On 23 March 2021, the court hosted a video conference to deliver Zhang Wuzhou’s verdict. She is found guilty for both offences and sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment, till 5 December 2022. The court muted her voice and her son said he could only hear her saying, “you sentence me to 2 years 6 months, I will keep fighting for the truth." Zhang has suffered from torture repeatedly since her detention. During Christmas (25-27 December 2020), she was forced to wear shackles and handcuffs again. She reported to the authorities of the physical pain she could hardly bear and asked for a nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to get a clearer diagnosis. Instead of providing her medical treatment, the authorities only gave her some painkillers. Zhang’s family hopes that the public would continue to follow the case and speak out for her.
姓名：張五洲 （Zhang Wuzhou）
正式被捕日期： 2020年6月6日被以「尋釁滋事罪」作刑事拘留， 6月20日正式被批捕
張五洲為湖北人，自 2015 年因其弟張六毛被控「尋釁滋事罪」後離奇死於廣州第三看守所而追尋真相，其後更因參與多宗維權事件而被捕。 2018年9月20日，廣州女律師孫世華在廣州荔灣區華林派出所辦案時，受到該所民警毆打並遭脫衣檢查侮辱。隨行的張五洲和梁頌基作為目擊者，在網上公開為孫世華作證。廣州警方為此報復，以「尋釁滋事罪」抓捕了張五洲和梁頌基。梁頌基因此被判刑1年半、張五洲被判刑1年4個月。張於2020年2月14日刑滿出獄。
Name: Zhang Wuzhou (張五洲)
Date of birth: 15 August 1969
Occupation: She became a human rights activist after her brother’s mysterious death
Date of detention: 5 June 2020
Place of detention: She was taken away by the police from her home in Qingyuan City, Guangdong Province
Ground of detention: Disturbing Public Order
Date of formal arrest: She was criminally detained for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble" on 6 June 2020 and was formally arrested on 20 June 2020.
Date of Indictment: She was indicted on 19 August 2020 for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles" and “obstructing official duties".
Legal representation: The family hired Lawyer Huang Simin for her, and another lawyer named Zhu offered to provide legal aid, but the family did not trust her.
Date of trial: 24 November 2020
Date of sentencing: 23 March 2021
Sentence: 2 years and 6 months imprisonment, till 5 December 2022
Location of detention/imprisonment: Qingxin District Detention Centre, Qingyuan City.
Originally from Hubei Province, Zhang Wuzhou became a human rights activist after her younger brother Zhang Liumao’s mysterious death in Guangdong Province. Zhang Liumao died in Guangzhou No. 3 Detention Centre after being detained for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble". Since then, Zhang Wuzhou kept demanding an answer from the authorities and started to get involved in other human rights activities.
On 20 September 2018, when Lawyer Sun Shihua was handling a case at Hualin Police Station in Liwan District, Guangzhou, police assaulted her and insulted her by forcing her to go through a strip search. Zhang Wuzhou and Liang Songji were accompanying Lawyer Sun and witnessed the whole incident. They later made a public testimony online to support Sun Shihua’s accusation against the police. As retaliation, the Guangzhou police arrested Zhang and Liang for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble". Liang was sentenced to one year and six months and Zhang Wuzhou was sentenced to one year and four months. Zhang was released from prison on 14 February 2020, after serving her sentence.
On 4 June 2020, Zhang posed for photos at Guangdong’s Baiyunshan scenic area on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, holding up slogans that read “Don’t forget June 4th, withdraw the draconian law" as to oppose Beijing’s plan to impose draconian sedition legislation on Hong Kong and “lawyer was assaulted and her witness became a beggar” regarding her own case. She then uploaded the photos to her WeChat account and some other WeChat groups.
The Qingyuan City Police took Zhang Wuzhou away from her home on the grounds of disturbing public order in the afternoon of 5 June 2020. The next day she was transferred to criminal detention for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble" and detained in the Qingxin District Detention Centre. On 20 June, she was formally arrested and on 19 August 2020, she was indicted for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble" and “obstructing official duties".
Zhang’s younger sister said she was contacted by a certain lawyer named Zhu, offering to provide free legal aid to Zhang, claimed that she visited Zhang in the detention center and Zhang was calm and in good conditions. Zhang’s sister did not trust this lawyer and employed Lawyer Huang Simin instead.
On 22 July, Zhang Wuzhou was finally allowed to meet with the lawyer hired by her family. She told Lawyer Huang that she was tortured in the detention centre. From 7 June to 12 June, she was forced to wear shackles weighted over 100 catties and they were interlocked with her handcuffs. Therefore, she had to bend and twist her body like a ball for six days and she was in deep pain. Moreover, she was beaten by other prisoners in her cell.
The first hearing took place on 24 November 2020. Only Zhang’s son was allowed to attend, while her friends who came to support her were taken away by the state security police officers. Zhang maintained that she did not break any laws and her lawyer defended her in cour that Zhang’s behaviour was only to exercise her freedom of speech. However, the judge told the lawyer not to mention the “unrelated matters". No verdict has been delivered after this hearing.
On 23 March 2021, the court hosted a video conference to deliver her verdict. She is found guilty for both offences and sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment, till 5 December 2022. The court muted her voice and her son said he could only hear her saying, “you sentence me to 2 years 6 months, I would keep fighting for the truth."
Zhang has suffered from torture repeatedly since her detention. During Christmas (25-27 December 2020), she was forced to wear shackles and handcuffs again. She reported to the authorities of the physical pain she could hardly bear and asked for a nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to get a clearer diagnosis. Instead of providing her medical treatment, the authorities only gave her some painkillers. Zhang’s family hopes that the public would continue to follow the case and speak out for her.
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Updated: 25 March 2021