The Chinese authorities are demonstrating new-depths of cruelty by preventing Liu Xiaobo from leaving the country to receive urgent medical treatment for his late-stage liver cancer, Amnesty International said.
On Wednesday, the authorities announced medical experts from Germany and the US will be invited to China to assist with the treatment of the Nobel Peace Prize winner. The move appears in part an attempt to limit international criticism, as the authorities continue to refuse to grant Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia’s wish to travel abroad to receive treatment.
“Time is running out for Liu Xiaobo. It is not too late for the authorities to end this cruel farce. They must let Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, travel abroad to get the medical treatment he so desperately needs,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
The pro-democracy activist and former university lecturer was placed on medical parole last Monday and transferred to a hospital in Shenyang municipality in north-east China. His wife Liu Xia was able to reunite with him last week. The authorities’ claim that Liu Xiaobo is too ill to travel is disputed by his family.
Photo Credit:Amnesty International
Jiang Tianyong, human rights lawyer detained under “residential surveillance in a designated location” for over six months, has been formally arrested for “subverting state power”. Held incommunicado and without access to a lawyer, he is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
By William Nee, China Researcher Amnesty International
History. Few words are more important, or even sacred, to Chinese culture. China prides itself on having a rich history and illustrious culture that goes back 5,000 years.
And yet, when it comes to the treatment of history, China’s ruling Communist Party suffers from a case of Orwellian “double think” – holding two mutually contradictory ideas at the same time without recognizing the contradiction.
On the world stage, Chinese leaders boldly assert that history should be viewed objectively, and all parties should acknowledge past human rights violations, no matter how painful it may be to do so.
When responding to a bilateral agreement between the governments of Japan and South Korea in December 2015 concerning the sexual slavery system of Japan’s Imperial Army before and during World War II, Chinese authorities noted people needed a “…full and objective picture of that part of history and [to) stop the tragedy from repeating itself.”
Chinese authorities must release three labour activists who were investigating labour conditions at factories that make shoes for Ivanka Trump’s label, Amnesty International said.
Hua Haifeng, who works for New York based NGO China Labour Watch, was detained by mainland police after he attempted to travel to Hong Kong last week to publicize the findings of the undercover investigation. Two of his colleagues, Li Zhao and Su Heng, are also missing and are feared detained.
“Hua Haifeng, Li Zhao and Su Heng must be released if they are being held solely for investigating possible labour abuses at factories making shoes for Ivanka Trump’s label. Activists exposing potential human rights abuses deserve protection not persecution from the authorities,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.
“The trio appear to be the latest to fall foul of the Chinese authorities’ aggressive campaign against human rights activists who have any ties to overseas organizations, using the pretence of “national security”.”
The release of Xie Yang on bail does not represent a break in China’s relentless crackdown against human rights lawyers, Amnesty International said today.
Xie Yang was tried in Changsha City Intermediate People’s Court in southern China on 8 May for “inciting subversion of state power” and “disrupting court order” and apparently released on bail even though a verdict has not been announced.
“This unusual sequence of events does nothing to alleviate the concerns about torture in this case,” said Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International. “While it is a relief that Xie Yang is no longer in detention, it doesn’t diminish the fact that he should never have been arrested in the first place.”
“While on bail, Xie Yang is likely to experience constant surveillance and severe restrictions to his freedom of movement as we have witnessed in other such cases,” said Patrick Poon. “Such tactics appear to be the authorities’ modus operandi against those defending human rights.”
The court announced the trial would be broadcast on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, only approximately 20 minutes before it began.
The Chinese authorities’ detention of a Taiwanese NGO worker on vague national security grounds raises fears the authorities are broadening their attack against those carrying out legitimate activism, Amnesty International said today, as it urged the authorities to provide further details for his detention.
On Wednesday, Chinese officials confirmed that Lee Ming-cheh was being held on suspicion of “endangering national security”. He went missing after he crossed the Gongbei border from Macao to Zhuhai, China. He was last heard from on 19 March.
“Lee Ming-cheh’s detention on vague national security grounds will alarm all those that work with NGOs in China. If his detention is solely connected to his legitimate activism he must be immediately and unconditionally released,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International.
“The unchecked powers the authorities now have to target NGOs and their partners is frightening.”
Amnesty International sent this case as an Urgent Action on October 6th 2005.
After more than 13 years since Huang Zhiqiang, Fang Chunping, Cheng Fagen and Cheng Lihe were originally sentenced to death, the Jiangxi Provincial Higher People’s Court has announced a not-guilty verdict. All four men were immediately released after a closed-door retrial on 30 November 2016.
Huang Zhiqiang, Fang Chunping, Cheng Fagen and Cheng Lihe were all sentenced to death in 2003, by the Jingdezhen Intermediate People’s Court in the central province of Jiangxi in China. Following an appeal filed by the four men, in May 2006, the Jiangxi Provincial Higher People’s Court retried the case and commuted their death sentences to death sentences with a “two-year reprieve”. A death sentence with a two year reprieve is usually commuted to a prison term after two years of good behaviour.
By Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International
Facebook, Microsoft, and LinkedIn are among the tech firms expected to be on a charm offensive with Chinese officials at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, which started November 16.
The new law codifies existing abusive practices and seeks to turn tech companies operating in China into de-facto state surveillance agents.
China has made clear to Western companies what tune they must dance to if they want to gain or keep access to the riches of the Chinese market, currently dominated by national players like Tencent and Sina.
A new Cyber Security Law passed in China last week goes further than ever before in tightening the government’s already repressive grip on the internet, embodied by its “Great Firewall”. It is a vast human and technological system of Internet censorship without parallel in the world. The new law codifies existing abusive practices and seeks to turn tech companies operating in China into de-facto state surveillance agents.
Leaders from the tech industry gathering in Wuzhen, China, this week for the third World Internet Conference, should send a clear message to the Chinese government that they are not prepared to be complicit in the widespread abuse of the rights to freedom of expression and privacy.
The conference comes a week after China’s legislature rubber-stamped a draconian new Cyber Security Law which would require any tech company operating in China to undertake unprecedented levels of censorship and pass on personal information to the authorities with insufficient safeguards to protect freedom of expression and the right to privacy.
In response to the appointment of China's Vice Minister of Public Security, Meng Hongwei, to head global police agency Interpol, Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International commented:
"The appointment of Meng Hongwei is alarming given China's long-standing practice of trying to use Interpol to arrest dissidents and refugees abroad. It seems at odds with Interpol's mandate to work in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"There now needs to be close scrutiny of the kind of notices that Interpol issues at the request of the Chinese government."
The Chinese government must immediately repeal a new cyber-security law that gives the authorities carte blanche to curb the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy, said Amnesty International.
On Monday, China’s legislature passed the law which defines “cyber-security” in broad and vague terms, and requires internet companies to be complicit in censorship and share personal information of users with the authorities with virtually no safeguards.
“The new cyber-security law tightens the authorities’ repressive grip on the internet. It goes further than ever before in codifying abusive practices, with a near total disregard for the rights to freedom of expression and privacy,” said Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International.
“This dangerous law commandeers internet companies to be de-facto agents of the state, by requiring them to censor and provide personal data to the authorities at a whim.”