Two of the Liaoyang Four Released on Bail

China Labour Bulletin Press Release


Having been detained for nine months with no formal charges, Pang Qingxiang and Wang Zhaoming, two of the four arrested Liaoyang workers’ representatives, were released on bail pending trial on December 20, 2002. The other two, Yao Fuxin and Xiao Yunliang, are still locked up.

Guo Xiujing, Yao’s wife, told China Labour Bulletin (CLB) that there could be conditions for their ‘release’, saying that they might not be allowed to get in touch with Ferroalloy workers.

Pang and Wang were arrested on March 20, 2002 for their leading roles in the mass workers’ demonstrations in early March against corruption and bankruptcy at the Liaoyang Ferroalloy Factory. However, the local authorities have violated the Criminal Procedure Law by keeping the Liaoyang Four detained with no formal charges or trial beyond the legal limit of detention.

Yao was also denied visits by his lawyer whose requests to the provincial procuratorate and public security authorities were not answered at all. Yao’s families have also applied for his probationary release on medical grounds. Yao is in poor health with heart problem and hypertension, but the application was rejected.

Ferroalloy workers have staged a series of demonstrations demanding the release of the Liaoyang Four since March. Guo expressed the worry that the selective release would undermine future collective actions for the release of Yao and Xiao.

CLB believes that the Liaoyang Four have been arrested for exercising the rights of free association and collective bargaining in organising peaceful protests. We demand their immediate and unconditional release, including Pang and Wang.

CLB also notes that the Ferroalloy workers are still demanding the payment of unemployment allowances they are entitled to. And to date, they have only received 75% of their back pay, and not a penny for heating and medical allowances. CLB demands that the local government work out with the Ferroalloy workers for a set of fair and rational solutions to the pending problems.

Lastly, CLB demands that the central government conduct immediate investigation into the problem of corruption at the provincial and city authorities. The central government should also ensure that the Liaoyang city authorities release unemployment allowances to meet the immediate needs of the Ferroalloy workers.

China Labour Bulletin


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