Cablegate: Sw China: June Fourth Dissident, U.S. Lpr Zhou Yongjun

DE RUEHCN #0157/01 2310958
R 190958Z AUG 09



E.O. 12958: N/A


CHENGDU 00000157 001.2 OF 003

1. (SBU) Summary: US LPR Zhou Yongjun, who was reportedly
seized by PRC mainland authorities in Hong Kong in September
2008 and subsequently detained in Guangzhou and Sichuan, will go
on trial in Suining, Sichuan on August 21. Zhou's lawyers at
the Beijing "Mo Shaoping Law Firm" legal opinion on the case
presented to the Suining Public Security Bureau points to
serious violations of PRC law in the handling of this case.
Zhou is charged with fraud, although his role as 1989 student
leader in Tiananmen may well be behind the charges, especially
given the recent June 4th-linked prosecutions in Chengdu this
August of dissidents Huang Qi and Tan Zuoren. On August 18,
Consulate Chengdu sent a diplomatic note to the Sichuan Province
FAO requesting to send a consular officer to attend the August
21 trial of Zhou Yongjun. End Summary.

Arrested U.S. LPR Zhou Yongjun was First Tiananmen Student

--------------------------------------------- --------------

2. (SBU) Zhou Yongjun (aka Yungjun Zhou) of San Gabriel,
California was the first leader of the Union of Autonomous
Student Unions, an organization of students who occupied
Tiananmen Square during May- June 1989. Because of his
pro-democracy activities, he was imprisoned from 1989 - 1991.
He came to the U.S. as an asylum seeker in 1991, and became a
U.S. legal permanent resident in 1993. He was also imprisoned
from 1998 - 2002 during a subsequent visit to China. In
September 2008 he arrived in the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region, travelling on a Malaysian passport in the
name of Wang Xingxiang, and upon arrival was questioned by Hong
Kong police in connection with a fraud. The Hong Kong SAR
police determined that he was not the Wang Xingxiang they were
seeking and released him. Thereupon, reportedly, PRC Public
Security arrested him and transported him across the Hong Kong
SAR border with mainland China to Shenzhen in Guangdong

Zhou Yongjun Timeline


3. (SBU) A September 2008-to-Present Timeline of Zhou Yongjun

-- September 2008, arrives in Hong Kong. Briefly detained and
released by Hong Kong SAR police; then detained again and taken
to detention across the Hong Kong SAR border to Shenzhen.

-- On November 8, 2008, confronted with public security officers
from his hometown of Suining, Sichuan, he finally admitted to
Chinese Public Security that his name was Zhou Yongjun.

-- On November 27, 2008 Zhou was moved to the Yantian
Detention Center in Guangdong Province.

-- December 12, 2008 query to Consulate General Guangzhou about
Zhou Yongjun. Embassy Beijing and State Department notified
that day.

-- On December 17, 2008 Consulate General Guangzhou sent a
diplomatic note to the Guangdong Province Foreign Affairs Office
asking for information on the status of Zhou and that he be
given access to a lawyer and his family.

-- On March 24, 2009, the Guangdong FAO replied to ConGen
Guangzhou: "Having consulted the relevant agencies, the Foreign
Affairs Office does not possess any information about Zhou
Yongjun in Shenzhen so far. "

-- On May 4, 2009 Zhou was moved to a detention center in
Sichuan Province, apparently near his hometown of Suining.

-- June 4, 2009, Zhou Yongjun's lawyers send legal opinion
(summary translation below) to Suining Public Security Bureau.

-- August 13, 2009, ConGen Chengdu consular section notified by
Zhou's sister who sends materials from Zhou's lawyer.

-- August 15, 2009 ConGen Chengdu notifies Embassy and China

-- August 18, 2009 ConGen diplomatic note sent to Sichuan
Province FAO requesting assistance on consular officer
attendance at Zhou Yongjun's trial that begins on August 21,
2009, at the Shehong County Courthouse in Suining, Sichuan.

CHENGDU 00000157 002.2 OF 003

Chengdu Diplomatic Note Requests Attendance at Zhou Yongjun's
Trial Which Begins August 21

--------------------------------------------- --------------

4. (U) Zhou is now represented by the Beijing Moshaoping Law
Office. The two lawyers defending Zhou Yongjun presented
their legal opinion dated June 4, 2009 on the case (summary
translation in the appendix) to the Suining, Sichuan Public
Security Bureau. Zhou's lawyers argue that:

-- The law was violated by the PRC authorities when they took
him across the Hong Kong SAR;

-- PRC mainland authorities have no jurisdiction over a fraud
case in Hong Kong SAR;

-- Public Security violated the law by the 140-day delay in
reporting Zhou's arrest to his family, which is far above the
37-day delay permitted under PRC law.

