Yang Chunlin

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Yang Chunlin (Chinese: 杨春林; pinyin: Yáng Chūnlín; born 1954) is a human rights activist in Heilongjiang, China. Yang has published numerous articles on human rights and land rights. In 2007, he helped organise a petition entitled, "We want human rights, not the Olympics."[1] The petition reportedly collected over ten thousand signatures.[2] Yang was convicted of "inciting subversion of state power" on 24 March 2008 and sentenced to five years in prison and two years of subsequent deprivation of political rights. Another activist involved with the open letter, Yuan Xianchen, was convicted of similar charged and sentenced to four years in prison. Yang was released from prison on 6 July 2012.[3]

Yang was arrested in July 2007 and charged with "inciting subversion of state power".[4] His trial began in February 2008 in Jiamusi, Heilongjiang.[5][6] Yang was sentenced to five years in prison on 24 March 2008.[7] He maintained his innocence throughout the trial. During and after the hearing at which he was sentenced, Yang was reportedly beaten with an electric rod on at least two occasions.[8][9]

In a retrial on 19 September 2008, the Jiamusi Municipal Intermediate People's Court upheld Yang's original sentence. According to those in attendance, the trial lasted for under 30 minutes.[10] Yang was transferred to Xianglan Prison on 25 September 2008, for the remainder of his sentence.[11] He has been described as a political prisoner.[12][13]

During a 2010 prison visit, Yang Chunlin's family saw that his legs and face were swollen from a build-up of fluid, and he looked tired. Yang told his family that his heartbeat was irregular, and his heart often felt uncomfortable. He said the problem was that the prison did not give him any chance to do any exercise, even walking outdoors. He has no rest from forced labor, making cardboard boxes, except for sleep and very short meal breaks. He has told the prison management he feels unwell, but they have given him no medical attention.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Human Rights Watch 2008, 'HRW World Report 2008: Events in China in 2007', www.china.hrw.org, no date. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  2. ^ 'China arrests anti-Olympics activist', The Associated Press (US), 3 September 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  3. ^ Human Rights in China "Land Rights Activist Yang Chunlin Released," 6 July 2012.
  4. ^ Beck, L. 2008, 'China foreign minister defends rights record', Reuters, 28 February. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  5. ^ Fang Yuan & Yan Xiu 2008, 'China tries land activist who opposed Olympics', Radio Free Asia, 19 February. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  6. ^ Dickie, M. 2008, 'Beijing dismisses rights fears', Financial Times, 28 February. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  7. ^ 2008, 'China to increase torch security after protest', The Associated Press , 24 March. Retrieved on 25 March 2008.
  8. ^ Radio Free Asia 2008, 'Human rights trail', Radio Free Asia, 24 March. (Cantonese)
  9. ^ Fan, M. 2008, 'Protestors disrupt lighting of torch in ancient Olympia', The Washington Post, 25 March. Retrieved on 25 March 2008.
  10. ^ Fang Yuan 2008, 'Yang Chunlin's second trial mere formality; judge only spoke to uphold first sentence', Radio Free Asia, 19 September. (Mandarin)
  11. ^ Fang Hua, 2008, 'Heilongjiang prison does not allow Yang Chunlin's family to visit him; lawyer says this is illegal', Radio Free Asia, 30 September. (Mandarin)
  12. ^ Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Political Prisoner Database: Yang Chunlin.
  13. ^ Dui Hua Foundation, Political and Religious Prisoners. Accessed 10-30-2012.
  14. ^ Amnesty International USA,2011,'Peoples Republic of China The Olympics countdown-broken promises', Amnesty International USA,2011.

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