hefei Polytechnic, so that the so-called “beaten students” could identify him, and found out that Li Xuchang had not beaten any students.

Rumors only destroy themselves, and the truth will eventually come out. A small number of lawbreakers threw Hefei Steel into disorder, and the delusional people who caused trouble in Hefei did not succeed in the end. Currently, those involved in the two serious incidents mentioned above have either been taken in for shelter and investigation or are being handled according to the seriousness of their circumstances.

Chinese Source(原文):
策应北京反革命暴乱的铁证——合钢 “6•7”事件的始末
Click on icon to expand

策应北京反革命暴乱的铁证——合钢 “6•7”事件的始末


近年 6 月上旬,北京反革命暴乱发生后,非法组织合肥“高自联”、“工自联” 与北京遥相呼应,策划堵塞交通,围堵工厂,煽动罢工,并首先把矛头直指合钢公司。动乱中,少数不法分子在这家合肥市的大型骨干企业造谣煽动、蛊惑人心,造成两起影响恶 劣的严重事件。


6 月 6 日,合肥徽州路与芜湖路交叉处,交通被路障所阻。在这里设障闹腾的安徽 中医学院部分学生,下午返校,途经省教育学院时,一学生头头领受了“高自联”布置的次日帮助合工大学生堵拦合钢大门的“任务”。

6 月 7 日早晨,合钢一厂区的三个大门被一群合工学生堵住。这时,安徽中医学院的一个学生头头带领本校约 80 名学生,急匆匆赶来“增援”,看到门已被堵,他们便在合钢 250 车间的十字路口向群众宣讲,并展示所谓“北京镇压学生的彩色照片”,造谣惑众。围观的人群中,有人提议学生到二厂区去。合钢炼铁厂二号高炉值班炉长周峻从人群中窜出来,带着这批学生前往位于大兴集的二厂区。到了二厂区大门口,心怀鬼胎的周峻 生怕被熟人发现,叫学生摘掉戴的黑纱、白花,卷起旗子。接着,有带着三个学生头头从小路直奔合钢炼铁厂,到了高炉高铁架路线下,周峻对学生说,你们就在这上面,我回去了。随即匆匆走开。上午 9 时 45 分,安徽中医学院的学生上到高架铁路卧轨,中断三座高炉的给料。

当天中午 12 时,合工大被学生占领的校广播站广播要本校某学生头头带学生到合钢增援。这个学生头头听到广播后,立即召集本校 20 多名学生,拦车来到合钢一厂区, 有学生叫他们去厂区配合中医学院学生堵铁路。他们在合裕路上拦车来到二厂区。下午 2 时许,找到了高炉高架铁路线上卧轨的中医学院学生,同时,将铁厂通往二炼钢厂 20 吨 转炉的高炉产品铁水输送线铁路堵死,造成转炉待料。

在这期间,合钢公司、铁厂、第二炼钢厂领导、保卫人员及学校领导多次到现场劝导,直至下午 5 时以后,学生们才撤离现场。在这次事件中,高炉被迫定产 9 小时 50 分 种,造成直接经济损失 104469 元。



6 月 7 日,合肥工业大学数十名学生将合钢三号大门锁死,数以千计的工人,学生被堵住在三号门两边,不能上班、上学,群众纷纷指责这些大学生。下午 3 时许,学生们眼见煽动无效,便喊着“打倒亡国奴、打到奴才”的口号,撤离三号门,这时,一位学生将一个未封口的“募捐箱”放到门岗的窗台上,说:“还给你们,不要了。”合钢执勤人 员当着围观群众面,请点了箱内的 26.30 元现金。封存后指定专人保管。

不料,本来很清楚的事却被合钢中型厂大集体女工张学芝搅浑了。她跳出来造谣说:“民警打人抢钱了。” 合钢初轧厂副工长郭志军、工人张应木闻此谣言,指着门卫执勤员大喊大叫,随后,郭志军回到班组带来一部分不明真相的工人进入三号门,煽动说:“刑警打人,还讲是我们初轧厂工人打的 。”张应木说:“谁走就是孬种”,鼓励工人不要离开现场。

