Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Shuang Shuying, the elderly mother of house church activist Hua Huiqi, has been denied family visits in prison despite serious health problems. Hua Huiqi was sentenced to six months in prison on June 4, 2007, and has also been denied family contact. Both Shuang and Hua are in detention in connection with forcible eviction from their home.
Shuang Shuying, 78, was sentenced to two years in prison on February 26, 2007, for "intentional damage of private property," and since then has been held in Beijing's Public Security Bureau (PSB) Chongwen Division Detention Center. Hua Huiqi's wife, Wei Jumei, told HRIC that although Shuang suffers from a severe diabetic condition and high blood pressure, family members have not been allowed to visit her.
Wei Jumei says that earlier this year, Hua and Shuang had attempted to petition the National People's Congress over the forcible clearance of their home, but were detained by police officers of the PSB's Asian Games Village division and harshly beaten. Hua was subsequently arrested on February 8 for interfering in official business. Shuang protested Hua's detention and was detained on February 9 on suspicion of "intentional damage of private property." In addition to being sentenced to two years in prison on February 26, Shuang was also fined 2,000 yuan. She has stated an intention to appeal. Her 88-year-old husband's health has also suffered since the shock of Shuang's arrest and conviction.
Wei Jumei says she has heard nothing from Hua Huiqi since he was arrested on February 8. On June 4, Hua's lawyer, Li Dunyong, was informed that Hua would be tried that day, and notified Wei. Li and Wei rushed to the court, but were denied entry by police. Hua was sentenced that day to six months in prison.
Wei Jumei told HRIC, "My husband and mother-in-law have been denied appropriate compensation and resettlement terms since their family home was destroyed. After fighting for their rights for several years, they have not only been denied their legal rights, but even imprisoned as a result. Where is justice in this society?" Wei added that she had tried several times to visit Shuang Shuying in the detention center, but had been refused each time, with detention center police saying the decision was outside their control.
HRIC deplores the denial of family visits to an elderly and ill prisoner which violates international principles laid down in the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, as well as the PRC's Detention Center Ordinance. HRIC urges the prison authorities to provide for adequate visitation and healthcare for Shuang, and to provide Wei Jumei with information on her husband's current whereabouts. HRIC further deplores the detention of Shuang and Hua in connection with the forcible clearance of their home. As the countdown to the Olympic Games nears the one-year mark, HRIC calls on the Beijing authorities to ensure that any further home clearances are conducted in accordance with international standards, including provision of adequate compensation.