Shanghai Engineer Facing Trial for Requesting Information Disclosure
(Minghui.org) Mr. Xu Yongqing, a 54-year-old Falun Gong practitioner in Shanghai, was arrested on November 29, 2017, when he went to the police station at the request of a police officer for an interview. A senior engineer specializing in electricity, Mr. Xu was well-known by those around him for helping those in need.
His arrest was approved by the Hanjiang District Procuratorate on January 5, 2018, and on April 20, the procuratorate returned his case to the Public Security Bureau. After gathering more “evidence,” the case was re-submitted to the procuratorate one month later. The procuratorate proceeded to forward the case to the local court in early July. Mr. Xu is now facing trial.
Requesting Information Disclosure and Lawsuit Against Ministry of Public Security
On August 22, 2016, when Mr. Xu and another practitioner noticed a bulletin board covered with posters defaming Falun Gong in the Caobaolu Subway Station, they visited the Shanghai Appeals Office to request that the board be taken down. As the G20 Summit was around the corner, the Public Security Bureau said that Mr. Xu made a mistake in appealing during the summit period and arrested him and ransacked his house.
Mr. Xu later filed a lawsuit against the department.
However, when Xu Yongqing received no response, he believed that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners was related to a notice issued by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security: Notice  No. 39.
The notice was titled “Notice from Ministry of Public Security Regarding Identifying and Banning Cult Organizations” and along with another notice of the same name, “Notice  No. 39,” the two notices identified a total of 14 cult organizations, none of which is Falun Gong.
In December 2016, Mr. Xu submitted an Information Disclosure Request to the Public Security Bureau to request information on whether the notice had become invalid and if so, details of the time it was rendered invalid. Additionally, he asked for the procedure of notice approval to be disclosed.
The request was sent via two delivery companies and the receipts were acknowledged. According to the the Regulations on the Openness of Government Information of the People's Republic of China, this information satisfies the criteria of administrative organs disclosing on their own initiative as it “involves the vital interests of citizens, legal persons or other organizations” and “needs to be extensively known or participated in by the general public.”
When Mr. Xu did not receive a response, he filed a lawsuit in May 2017 to the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court against the Public Security Bureau for “Administrative Omission.”
Monitored and Arrested
After the lawsuit was filed, the bureau pressurized Mr. Xu to withdraw the case but he refused. The bureau then started to harass his clients and even track his whereabouts.
On November 29, 2017, a police officer asked Mr. Xu to show up at the Tianshanlu Police Station for an interview, whereupon he was arrested.
Mr. Xu has since been detained at Miaozhen Detention Center in Yangzhou City. His family went to various the departments of city authorities many times in December to request his request.
Mr. Xu's Administrative Complaint
Request for Litigation
1. Court decision for the defendant to disclose information on “Notice from Ministry of Public Security Regarding Identifying and Banning Cult Organizations” (Notice  No. 39).2. Court decision for the defendant to disclose information on “Notice from Ministry of Public Security Regarding Identifying and Banning Cult Organizations” (Notice  No. 39).3. The defendant to bear the litigation costs.
Facts and ReasonsThe plaintiff had been arrested and subjected to administrative detention several times by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau under Article 300 of the “Criminal Law.” While detained, the plaintiff had asked the bureau to cite the name of the cult organization, how it was used to violate the law, and the consequences it caused. However, no explanation was provided.
To understand the situation, the plaintiff submitted an Information Disclosure Request via express delivery on December 7 and December 20, 2016, to the Ministry of Public Security Information Disclosure Office to request the information disclosure of “Notice from Ministry of Public Security Regarding Identifying and Banning Cult Organizations” (Notice  No. 39 and Notice  No. 39).
According to the delivery company's tracking system, the request form was accepted by the bureaus separately on December 22 and December 27, 2016. However, to this date, the defendant has not provided a response.
As the defendant did not carry out the disclosure of information, this constitutes an administrative omission. According to “The Regulations on the Openness of Government Information of the People's Republic of China,” the information satisfies the criteria of administrative organs disclosing on their own initiative as it “involves the vital interests of citizens, legal persons or other organizations” and “needs to be extensively known or participated in by the general public.” Hence, according to Regulation 33, the plaintiff is filing a lawsuit to the court to request for a court decision.
The Falun Dafa Research Society was officially established in July 1993 as a branch of the state-run China Qigong Research Society, which oversaw the administration of the country's various qigong schools, and sponsored activities and seminars. It provided advice to students on meditation techniques, translation services, and coordination for the practice nationwide.
In March 1996, the Falun Dafa Research Society was formally dissolved at the request of its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi. But practitioners continued to organize themselves at the local level, connected through electronic communications, interpersonal networks and group exercise sites.
On July 20, 1999, police abducted and detained thousands of Falun Gong practitioners that they identified as leaders. Two days later, the Ministry of Civil Affairs outlawed the Falun Dafa Research Society as an illegal organization. The same day, the Ministry of Public Security issued a circular forbidding citizens from practicing Falun Gong in groups, possessing Falun Gong's teachings, displaying Falun Gong banners or symbols, or protesting the ban.
Since then, hundreds of thousands practitioners have been imprisoned extra-judicially, and practitioners in detention are subjected to forced labor, psychiatric abuse, torture, and other coercive methods of “thought reform” at the hands of the authorities.
The Chinese Government Information Disclosure Ordinance was issued in 2007, allowing citizens to request specific information from the government's administration and judicial organs. The government has up to 30 working days to respond to a given request. Citizen may request re-evaluation or file an administrative lawsuit against the government if he/she is not satisfied with the response and does not receive any response within a specified period of time.