Demand for fair and open trialInternational and Hong Kong Civil Community watch the assault on the legal person of Dagongzhe Centre
Around 15 representatives of international and Hong Kong labour and civil organizations were packed in the Shenzhen Longgang People’s Court for the hearing of Huang Qingnan’s attack case. The attendees showed the full support to the victim and urged for a fair and open trial, severe penalty against the attackers in according to the law.
The labour organization under attacks is called “Dagongzhe Centre (DGZ Centre)”, which registered as “company” in Longgang District of Shenzhen city. With funding from overseas, it provides free library, labour law education and consultation to the migrant workers in the neighbourhood community. On
According to the court, the master mind Zhong Wei Qi, one of the five suspects, is a local influential resident who owns several plants and plant premises. According to the Court, he considered that the publicity of Labour Contract Law by DGZ Centre impacting his business negatively. He then retaliated by deploying the attack.
The court trial has been delayed unusually.
The five suspects have been detained since January 2008 while the trial was not started according to the law. The suspects asked the court many times to reassess Huang Qingnan’s disability. On the other hand, someone was found shooting Huang Qingnan’s daily living without his consent. Two weeks ago, the Shenzhen City Bureau of Justice delivered the statement, “Huang Qingnan’s disability is not qualified for grade 6, we cannot exactly determine his disability a severe one.” This was to overturn Huang Qingnan’s grade 6 disability which was certified by the Shenzhen City Procuratorate and the Public Security Bureau early 2008. In the same time, Huang Qingnan’s application for employee injury certification was turned down by the Administrative Litigation.
Today, a small court that can only accommodate 16 people was arranged, the court, therefore, rejected the over 50 workers and representative from other civil groups and over 15 people from Hong Kong to sit in. But at the same time, the relative of suspects could enter the court without any obstruction. Huang and the lawyer request to change the court to a large one wit capacity of 100 people, but this request was rejected since the Court have to “ask for instruction from the supervising level”. The court offered two choices: to carry out the hearing while more than 60 people with Huang cannot go inside; or adjourn the trial. Since the court cannot offer a proper arrangement for an open trial, Huang can only chose to adjourn the trial.
Huang told that he was very disappointed and astounded by the rejection to have an open trial, and hope that the court can fix a date for trial as soon as possible, and carry out an open and fair trial that both side can have equal right to sit in the trial.
International community: grave concern on the fair trial and severe penalty according to the law
Asia Monitor and Resources Centre commented, “The case of justice for Huang Qingnan will strongly reflect whether the rule of law in China can protect its working citizens who are just struggling to receive what the law promises. Already 11 months have passed since solving Huang’s case. Such a delay in conducting the trial is unusual. The trial was arranged a few days after the Judicial Bureau of Shenzhen City sent a notice to the court overturn the appraisal result originally released by the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau. It raises a doubt whether some party is trying to influence the judgement. If so, the equity and fairness of the case will definitely suffer from the intervention.”
A spokesperson for the Ethical Trading Initiative, an alliance of companies, unions and NGOs working to improve the lives of workers, commented: “The government’s response to the violence against the Dagongzhe Center and Huang Qingnan will set a tone for the future. If not resolved properly, this incident could undermine trust in the government and drive workers and employers to more extreme forms of conflict. ETI sincerely hopes the courts will pursue those responsible for the attacks with justice and that the government will do its utmost to protect Chinese civil society from future violence. Only by nurturing forms of conflict resolution that preserve a harmonious society will
By Asia Monitor Resources Centre; Globalisation Monitor; Labour Action in China; Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM); Worker Empowerment