China - Thirty detained in protest to support Jasic union leaders

Thirty people – 23 men and seven women, including workers from the Jasic Technology factory, workers from other factories and a student – were placed under criminal detention on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” on 27 July 2018 by Yanziling Police Station in the Pingshan district of Shenzhen, southern China.
News of the dismissal of two union organisers at the Jasic factory earlier in the month and the beating up of the two and their supporters had quickly attracted widespread attention on Chinese social media. Many people had come out to support the workers, including student groups from leading Chinese universities. The workers had been trying to form their own union since May, in response to low wages, the company’s underpayment of social insurance and housing fund contributions and other attacks on living standards. The company, however, had meanwhile set up its own “union”, or worker representatives’ committee.
Other protesters were briefly detained and questioned by the police after they demonstrated outside the police station to support the detained individuals.
The events followed a protest three days earlier when a group of workers from the factory gathered outside the gates demanding the reinstatement of their sacked colleagues.
Several of the detainees were released in early August, but 14 of them remained in custody, while support for their cause steadily grew.
Four were formally charged on 3 September with “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order”. Three of the detained, Yu Juncong, Mi Jiuping and Liu Penghua, were workers who had actively sought to set up a trade union at the Jasic factory, while Li Zhan was a former Jasic worker who supported their cause. At that time 11 of those arrested were still either in police custody or under house arrest.

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