Worker Wu Guijun won his appeal and received compensation for wrongful detention
News of the Labour Movement in China
After more than one year of wrongful detention, worker Wu Guijun won his appeal and received compensation
Retaliated against for trying to defend labour rights
In early May 2013, Shenzhen Diweixin Product Factory relocated its plant without paying financial compensation to workers, as required by law. Subsequently, a strike lasting for more than two months broke out and one of the workers' representatives, Wu Guijun, was detained at a protest. After months of detention, he was then charged with “gathering crowds to disrupt traffic order”. Without any conviction, he was detained for over one year.
After more than one-year’s detention and four hearings, Wu was released on bail on 29 May 2014. On 9 June, the prosecutor then dropped the charge against him, as the law enforcement and judiciary departments failed to present evidence. Wu Guijun then said, “I was detained for one year and seven days groundlessly. I wish, the least they could do, is to give me a reasonable explanation. I shall discuss with my lawyer about our next step.”
Wu Guijun's family suffered a lot during his detention. Worried about him, his father was hospitalized, his mum broke her arm and his son could not concentrate on his studies. On 11 July, he filed a complaint at court, appealing the wrongful detention made by People's Procuratorate of the Bao'An District and demanding the government compensate his financial loss and mental suffering of 10,000 Yuan, and to restore his reputation. The Procuratorate of the Bao'An District eventually agreed to compensate his financial loss of 74,455.99 Yuan. The sum is calculated on the basis of a detention period of 371 days and the state's average daily wages of an employee for the previous year, 200.69 Yuan (371x200.69 Yuan). However, the verdict states that the Procuratorate and the Public Security have not violated any legal standards and therefore disagreed that Wu had suffered severe mental pain and declined his claim for compensation for mental suffering.
Mutual support between Chinese and Hong Kong workers
Hong Kong union leader Mr Chung Tsung Fai has long been concerned about labour rights in China and followed Wu's case closely. He commented after Wu's release,
“Wu's case shows that there is still strong collusion between officials and companies in China and the rule of law is constantly ignored by local governments. The exploitation of migrant workers comes not only from the government-business collusion, but also from the injustice of the Hukou system, a social security system which is not trusted or respected by workers. Fortunately, some workers are aware of their rights and try to organize workers' resistance. Chinese and Hong Kong workers should strengthen their ties, to learn from and support each other. I look forward to future mutual support, in upholding justice and the dignity of workers.”
i Wu Guijun has not demanded a concrete figure of compensation from the state.
ii Criminal Compensation Verdict (2014) No.110, issued by the People's Procuratorate of Bao'an District of Shenzhen City states, “Compensation is made to Wu Guijun, in accordance with the requirements of Article 32, Article 33 and Article 35 of the State Compensation Law of the People's Republic of China. “ The original text is available at New Citizens Movement, http://xgmyd.com/archives/6243.
iii Wu Guijun was detained on 23 May 2013 and released on 29 May 2014. He considers himself as being detained for one year and seven days (a total of 372 days). Yet the court calculated the state compensation from 24 May 2013 onwards (a total of 371 days).