-- There is no evidence against Zhou Yongjun apart from the name
on his Malaysian passport being the same as the person involved
in the Hong Kong fraud case. The authorities in Hong Kong SAR
released Zhou after determining that he was not the person he
sought. The PRC mainland authorities, who do not have
jurisdiction in this matter, are holding him in this matter
although the authorities in Hong Kong have already determined
that Zhou is not involved.

5. (SBU) Comment: This appears to be the third June 4-linked
political prosecution in Sichuan Province this August,
following the cases of Huang Qi (August 5) and Tan Zuoren
(August 12, see reftel).

6. (U) This cable has been coordinated with Embassy Beijing
and Consulate General Guangzhou.

7. (U) Appendix: Summary Translation of the Beijing, "Shaoping
Law Office" (Beijing Mo Shaoping Lushi Shiwusuo)on Zhou Yongjun
Case Sent to Suining, Sichuan Public Security


Zhou's lawyers argue that:

-- Since Zhou was detained in Hong Kong because of a letter from
outside of China mainland to a Hong Kong bank requesting that a
funds transfer be made was signed by a person with the name Wang
Xingxiang, the same as the spelling of the name in Wang
Xingxiang in the Malaysian passport he held. The lawyers argue
that since the crime for which he was arrested occurred outside
mainland China, mainland China Public Security does not have

-- The lawyers also argue that since U.S. Immigration has
already sent him a notice to be sworn in as a U.S. citizen, then
the Chapter Six of the PRC Nationality Law that stipulates "Any
Chinese citizen who resides outside of China, who has
voluntarily become or acquired foreign citizenship, thereby
automatically loses their PRC citizenship" and that Chinese
Embassy and local has repeatedly refused to issue him a PRC
passport. The lawyers mention that Chapter 7 of the PRC
Criminal Law, PRC applies only to PRC citizens overseas, not to
foreigners and so PRC Public Security does not have
jurisdiction. The lawyers add that according to PRC law and
the Vienna Convention, if a person of foreign nationality is
detained, or their nationality is unclear, the consulate of
their country should be contacted.

-- The lawyers argue that since the case involves a crime

CHENGDU 00000157 003.2 OF 003

outside the borders of mainland China and does not involve a
person from mainland China, then the question of any harm to
China's national interests does not arise. Therefore Public
Security does not have jurisdiction in this matter.

--- The evidence: The lawyers argue that there is no evidence
linking Zhou Yongjun to this criminal case other than the name
on his identity document is the same as the name of the person
Wang Xingxiang involved in the case. Zhou Yongjun stated that
the Malaysian passport he applied for through an immigration
company and that the English name on the passport is that same
as the envelope presented as evidence in the case. But states
that signature is not his and he never saw it before. Zhou
Yongjun mentioned that when this problem came up with the Hong
Kong police, they not only released him but apologized as well.
The only authorities who have jurisdiction in this case - the
Hong Kong authorities - have already determined that Zhou
Yongjun is not the person in question.

-- How this case has been handled: Zhou's lawyers argue that
when Zhou was detained by Shenzhen police in October 2008 but
refused to tell them his name and identity. On November 7th or
8th, public security from Zhou's hometown of Suining, Sichuan
sent their police to interview him. Among them was someone who
recognized him, so Zhou on that day told the Shenzhen Public
Security his true name and identity. The police had the duty
under the Chapters 75 and 96 of the PRC Criminal Procedure Law
to notify a relative or legal counsel with 37 days but this was
not done in a timely way so Zhou was illegally detained for a
total of 144 days excluding the period before Zhou told Public
Security his real name. The lawyers say that they will bring
charges against the Shenzhen Public Security for this serious
illegal detention of Zhou Yongjun.

The lawyers conclude:

-- According to Chapters six, seven, and eight of the PRC
Criminal Code relating to jurisdiction, the Public Security of
mainland China do not have jurisdiction.

-- There is insufficient evidence to indicate that Zhou Yongjun
was involved in this criminal case. He should not have been
charged nor should compulsory criminal measures be taken against

-- The detention of Zhou Yongjun is a serious violation of the

Zhou Yongjun was involved in the "June 4th" of 1989 as the first
chairman of the union of autonomous student unions (Gao
Zilian). This year is the 20th anniversary and so the
international community is paying close attention to this issue
so we look to the Public Security Bureau to handle this case
strictly according to the law, and swiftly determine the facts
about this case and according to law dispose of the case of Zhou

Submitted to the Suining City, Sichuan Public Security Bureau

Beijing Mo Shaoping Law Office

(signed) Huang Shaoping

(signed) Chen Zerui

June 4, 2009


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Kazakhstan: Bachelet Urges Peaceful Resolution Of Grievances
Amid alarming reports of deadly violence in Kazakhstan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday urged all, including security forces, protesters and others, to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>

Afghanistan: Economy In ‘Freefall’, Threatening To Take Entire Population With It

Afghanistan’s economy is in “free fall”, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told a special meeting on Sunday, warning that if decisive and compassionate action is not taken immediately, it may “pull the entire population with it”... More>>