三点四十分左右,在三号门起哄的炼铁厂烧铁车间工人、曾因持刀伤人被判刑三年的钱家瑞,将一号大门封门、最后上了汽车准备返校的学生带往 3 号门,边走边喊:“刑警队打人!刑警队打人!”蛊惑学生和群众围攻三号门。此时,张学芝又用右手击碎 3 号门岗玻璃,手披划破流血,她将手上的血擦在“募捐箱”上,胡说:“这是流血事件。”这时,郭志军又返回初轧厂,在工人中煽动说:“刑警队打人,抢钱了。”并从一妇女处拿了块白布做横幅,写上“合钢工人总罢工”,准备带人到保卫处示威。郭被厂领导劝阻。但一些不明真相的人仍涌到保卫处示威,狂呼:“声援学生,严惩凶手”。这时,在 3 号门岗起哄、煽动的张应木、张学芝、钱家瑞、黄德珍等人又与学生及部分群众涌到保卫处大院。黄德珍当着刑警队同志的面造谣说:“刑警队打人了,抢钱了,是我亲眼看见的,抢了 800 元钱,是塘冲姓李的干的。”自称“爱国队”组织者的余庆军亲自到保卫处大院与正在广播演讲的学生联系,学生为他广播了号召工人上街游行的同志。晚 8 时许,余庆军带领部分工人和学生游行到市府广场,有人通知了非法的“人民之声广播站”,广 播里播了“合钢刑警队打了学生,抢了钱”的谣言,在社会上扩散影响。

当晚 11 点 30 分,天下着雨,参加游行的工人在市内范巷口处拦车到曙光电影院 下车,遇“合肥市工自联”负责人之一林斌等带领的“工自联”和学生游行队伍向合钢走来,这伙人同他们混在一起直奔合钢刑警队,狂呼“踏平合钢刑警队”。曾因打架、盗窃多次被治安处罚的无业人员丁华等 20 余人,砸、推停放在院内的警车,将警车掀翻,丁华等人还砸碎警车玻璃。 接着,这伙不法分子又涌向刑警队大门,将刑警队的牌子摘下掼在地上跺、砸。此时,有人煽动说:“严惩凶手,到塘冲去找‘李大炮’”。劳教逃跑人员刘柱、解教人员吕卫中等近 20 人混在学生队伍中,这伙人由一个女工带路到塘冲,深夜 1 时许,将正在家睡觉的合钢刑警队警员李绪昌从家中叫出,诬陷他打了学生,并推搡、殴打、谩骂李绪昌同志,使他身体多处受伤。合钢临时工李某还用砖头砸碎李绪昌家窗户玻璃。尔后,李绪昌同志被这伙人带到合工大,由所谓“被打学生”辨认,确认李绪昌并未打学生。

谣言不攻自破,真相大白天下。少数不法分子搞乱合钢、搞乱合肥的痴心妄想终未 得逞。目前,上述两起严重事件的参与者,有些已被收容审查,有些将视情节轻重分别予以处理。


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

During Death Penalty Review, No Right to Legal Aid

China University of Political Science and Law conference on lawyer participation in death penalty review, July 2014. Photo credit: CUPL

The 2012 revisions to China’s Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) introduced a number of important provisions aimed at expanding the role of defense lawyers in the criminal process. One of the highlights included a provision requiring that suspects have access to legal aid defenders during the pre-trial investigation stage as well as at trial.

The CPL revision also introduced a requirement that defense lawyers be able to submit opinions to the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) during the process of final review of death sentences. But what if a defendant still cannot afford to hire a lawyer at this stage of the process? Unfortunately, neither the CPL nor the related implementation regulations provide for the appointment of legal aid defenders during the death penalty review stage.

This could change if Liu Renwen has his way. Professor Liu, a legal scholar at the China Academy of Social Sciences, recently issued a public call for the SPC to change its rules and require the appointment of legal aid defenders to death row prisoners. In a piece published last month in Legal Daily, Professor Liu notes that, without a lawyer to intercede on behalf of a defendant facing the death penalty, the more rigorous review process introduced in the recent CPL provisions becomes nothing but empty words.

It remains to be seen whether the SPC (and Ministry of Justice, which is responsible for the legal aid system) will establish new rules based on Professor Liu’s recommendation. Given SPC President Zhou Qiang’s repeated expressions of concern about the importance of preventing wrongful convictions and other miscarriages of justice, extending further protections to those whose lives hang in the balance might be a good place to start.

Defendants Facing Death Penalty Review Should Have Right to Legal Aid

Liu Renwen
Legal Daily, 26 March 2014

I recommend that the SPC draw upon the aforementioned Article 42 of the “Interpretation on Application of the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC” and issue a “Notice on Providing Legal Aid to Defendants Facing Death Penalty Review,” stating: “When the SPC reviews a death penalty case and the defendant has not appointed a defender, [the court] shall notify the legal aid agency to assign an attorney as his defender.”

