On July 22, 2019, Cheng Yuan, Liu Yongze and Xiao Wu, three public interest law advocates of Changsha Funeng Organization, were seized by Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security on suspicion of “subversion of state power” and have been detained in its detention center.
Shi Minglei, Cheng Yuan’s wife, was also interrogated and has been placed under residential surveillance on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” On August 3, 2019, Shi Minglei filed a complaint with the Changsha Municipal Procuratorate, the Procuratorate of Hunan Province, and the Hunan Provincial Department of State Security, requesting the three said organs to investigate the unlawful investigation and the abuse of power conducted by the Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security and to terminate the criminal compulsory measures imposed on her. Below is HRIC’s translation of the complaint.
August 3, 2019
Changsha Municipal Procuratorate
Hunan Provincial Procuratorate
Hunan Provincial Department of State Security
Complainant: Shi Minglei
Respondents: The Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security and relevant staff members
Facts and basis:
My name is Shi Minglei, the wife of Cheng Yuan, a public interest advocate who has been detained by the Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security. On July 22, 2019, my husband Cheng Yuan was seized by the Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security on suspicion of “subversion of state power”; he is currently detained in the Hunan Provincial Department of State Security Detention Center.
My husband worked as a public interest advocate for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities and carriers of hepatitis B. I am not at all knowledgeable about the specific content of his work.
On July 22, 2019, officers from the Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security broke into our home. After my husband was taken, I was subjected to rough and violent treatment, forced to wear a black hood and be handcuffed, and forcibly taken to a room in [my neighborhood’s] sub-district office for an interrogation that lasted through the night.
Through the process of this forcible summoning, the officers handling the case asked me a lot of detailed questions about Cheng Yuan, and I answered all of them factually. The entire interrogation process did not touch upon questions regarding my "criminal acts."
What made me extremely scared during the interrogation was that the interrogators threatened to bring my three-year-old child in to interrogate alongside me if I did not provide satisfactory answers. I felt extremely angry and helpless. How could they use my daughter as a bargaining chip to threaten me? During the interrogation, [the interrogators] also threatened to detain a female colleague of Cheng Yuan’s who had just given birth, and also threatened to detain another female colleague who was about to give birth, telling me that her due date was July 31. I was in despair and found this all to be incredible. Can the police handle cases this way? Are they really going to separate a mother from her newborn child? Will the sister about to give birth be safe?
What shocked me even more was that during the forced interrogation, the officers abused their power and announced that they were placing me under “residential surveillance,” with full knowledge that I have no connection with my husband’s case, and confiscated my various identity documents, bank cards, cell phone, and computer and, in doing so, deprived me of my personal freedom.
After checking the law and consulting with lawyers, I believe that staff members at the Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security violated the law and abused their power. I request that the Changsha Municipal Procuratorate and the Hunan Provincial Procuratorate exercise legal supervision over the staff members of the Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security regarding their unlawful conduct in case investigation, order them to make rectification, and hold the relevant officers legally liable. [I request that you supervise] the dismissal of the criminal case filed against me and the termination of the compulsory measures imposed on me, and [I request that you] investigate the officers who used my child and other means to threaten me and hold them accountable, so as to ensure the proper enforcement of the law of the land.