Posts Tagged ‘Ni Yulan’

Write for Rights again in December 2017

December 4, 2017

Every December, Amnesty International supporters across the globe write millions of letters and take actions for people whose human rights are under attack, in what has become the world’s biggest human rights campaign. Last year at least 4.6 million actions were taken. “For 15 years Write for Rights has given people hope in their darkest moments. Imagine being ill in jail and receiving thousands of letters of support and solidarity; or finding out that people all over the world are behind you in your quest for justice for a murdered relative. Writing letters really can change lives,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General. For last year’s see:

This year Amnesty International is writing to, among others:

  • The Bangladeshi Home Minister, calling on him to bring the killers of Xulhaz Mannan to justice, without recourse to the death penalty. Xulhaz, a founder of Bangladesh’s only LGBTI magazine, was in his apartment with a colleague when men wielding machetes burst in and hacked them to death in April 2016. Despite ample evidence, the killers have yet to be charged.
  • The Prime Minister of Jamaica, telling him to protect Shackelia Jackson, who has been fighting for justice for her brother Nakiea since he was killed by police in 2014, and has refused to be silenced by police intimidation.  In the past decade around 2,000 men, usually young and poor, have been killed by police in Jamaica.
  • The Prime Minister of Israel, telling him to drop all charges against Farid al Atrash and Issa Amro, Palestinian human rights defenders, who want an end to illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. They brave constant attacks by soldiers and settlers, and are facing ludicrous charges after they joined a peaceful protest march.


This year, these 10 people and groups urgently need your support:

Xulhaz Mannan

Xulhaz was a founder of Bangladesh’s only LGBTI magazine, a daring venture in a country where same-sex relations are illegal. He was in his apartment with a colleague when men wielding machetes burst in and hacked them to death. Despite ample evidence, including CCTV footage and eyewitness testimony, one year on the killers have yet to be charged for this brutal murder.


Tadjadine Mahamat Babouri, commonly known as Mahadine, is an online activist from Chad. In September 2016 he posted videos on Facebook criticizing the Chadian government. Within days, he was snatched off the streets, and beaten and chained up for several weeks. He faces a life sentence and is also gravely ill, having caught tuberculosis in prison.

Ni Yulan

A former lawyer, Ni Yulan has supported scores of people forced from their homes by lucrative construction projects. She has braved almost 20 years of violent harassment for defending housing rights, and has been monitored, arrested and repeatedly evicted by the authorities. She was once beaten so badly in detention that she now uses a wheelchair. Ni Yulan continues to help people stand up for their rights

Hanan Badr el-Din

Hanan Badr el Din’s life changed forever when her husband disappeared in July 2013. She last saw him on television, wounded and at a hospital after attending a protest. Hanan’s relentless search for him led her to others whose loved ones were taken by the Egyptian security forces. Now a leading voice exposing Egypt’s hundreds of disappeared, her latest search for information about her husband has seen her arrested on false charges which could result in five years in prison.

Sakris Kupila

Sakris Kupila, a 21-year-old medical student from Finland, has never identified as a woman. Yet he has to endure daily discrimination because his identity documents say he is female – the gender he was assigned at birth. To legally reassign your gender in Finland, you must be diagnosed with a “mental disorder” and sterilised. Sakris opposes this humiliating treatment. And despite threats and open hostility, he continues to demand a change to the law.

MILPAH Indigenous Movement

For the Indigenous Lenca people in Honduras, the land is their life. But huge hydroelectric, mining and other interests are out to exploit that land. MILPAH, the Independent Lenca Indigenous Movement of La Paz, is at the forefront of the struggle against them. They brave smear campaigns, death threats and physical assault to protect their environment, yet their attackers are rarely brought to justice.

Farid and Issa

Farid al-Atrash and Issa Amro are two Palestinian activists who demand an end to Israeli settlements – a war crime stemming from Israel’s 50-year occupation of Palestinian land. Dedicated to non-violence, the two activists brave constant threats and attacks by soldiers and settlers. In February 2016, Issa and Farid marched peacefully against settlements and the Israeli occupation. As a result, they face ludicrous charges apparently designed to obstruct their human rights work.

Shackelia Jackson

Shackelia Jackson will not give up. When her brother, Nakiea, was gunned down by police, she took on Jamaica’s sluggish court system to lead a bold fight for justice for his murder. In doing so, she rallied dozens of families whose loved ones were similarly killed. In response, the police have repeatedly raided and harassed her community. But Shackelia will not be silenced.

