Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Human Rights Defenders’

Cao Shunli died five years ago – how many more before there is a change?

March 14, 2019

On 14 March 

Veteran Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli, who died in 2014 in a Beijing hospital.

Veteran Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli, who died in 2014 in a Beijing hospital. Photograph: Front Line Defenders

Five years ago today, Chinese activist Cao Shunli died in a Beijing hospital surrounded by police. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/02/12/cao-shunli-a-profile-and-new-award-in-her-name/]

...This week is an opportunity to pay tribute to Cao Shunli, but also importantly, for the international community to speak up and remind the Chinese government of its obligations to safeguard human rights. On March 15, the UNHRC will be meeting to adopt a final report on recommendations made in November during China’s third Universal Periodic Review (UPR). ……States can use Friday’s meeting to speak out and pay tribute to Cao Shunli and all those who have died under Chinese police custody, reject China’s denials made during the UPR over its rights abuses in Xinjiang, and build momentum towards passing a resolution on the human rights situation in China……..Since the council’s creation in 2006, there has not been a single country-specific resolution directed at China despite a worsening rights situation. It’s time for the UNHRC to end its double standards and mandate an international fact-finding mission to look into the credible reports of internment camps in Xinjiang.

Many human rights defenders, like Cao, and ethnic and religious minorities have died in Chinese custody due to torture or deprivation of medical treatment. China’s only Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, Uighur scholar Muhammad Salih Hajim, and Tibetan monk Tenzin Delek Rinpoche all died in police custody in recent years.

Others, like detained citizen journalist Huang Qi, await such a fate without urgent intervention. Police have denied Huang, who has kidney and heart diseases, medical treatment and have repeatedly beaten him in custody. His condition has deteriorated to the point where supporters fear he may become “another Cao Shunli” and UN independent experts recently expressed concern he might die in detention.

Ten other Chinese activists, journalists, scholars, and lawyers are on a medical watchlist of political prisoners, launched after Cao’s death to draw attention to China’s practice of torture by withholding medical treatment…………..

It’s no coincidence that following a weak response internationally to the deaths of prominent human rights defenders and a widespread crackdown on civil society that the Xi government felt confident enough to establish a system of mass internment camps for ethnic Uighurs and Muslims and turn the Xinjiang region into a “no-rights zone”.

Human rights defenders and ethnic and religious minorities in China face real risks for standing up to the Chinese government. They don’t pay with lost trade deals but with their lives. The risks of speaking out in defence of human rights and fundamental freedoms in China include losing your job, your home, your family, or being disappeared, arbitrarily detained, tortured, or even killed.

Cao Shunli said before her death: “Our impact may be large, may be small, and may be nothing. But we must try. It is our duty to the dispossessed and it is the right of civil society.” States should remember her spirit and not be afraid to speak truth to power.

Note that on 14 March a group of UN experts have renewed their call for a comprehensive and independent investigation into her death by Chinese authorities (https://www.protecting-defenders.org/en/news/china-un-experts-renew-calls-probe-death-cao-shunli).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/14/cao-shunli-died-five-years-ago-she-stood-up-to-china-on-human-rights-and-so-must-we

Chinese court says human rights defender Xie Yang admits to crimes

May 8, 2017

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Chinese human rights defender He Xiaobo released on bail but others jailed

April 8, 2016

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

reports that on 8 April 2016 that human rights defender He Xiaobo (not to be confused with Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo) was released on bail after over four months in custody in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. The workers’ rights campaigner had been detained on 3 December 2015 along with a number of colleagues and on 8 January he was formally charged with ’embezzlement’. Two other human rights defenders detained at that time, Zeng Feiyang and Meng Han remain in detention and are facing charges of “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order”. He Xiaobo runs Nanfeiyan Social Work Service Centre, an NGO campaigning for compensation on behalf of workers who have been injured during the course of their work. The centre’s registration was rescinded in 2015. https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/case-history-he-xiaobo.

It is not a breakthrough in the treatment of human rights defenders in China (https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/the-plight-of-chinas-human-rights-lawyers-worsened/) but even small good news is welcome. On the other hand, also today Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD人权捍卫者‏@CHRDnet) reports that 6 human rights defenders collectively received 20.5 years in prison for exercising their rights to free speech, assembly and association

2013 turned into ‘Nightmare’ for Human Rights Defenders

March 6, 2014

Last year was the worst for human rights since 2008, says the 2013 annual report from Chinese Human Rights Defenders [CHRD]. The signature “Chinese Dream” of the new leadership has instead become a “nightmare,” it says. “The Chinese government’s assault on activists last year indicates just how far authorities under the rule of President Xi Jinping are willing to go to suppress an increasingly active and emboldened civil society,” said Renee Xia, the international director of CHRD. Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese Human Rights Defenders: “None of us is safe, and any one of us could be next”

October 4, 2013

Authorities in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are continuing to hold human rights lawyer Yang Maodong, better known as Guo Feixiong,  without criminal activists said on 3 October. He was criminally detained on 8 August on charges of “incitement to disturb public order,” after being involved in anti-censorship and anti-corruption protests. “The authorities have made one arrest after the other in recent months, and this is still going on,” said Beijing-based fellow activist and poet Wang Zang, Read the rest of this entry »

China Detains Activists trying to reach UN

September 19, 2013

While Iran has started to free some of its political prisoners, China does the opposite by detaining two prominent rights activists who were en route to Geneva ahead of a U.N. review of Beijing’s rights record. Beijing-based activist Cao Shunli was stopped at Beijing’s airport on 14 September and questioned by state security police, the overseas-based China Human Rights Defenders [CHRD] said in an emailed statement. On the same day, Guangdong rights activist Chen Jianfang was also intercepted at Guangzhou’s  International Airport.The activists, who have been incommunicado since, had been en-route to Geneva to attend a training course at the invitation of a Geneva-based rights group ahead of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of China on 22 October. Chen, a farmer-turned-petitioner who has been repeatedly detained in illegal “black jails” and who served a 15-month term in labor camp in March 2010, said she was threatened with violence by airport police, who also tore up her plane ticket. Both women had been active in transparency campaigns around the U.N. review process, sending information requests, suing the foreign ministry, and staging demonstrations outside its gates in a bid to be included in China’s submission to the U.N. “In recent weeks, police in several Chinese cities have interrogated other activists and lawyers about the same training program and warned them about serious consequences,” CHRD said.

(Reported by Wei Ling for RFA’s Cantonese Service, and by Xin Yu for the Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie).

via RFA’s China Detains Activists Over UN Campaign.

 

China continues harsh line on dissent but one jailed HRD smuggles out video

August 11, 2013

Reuters reports that China has arrested an activist on a charge of subversion and the latest sign that the authorities are hardening their stance toward dissent. Yang Lin, 45, Read the rest of this entry »