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Huang Qi’s Fight for Human Rights in China Posted by on Dec 3, 2018 in News

Huang Qi (黄琦) is a Chinese webmaster and human rights activist.

Image via Pixabay

In 1998 Huang Qi founded (创办chuàng bàn) the 64 Tianwang website to disseminate reports about Chinese citizens who had been trafficked and disappeared. He used his website to counter human trafficking (人口贩卖rén kŏu fàn mà) in China, and to help find missing people. Gradually his website expanded to object any human rights abuse in China. Huang Qi reported on human rights violations, allegations of government corruption and police brutality.

Not long after, in June 2000, he was arrested. He was detained (拘留 jū liú) without sentencing for two years, accused of incitement (煽动shān dòng) to overthrow (推翻tuī fān) the government. He was denied visitors, forced to sleep on the floor and was repeatedly beaten. While still imprisoned, Huang Qi awarded Reporters Without Borders’ Cyberfreedom Prize for 2004. He was released (出狱 chū yù) in 2005, after five years in prison (在/于狱中zài/yú yù zhōng).

In 2008, the devastating 7.9 magnitude Sichuan earthquake killed almost 90,000 people. According to UNICEF, about 12,000 schools across Sichuan were damaged by the earthquake. Thousands of students were crushed to death when their school buildings collapsed (倒塌dǎo tā) on them. The poorly built schools became known as a “tofu-dreg project” (豆腐渣工程dòu fu zhā gōng chéng). Complaints about the poor construction of the buildings were raised, and Huang Qi who wished to help the parents to file a claim, posted their appeals and complaints on his website. He was soon arrested and sentenced (判处pàn chǔ) for three years.

In 2016, Chinese authorities came forth with a campaign against the 64 Tianwang website and its contributors. Huang Qi was arrested again on suspicion of “leaking state secrets” (提供国家秘密tí gōng guó jiā mì mì) after posting a city government document regarding Huang Qi and his volunteers as crackdown targets.

Waiting for his trial, Huang Qi became the subject of abuse in detention. He was been interrogated frequently, forced to stand long hours, and brutally beaten. His health problems got worse after been deprived medical treatment. Pu Wenqign (蒲文清), Huang Qi’s 85-year-old mother, is appealing to the world for help. She worried (担忧dān yōu) her severely sick (身患重病shēn huàn zhòng bìng) son will die in prison. In a short video from October she tells about Huang Qi’s poor conditions and hostile treatment in jail:

Text vocabulary

创办chuàng bàn = to establish, to found

人口贩卖rén kŏu fàn mà = human trafficking

拘留 jūliú = to detain

判处pàn chǔ = to sentence

在/于狱中zài/yú yù zhōng = in prison

出狱 chū yù = be released from prison

倒塌dǎo tā = to collapse

豆腐渣工程dòu fu zhā gōng chéng = “tofu-dreg project”, a phrase used to describe a poorly constructed building

推翻tuī fān = to overthrow

煽动shān dòng = to incite

提供国家秘密tí gōng guójiā mìmì = to provide state secrets

担忧dān yōu = to worry, be anxious

身患重病shēn huàn zhòng bìng = severely sick

 

 
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