Clovis Razafimalala

Clovis is doing everything he can to protect Madagascar’s vanishing rainforest. Its rosewood trees are a precious resource under threat from a network of smugglers, bent on selling them off in what has become a billion dollar illegal trade. Clovis’ efforts to save this rare ruby-coloured tree have brought him unwanted attention. He has been convicted on false charges and could be jailed at any moment


Right now, 11 people who have dedicated their lives to defending the human rights of journalists, activists and other dissenting voices in Turkey are themselves in danger. Among them are Amnesty International’s Director, İdil Eser, and its chair, Taner Kılıç, who remains in prison after five months. All are on trial for ‘terrorism’-related crimes, an absurd charge and face a jail sentence of up to 15 years.

Amnesty International’s Brave campaign calls on governments around the world to protect human rights defenders.

US State Department gives out International Women of Courage Awards 2016

April 8, 2016
Missing in action: Wheelchair-bound human rights advocate Ni Yulan failed to attend the awarding ceremony in the U.S. She told the BBC that her passport was withheld.Photo U.S. Department of State/Flickr

Human rights lawyer and activist Ni Yulan became one of the 2016 recipients of the International Women of Courage Awards conferred by the U.S. Department of State on 29 March. The wheelchair-bound human rights lawyer Ni Yulan from China was not present; she he told the BBC that her passport was withheld.  Yulan Ni won the Dutch Human Rights Tulip in 2011.[]

She shares the 2016 recognition from the USA with 13 other women: Read the rest of this entry »

Confessions abound on Chinese television: first Gui Minhai and now Peter Dahlin

January 21, 2016
Peter Dahlin appears on China state TV for his confession. CCTV/Twitter/Tom Phillips

The Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai, after being kidnapped by Chinese security services, made a confession on CCTV earlier this week. Now also Peter Dahlin a Swede working for a NGO [CUAWG] in China has made a “scripted” television confession following his detention earlier this week. [] In a TV appearance on the state-run CCTV news channel, Dahlin said: “I violated China’s law through my activities here.  I’ve caused harm to the Chinese government. I’ve hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. I apologise sincerely for this and I am very sorry that this ever happened. I have been given good food, plenty of sleep and I have suffered no mistreatments of any kind.

Cases the CUAWG have worked on include that of Qi Chonghuai, a journalist and writer who was imprisoned for reporting on Communist party corruption, and Tulip Award winner Ni Yulan, a lawyer who opposed illegal demolitions and was beaten, harrased and imprisoned by police.

Source: Peter Dahlin: Swedish human rights law activist detained in China makes a ‘scripted’ confession | Asia | News | The Independent

The release of human rights defenders written up in a Lifestyle Magazine

November 29, 2013

Just as an example of how human rights defenders and the work to support them can appear in a Lifestyle Magazine:

Across Canada human rights supporters have recently been celebrating the releases of a number of prisoners of conscience—people jailed solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs.

In China, poet and journalist Shi Tao was released after more than eight years in prison. Supporters of the human rights organization Amnesty International ( had long campaigned for his freedom by writing letters to the Chinese authorities and signing petitions calling for his release. Shi Tao was imprisoned in 2004 for sending an email using his Yahoo account. His email summarized a communiqué from the Chinese Central Propaganda Department telling journalists how they should handle the 15th anniversary of the crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement. The Chinese authorities accused him of “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities”. Shi Tao expressed his thanks to supporters: “The support and encouragement of friends from around the world have helped my mother and me through the difficult and lonely times.” Other prisoners of conscience recently released in China this year included human rights defender Ni Yulan, and Falun Gong practitioners Wang Xiuqing and her daughter Qin Hailong, released after 18 months in a “re-education through labour” camp.

In Iran, the sudden release of prisoner of conscience Nasrin Sotoudeh in September further showed how the passion and persistence of individual people around the world taking action by putting pen to paper can help human rights. Sotoudeh is widely respected for her work as a lawyer. She has represented children facing the death penalty, prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders, and has worked closely with Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. But in August 2010 Sotoudeh was locked up in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison though she had committed no crime. During her imprisonment, Nasrin was stopped from having regular visits with her husband, Reza Khandan, and two young children. Amnesty International declared her a prisoner of conscience and quickly launched a global appeal demanding her release. Supporters tirelessly wrote letters to the Iranian authorities requesting them to free the human rights lawyer. Their efforts helped win a great victory. Sotoudeh sent a thank you for the support she had received from people around the world. “I have been aware of all your efforts on my behalf and I want to thank you!