Article 34, paragraph 3, of the 2012 revised Criminal Procedure Law states: “If a criminal suspect or defendant may be sentenced to life imprisonment or death, and such person has not appointed a defender, the people’s court, people’s procuratorate, or public security authority shall notify the legal aid agency to assign an attorney as his defender.” On this basis, criminal suspects and defendants who face the death penalty and have not appointed an attorney all received a right to legal aid at the stages of public security [investigation], procuratorate [review], and first- and second-instance court trial. But currently at the stage of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) death sentence review, if a defendant who has been sentenced to death has not appointed a lawyer because of economic hardship or other reasons, the SPC will not assign him an attorney to provide legal aid. I believe that, in order to ensure the quality of each case under death penalty review, this practice ought to be changed and we ought to grant defendants under death penalty review with the right to legal aid as soon as possible.

Even though a case under death penalty review has already resulted in a death sentence after first-instance trial and also following either second-instance trial or review by the [provincial-level] high court, the conclusion has still not yet been confirmed because the procedure has not yet run its full course. The final result comes only after the SPC makes a decision either to ratify or reject the death sentence. In other words, before the results of the SPC review are handed down, the defendant still faces the prospect of life or death; therefore, he still “may be sentenced to death.”

Some might say that Article 34(3) only applies to those who “may be sentenced to death,” whereas death penalty review cases are “cases where the death sentence has already been imposed” and, therefore, not subject to the provision of Article 34(3), regarding compulsory appointment of a defender. This view takes an exceedingly narrow reading of Article 34(3). In fact, when it comes to death penalty cases, the SPC review is also a kind of “sentence,” because only death penalty verdicts or decisions that are ratified by the SPC can become legally effective.

It should be pointed out that Article 42 of the SPC “Interpretation on Application of the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC” clearly states: “When a high people’s court reviews a death penalty case and the defendant has not appointed a defender, [the court] shall notify the legal aid agency to assign a lawyer as his defender.” According to the provisions of the CPL, currently high people’s courts review two types of death penalty cases. First, when an intermediate people’s court has handed down a death sentence (with immediate execution) in a trial of first instance and the defendant does not appeal, the higher people’s court shall conduct a review and report the results to the SPC. The other type is cases of death sentences with two-year suspension. From this, one can pose the question: Why does the legal aid provision in Article 34 apply when the high people’s court conducts a death penalty review but not when the same review is carried out by the SPC? Legal aid is provided in cases involving suspended death sentences under review (by a high people’s court), so why is legal aid not provided in cases involving the death penalty with immediate execution under review (by the SPC)? This makes no sense logically, and in reality makes it difficult for the SPC to consider both sides of the case during death penalty review.

Death penalty cases are a matter of a person’s life and death, and the utmost caution ought to be exercised at every stage. One of the principal reasons why the SPC took back the authority to review death sentences was in order to make death penalty cases ironclad and prevent wrongful convictions. It is precisely for this reason that Article 240 of the new CPL states: “When the SPC reviews a death penalty case ... if the defense attorney requests, it shall listen to the opinion of the defense attorney.” If, because of economic hardship or other reasons, a defendant facing death penalty review has not hired a lawyer and the court does not appoint a defender for him, then “listen to the opinion of the defense attorney” are mere empty words. Without a doubt, this does not help to ensure the quality of death penalty cases.

To summarize, I recommend that the SPC draw upon the aforementioned Article 42 of the “Interpretation on Application of the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC” and issue a “Notice on Providing Legal Aid to Defendants Facing Death Penalty Review,” stating: “When the SPC reviews a death penalty case and the defendant has not appointed a defender, [the court] shall notify the legal aid agency to assign an attorney as his defender.” At the same time, the SPC also ought to consult with the Ministry of Justice and have the ministry’s Department of Legal Aid Work take responsibility for implementing legal aid for death penalty review cases. In other words, when the SPC discovers that a defendant in a death penalty review case has not hired a lawyer, it should immediately notify the MOJ Department of Legal Aid Work to have it assign a legal aid lawyer to take on the death penalty review case. Of course, detailed provisions should also be put in place concerning the professional duties of legal aid lawyers (for example, regarding meeting with death row prisoners and submitting legal opinions), the manner of involvement in death penalty review (it would be preferable to be able to communicate in person with judges and procurators involved in the review), and remunerations.