China: detained WHRD faces police conflict of interest (Update)Event
- Initial Date
- Apr 23, 2021
- Event Description
It has been confirmed that the Linyi Municipal Procuratorate in Shandong province approved the formal arrest of woman human rights defender Li Qiaochu on 14 March 2021 for "inciting subversion of State power". She is currently detained at the Linyi Municipal Detention Centre. Her partner and fellow human rights defender Xu Zhiyong is also facing the same charge, and his case is also being overseen by the Linyi Municipal Public Security Bureau.
The Linyi Municipal Public Security Bureau denied two requests made in February and March by Li Qiaochu's lawyer to visit the woman human rights defender, and also rejected the lawyer's bail applications.
In defence of her partner Xu Zhiyong's rights, Li Qiaochu previously challenged the actions of the Linyi Municipal Public Security Bureau by filing an administrative review in August 2020, initiating an administrative lawsuit in October 2020, and filing a formal complaint against Li Dengquan, the head of the Linyi Public Security Bureau in early February 2021, days before she was taken into custody.
In light of these complaints made by Li Qiaochu against the Linyi police prior to her detention, her lawyer argued that the Linyi police have a conflict of interest in the case that could undermine their ability to fairly handle the investigations. Subsequently, the lawyer submitted a formal request on 14 April 2021, for Li Dengquan and all other police officers at the Linyi Public Security Bureau to recuse themselves from this case, in line with articles 29 and 31 of the Criminal Procedure Law. Article 29 requires adjudicators, procurators and investigators to recuse themselves from a case if they have, among other factors, "an interest in the case" or have "another relationship with a party in the case that might affect the just handling of the case." The lawyer also contested the legitimacy of the Linyi police's jurisdiction and authority to investigate Li Qiaochu, who is a resident of Beijing and was still under provisional release pending investigation by the Beijing public security bureau at the time of her detention in February 2021.
On 19 April 2021, the Linyi Municipal Procuratorate rejected the lawyer's request for recusal on the basis that the reasons provided do not meet the conditions for recusal as stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Law. The procuratorate did not provide further, more detailed legal reasoning for the decision. On 23 April 2021, the woman human rights defender's lawyer requested the Linyi procuratorate to review its decision on the recusal request.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Denial Fair Trial
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Right to fair trial
- Right to liberty and security
- Pro-democracy activist
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 23 April 2021, Li Quiaochu, pro-democracy WHRD in pre-trial detention, had her lawyer's request of police officers recusation rejected by the Municipal Procuratorate in Linyi, China.