China: Attempting To Start A Trade Union Lands Four Workers In Jail

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On a daily basis we here about China, here in America. We hear about Americans being arrested on our soil for stealing trade secrets and attempting to deliver them to China. We hear about the rampant intellectual property theft. Intellectual property theft occurs when someone without permission uses your intellectual property. Intellectual property theft falls into four categories:

  1. Patents
  2. Trademarks
  3. Trade Secrets
  4. Copyrights

With regard to China, we mostly hear about the ongoing trade war with the United States. What our echo chamber media hasn’t reported on is the Chinese workers who found themselves in jail for attempting to start a trade union. With the amount of foreign reporting on civil rights abuses, such as the killing of journalist Jamal Kashoggi, one wonders why there is media silence about the four imprisoned Chinese workers?

On July 27, 2018, Li Zahn, Mi Juiping, and Yu Juncong were placed into custody a mere few days after attempting to organize a trade union. The trio works for Jasic Technology, which is a welding-equipment manufacturer. Along with other colleagues and according to China’s own legal framework, they began to create a trade union. The three men were accused of forming an illegal trade union, subsequently placed in custody, and charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, according to Amnesty International.

Later, in August, Shenzhen Dagongzhe Workers’ staff member Fu Changguo was arrested for protesting the trios arrest in front of a police station. Ultimately the four were charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place”, also reported by Amnesty International.

Since being detained in July, the three factory workers have not been able to communicate with their families, and have had continued obstructions when trying to meet with their attorneys. Family members of Fu Changguo have said Fu has been permitted to see his attorney only once since being detained. Fu’s lawyer has since told his family that he would be steeping down from the case because the “government would be appointing a legal aid lawyer.” Yu Juncon’s lawyer has only met with him once, thereafter withdrawing from his case. Yu has yet to meet with his new attorney. Claiming the involvement of trade secrets, Mi Juiping will not be permitted to meet with his third attorney.

This case comes alongside another case involving employees of Jasic, who also attempted to create a trade union in July. That case saw 26 people detained, workers’ representatives being fired, and unidentified persons beating up employees that tried returning to work.

Amnesty International is urging anyone with concerns to write to:

Please write immediately in Chinese, English or your own language urging the authorities to ensure that:
Li Zhan, Mi Jiuping, Yu Juncong and Fu Changguo have regular, unrestricted access to their families and
lawyers of their choice while in detention;
The families and lawyers of the four men are informed of the progress of their cases;
Ensure that the four men are either released or tried in line with international fair trial standards, and not for the
peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 4 JANUARY 2019 TO:

Director
Shenzhen Municipal No.2 Detention
Centre
Shangmeilin Gong’anjie
Futianqu, Shenzhen Shi
Guangdong Sheng 518000
People’s Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director
Director
Xu Wenhai
Shenzhen Municipal Public Security
Bureau
4018 Jiefanglu, Luohuqu
Shenzhen Shi, Guangdong Sheng
People’s Republic of China
Email: xwh@sz.gov.cn
Salutation: Dear Director
And copies to:
Minister of Public Security
Zhao Kezhi Buzhang
Gonganbu
14 Dongchanganjie
Dongchengqu, Beijing Shi 100741
People’s Republic of China
Tel: +86 10 66262114 (Chinese onl