The New York/Hong Kong-based Human Rights in China (HRIC) reports that You Minglei, a bank employee and independent activist in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, was taken into police custody last month on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” after distributing political leaflets. He is apparently being held at Nanchang Municipal No. 2 Detention Center. Jiangxi-based independent election candidates Liu Ping and Li Sihua told HRIC that on April 27, You Minglei distributed the leaflets at Jiangxi Normal University, with the slogans, “Oppose communism and love our country; reinstate China; human rights are innate; freedom and democracy” (爱国反共、恢复中华、天赋人权、民主自由), as well as opposition figure Zhu Yufu’s poem “It’s Time.” Hangzhou dissident Zhu Yufu was sentenced to seven years in prison for this poem and other activities in 2012.
Liu Ping told HRIC, “I spoke with You Minglei on the telephone around 3:00 PM on May 4, 2012. He said that he was on his way to Nanchang [from Fujian]. His girlfriend was woken by public security officials in the middle of the night and summoned to be questioned. He was going to surrender and said, ‘This is all my doing. It has nothing to do with her. I need to take responsibility as a man. I need to take responsibility as a citizen.’ I was unable to reach him after 7 PM.”
Li Sihua has spoken several times with You Minglei’s father over the phone. According to Li, on May 5, You’s father received a phone call from the police informing him that his son had been taken into custody. Li said that officials told his father to go to the local police station in Fujian to obtain a notice of detention. However, upon arrival to the police station, officials told him that they had received only a call from Nanchang police, no formal notice. Li said that You’s father has yet to receive a formal notice as of May 9. Officials have also asked three of You’s close friends—a student, a taxi driver, and a hotel employee—to “tea” (chat) since You was detained, and have forbade them from disclosing anything.
You Minglei is a former soldier who works at a Nanchang branch office of Fujian Industrial Bank. He is active on social issues including supporting the rights of HIV/AIDS sufferers, and advocating political reform. He was previously administratively detained for a week for spray painting “Rehabilitate June Fourth” (presumably a reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre) on walls in Hefei, Anhui province in 2011. He also distributed pamphlets about Chen Guangcheng around Nanchang and assisted Liu Ping when she was “suppressed” by government officials. (HRIC, May 9)
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