Authorities Deny Medical Treatment to Zhu Yufu; Condition Serious

April 16, 2013

Chinese officials reportedly have denied jailed democracy advocate Zhu Yufu access to medication, medical care, and adequate nutrition. According to his family members, his condition in prison has become critical. Zhu is serving a seven-year prison term for "inciting subversion of state power" in connection with his democracy activism, his writings, and a poem he penned and posted on the Internet around the time of online calls for "Jasmine" protest rallies in the spring of 2011. Authorities reportedly also have been harassing his family members, forcing them to lose their jobs, and threatening them not to talk about Zhu's prison conditions.

Zhu's Health is Critical, Officials Deny Him Medical Treatment

As of early April 2013, authorities reportedly continue to deny jailed democracy activist Zhu Yufu access to his medication, medical care, and adequate nutrition. In addition, he reportedly has been subject to abuse in prison (Radio Free Asia (RFA), 12 March 13). Zhu's physical and mental conditions are deteriorating, as he reportedly suffers from coronary heart disease, severe high blood pressure, cerebral arteriosclerosis, a lumbar disc hernia, high cholesterol, a coronary artery tumor, and other ailments. (China Aid Association (CAA), Bob Fu testimony, 8 April 13). Officials reportedly denied Zhu his medication, saying his disease was not life-threatening and refused him certain meals to which other prisoners have access. Zhu, 60 years old, is unable to walk without supporting himself against a wall. Despite his physical condition, prison authorities reportedly continue to force him to engage in physical labor. His family's multiple requests for medical care and medical parole and for lighter work assignments have been denied (CAA, April 8; RFA March 12).

Authorities Harass Family Members

Authorities reportedly have harassed Zhu Yufu's family members and forced them to lose or quit their jobs on numerous occasions. In addition, while prison officials have allowed some family visits, they have at times prohibited Zhu from sending or receiving phone calls or mail from his family members (CAA, April 8). According to Pastor Fu's testimony, after Zhu's detention, authorities reportedly put Zhu's brother, Zhu Qiaofu under surveillance and forced him to quit his job. At the end of 2012, after his sister, Zhu Xiaoyan spoke with the foreign media about the abuse Zhu faced in prison, authorities detained her for three days, after which her employer reportedly forced her to quit her job. Zhu's family members have been threatened not to disclose details regarding Zhu's condition and his abuse in prison. According to the March 12 RFA article, authorities threatened to take away his family's visitation privileges, for seeking support for Zhu while they were in America.

Zhu Yufu's Case History

According to China HumanRights Defenders (12 April 11, and 16 May 12); RFA (17 January 12 and 12 March 13); New York Times (17 January 12); and CAA (10 February 12 and 14 February 12), on March 5, 2011, public security bureau officials in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province, detained Zhu on suspicion of "inciting subversion of state power." Authorities formally arrested him on April 11 the same year. On February 10, 2012, the Hangzhou city Intermediate People's Court sentenced him to seven years in prison and three years deprivation of political rights. Zhu's sentencing document cited as evidence his activities in the name of the China Democracy Party; his fundraising activities for democracy advocates; articles he wrote, which were posted on overseas Web sites that "incited hostility" toward and "slandered" China's state power; and three Internet postings, including a poem, that "incited" people to "subvert state power" around the time of online calls for "Jasmine" protest rallies. An English version of the poem, entitled "It's Time" is available from Human Rights in China (31 January 12). Zhu appealed the decision and lost on May 7, 2012, and authorities transferred him to Zhejiang Provincial No. 4 Prison on May 10. Previously, authorities sentenced him to seven years' imprisonment in 1999 for his role in founding a branch of the China Democracy Party (New York Times, January 17) and to two years’ imprisonment in 2007 for "obstructing official business" (Human Rights in China, 31 March 08 and January 31, 2012).

For additional information about Zhu's case, see the following CECC analyses:

  1. "Zhu Yufu Case: Application of Inciting Subversion Provisions Fell Short of International Standards" (23 March 12).
  2. "Authorities Crack Down on Rights Defenders, Lawyers, Artists, Bloggers" (3 May 11).

For more information on official actions against democracy advocates and China's institutions of democratic governance see the CECC 2012 Annual Report (pp. 125–132) and the CECC 2011 Annual Report (pp. 158–169).