ZHENG ENCHONG – Lawyer (1)

Zheng Enchong, who as a lawyer had been involved in the defense of economic and social rights of persons displaced as a result of Shanghai’s urban development projects, was arrested on 6 June 2003 and charged with “illegally providing state secrets to entities outside of China”. Zheng Enchong was sentenced by the Shanghai Second Intermediate People’s Court in October 2003 to three years in prison and deprivation of his political rights for one year. In particular, he had been accused of having sent two documents to the group Human Rights in China (HRIC).

On 13 January 2004, Zheng Enchong was transferred from the Shanghai municipal detention centre to the Tilanquio prison, where he was detained in the “high security” compound and was reportedly the victim of repeated physical violence.

Furthermore, Zheng Enchong’s wife, Mrs. Jiang Meili, has been the victim of repeated harassment by authorities throughout her husband’s imprisonment, including a short detention on 10 March 2005, restrictions to her movement and, for a time, the refusal of her usual monthly visits to Mr. Zheng in prison.

On 5 June 2006, Zheng Enchong was released from prison but remained under de facto house arrest and constant surveillance by police that prevented him from many activities, including those activities allowed under his sentence of deprivation of political rights. Since his release, his telephone line has been repeatedly cut off, he has been prevented from obtaining a new identification card (which has made it impossible for Zheng to obtain employment), denied any access to court documents relating to his case, and has been prevented from traveling to Beijing to meet his lawyer.

In the latest development, reports indicate that Zheng Enchong has been detained again. On 12 July 2006, the day of his re-arrest, police illegally broke into Mr. Zheng’s home, conducted a search without warrant, confiscated his computer and harassed his wife, issuing a summons against her on a charge of “obstructing officials in the conduct of their duties”. A warrant was produced only after the search was conducted.


Letters sent on November 15, 2004 and July 28, 2006 by Monique Pongracic-Sperier and Clive Ansley respectively.