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.
The Liaoyang Four were arrested in March this year on charges of illegal assembly, marches and protests. They have been locked up with no formal charges for their leading roles in the four-year campaign against corruption and bankruptcy at the Liaoyang Ferroalloy Factory, which culminated in the mass demonstrations this spring. And to date, Yao Fuxins lawyer is still denied visit to his client with no formal explanation from local authorities, and Yaos families are concerned about his health conditions.
Worse still, at a press conference during the recent 16th Party Congress on November 11, 2002, All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) Deputy Chairman Zhang Junjiu stated that Liaoyang workers' representative Yao Fuxin "had been detained because he had broken Chinese law by carrying out car-bombings and not because he had organised a workers' campaign."
Condemning the contemptible remarks from the ACFTU, CLB believes that the Liaoyang Four have been arrested for exercising the rights of free association and collective bargaining in organising peaceful protests. CLB has issued a press release demanding their immediate and unconditional release, including Pang and Wang. (see 'Related Article' for the full text)
The Liaoyang Four has been the subject of a complaint submitted in March this year to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).
China Labour Bulletin