Mr. Huang Qi, a human rights activist from Sichuan, China. (www.64Tianwang.com)
Huang Qi, a human rights activist from Sichuan, was released from prison on June 10 after completing a three year sentence. He was imprisoned after investigating the poor quality of construction in Sichuan, which resulted in heavy casualties—especially of schoolchildren—during the massive earthquake in 2008.
Huang said he would continue to fight for human rights and underprivileged groups. He thanked all his friends and supporters for their help and care.
Huang Qi is the founder of Tianwang, a website that specializes in finding missing persons, especially those missing during the Tiananmen Square Massacre and other political campaigns.
In June 2008, he was arrested for investigating facts related to low-quality construction in Sichuan which was the main cause for the heavy loss of lives during the earthquake. School buildings around the epicenter crumbled instantly when the quake struck, trapping thousands of Chinese children; Communist Party buildings, meanwhile, remained standing.
Huang’s attempts to find the death toll led to the three year sentence, ostensibly for “illegal possession of state secrets”; he was held in Eastern Sichuan Prison in Dazhu County.
The called Huang soon after he returned home in Neijiang. He said that when he was released the prison confiscated his letter of appeal and his personal belongings, including five notebooks, books, and clothes.
“Because the appeal contained issues like the reason of my arrest and the abuse of the Chinese people by the Hu-Wen regime, the government was afraid of the information and arrested me,” he said. “While in prison, I spent a month trying to get my appeal letter back, but they refused.”
At the same time, Huang has received a “warning” from the government. He said, “The government has clearly told me that they would put me under strict surveillance. They said they wanted me to ‘be mature and not do ‘those’ things in the future.’ But I told them that we can’t escape the responsibilities of looking after the underprivileged groups, and that we would continue our work. Although I know that there will be incessant interference in the future, it will not impede China’s move towards democracy.”
Huang also thanked his supporters. “I had suffered during the last three years, but my friends gave me a lot of help and care. At the same time, through various channels, I learned about the rapid development of human rights movements in China.”
He added: “Our volunteers have continued to make sacrifices. We will persist in our efforts. I would like to thank all my friends for their support.”
Read the original Chinese article.