Human rights supporters celebrate recent prisoner releases : The Canadian Lifestyle Magazine.

Chinese human rights defender Ni Yulan freed

October 6, 2013
Foto:  EPA

Finally a tiny bit of good news from the Chinese front: After 2,5 years in jail the Chinese human rights defender Ni Yulan has been freed. In 2011 she won the Dutch Tulip for HRDs award. She has never been able to receive the award in person and even her daughter had not been allowed to leave the country for that purpose.

As reported by the ANP via Chinese mensenrechtenactiviste Ni weer vrij | | Het laatste nieuws het eerst op

Tulip human rights award given in absentia to Dalit leader

January 10, 2013

Dutch newspapers and human rights groups concerned with the Dalits (untouchables) report that the winner of the Dutch Human Rights Tulip of 2012 has been barred from traveling to the Netherlands to receive his award in person on  Wednesday 9 January. Marimuthu Bharathan, a Dalit human rights defender from Tamil Nadu, was refused a passport by the Indian authorities, according to a press release by International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN).This is the second year in a row that the recipient of the Dutch Human Rights award will not be present at the ceremony in The Hague [Last year, Chinese activist Ni Yulan was in custody awaiting trial during the award ceremony.]The  jury of the Tulip has recognised Marimuthu Bharathan as a “tireless champion of better living and working conditions for his country’s Dalits”. Himself a Dalit, he works against caste discrimination by supporting Dalits who as manual scavengers are condemned to clean dry latrines with their bare hands. He also sets up Dalit organisations, campaigns for reforms of the corrupt police system, and fights for compensation and rehabilitation of Dalits who suffer human rights violations. Mr Bharathan’s work as director of the Human Rights Education and Protection Council in Tamil Nadu has put him on a collision course with the state’s authorities who consistently prohibit demonstrations for Dalit rights organised by him and disrupt his work.

According to Indian human rights organisations, this refusal appears to be connected with a false murder charge. “The passport refusal is yet another example of the disenfranchised position of the 200 million Dalits and the defenders of their rights in India. The Indian authorities clearly fail in combating discrimination and exclusion of Dalits and are themselves often the perpetrator of crimes against them. The systemic abuse and torture in police stations is an example of that,” said Gerard Oonk, director of the India Committee of the Netherlands and co-ordinator of the Dalit Network Netherlands.


True Heroes film on the winner of the Tulip award Ni Yulan now on Facebook

February 9, 2012

In my latest post I referred to the this video which is now available on:

Dutch human rights award, Tulip, given to Chinese lawyer in absentia

February 3, 2012

The christian group that nominated Ms Ni Yulan reported on the ceremony as follows:

Tulip Prize Jury Emphasizes Human Rights over Economic Interests  By Jeremy Reynalds
SURREY, ENGLAND At an official ceremony to award the Dutch Government’s Human Rights Defenders Tulip Prize for 2011 to Chinese legal activist Ni Yulan, the chair of the jury stressed the importance of highlighting China’s human rights record in spite of economic considerations. According to a news release from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Cisca Dresselhuys, Chair of the Human Rights Defenders Tulip Award 2011 Jury said, “Economic interests must never be a reason to close our mouths on human rights. We should rather have one Human Rights Tulip Award than one exported tulip to China.”  CSW said that Ni Yulan was unable to attend the ceremony due to her detention in Beijing, and her daughter, Dong Xuan, was recently banned from leaving China to accept the prize on her mother’s behalf. Ni Yulan was nominated for the Tulip Award by CSW and China Aid.  Her work as a housing rights activist, defending Beijing residents whose homes were demolished to make way for the 2008 Olympics, resulted in her being imprisoned on several occasions.

CSW said she has also worked on a number of high-profile religious freedom cases. Ni Yulan is in a wheelchair due to beatings received in prison, which left her unable to walk and in poor health.  She was put on trial with her husband in Beijing in Dec. 2011 for “creating a disturbance,” and testified evidence from a hospital bed while on oxygen. The trial did not reach a verdict and the couple remain detained in Beijing. ….
 CSW said Dresselhuys added, “We give the award with pleasure, reverence and joy, but with immense pain in our hearts because she cannot be here.”
A video of Ni Yulan’s life and work [produced by True Heroes, films for HRDS, I may add]was shown at the ceremony, in which she is seen in her wheelchair living in a tent in a park. She says, “In this difficult time the support from others really encourages us. It keeps us alive. I will continue to defend others’ rights. We cannot give up.”
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice. For further information, go to