Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned from an informed source that in the past few months, all members of the Guizhou Human Rights Symposium have been harassed and placed under surveillance by authorities, and their communications with the outside world has also been cut. The source believes that the strict control measures are being taken in preparation for the upcoming 18th Party Congress this autumn, and has been told by the police that the monitoring will be in place until after the conclusion of the Party congress.
Press reports say that at a June 16 seminar, Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu (孟建柱) exhorted heads of public security departments across China to wage a clean-up campaign before the Party congress. He is quoted as saying, “With the strength of the public security organs and the collective wisdom of the people’s police, we will be resolute in winning this battle and guarantee water-right security for the 18th Party Congress” (举全国公安机关之力、集全国公安民警之智，坚决打赢这场硬仗，确保党的十八大安保工作万无一失).
The source provided the following information:
Family members of the Guizhou activists have also reportedly come under pressure from authorities. Zhang Qunxuan (张群选) and Chen Renjie (陈仁杰), the wife and daughter of Chen Xi (陈西), Guizhou rights activist and Charter 08 signer, have been under strict surveillance by the police since around the June Fourth anniversary this year. A patrol car is stationed outside their home, and police follow Chen Renjie when she goes to work. Their phone works only intermittently and is tapped by the police. Chen Xi is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence after being convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” on December 26, 2011.
For more information on rights defenders in Guizhou, see: