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    August 11, 2017

    Almost 70,000 people from across the world have urged China’s President to lift all restrictions and end the harassment against poet and artist Liu Xia, one month after the death of her husband, Nobel Peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo.

    Liu Xia has not been heard of since her husband’s hastily arranged funeral ceremony and sea burial on 15 July. Prisoner of Conscience, Liu Xiaobo, passed away in custody two days earlier.

    In an open letter to President Xi Jinping, nearly 70,000 people call on the Chinese authorities to lift all arbitrary restrictions against Liu Xia, and ensure she can travel freely.

    “Liu Xia is being cruelly punished for never giving up on her wrongfully imprisoned late husband,” said Lisa Tassi, East Asia Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International.

    “Liu Xia’s immeasurable loss is being callously compounded by the Chinese authorities’ vindictive and illegal attempt to silence her. Our message to President Xi is clear: end the harassment and free Liu Xia now.”

    August 10, 2017

    Amnesty Canada's Secretary General Alex Neve joins Chen Huixia’s Canadian daughter,Hongyan Lu, at a protest at the Chinese Embassy on July 19th. 

    Download PDF of UA 216/16 China

    216b China.pdf

    July 14, 2017

    Chinese authorities must end their callous assault against human rights activists and free all those still imprisoned for solely exercising their right to freedom of expression, said Amnesty International, ahead of the expected release of prominent social activist Xu Zhiyong.  

    Xu Zhiyong is due to be released from prison on Saturday, 15 July after completing a four year jail sentence. In January 2014, he was convicted of “gathering a crowd to disturb order in a public place” following more than six months in pre-trial detention.

    “Xu Zhiyong’s release is long overdue. His conviction was a sham and he should never have spent a single day in jail for simply exercising his right to freedom of expression,” said Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    In recent years, activists have been released from prison, or on bail, only to find themselves under intense surveillance and round-the-clock monitoring by unidentified security personnel or thugs.

    “The authorities must not continue to harass or intimidate Xu Zhiyong or his family, and instead let him again enjoy the freedom that was unjustly taken from him.”

    July 13, 2017

    Valiant Human Rights Defender and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo passed away as a result of liver cancer July 13, 2017.

    He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in 2009 for "inciting subversion of state power". He was recognized by Amnesty International as a Prisoner of Conscience. He was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May and despite repeated requests from Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia, the Chinese authorities refused to let them travel abroad for treatment.

    Liu Xia, artist, poet, and human rights defender, has been forced to stay at home under heavy surveillance and subjected to intimidation by the Chinese authorities, ever since Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

    Her crime? She refused to stop trying to release her wrongfully imprisoned husband.

    With the passing of Liu Xiaobo it’s time the Chinese authorities stop cruelly punishing Liu Xia.

    She has been kept in isolation since October 2010, and she has suffered from psychological stress, anxiety and depression as a result.

    July 13, 2017

    Nobel Prize Winner leaves a lasting legacy for China

    Chinese authorities announced today that Liu Xiaobo, human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has passed away.

    Information on Liu Xiaobo’s ill health, who was suffering from terminal liver cancer, was released only after he became too ill to recover. Several Western countries have previously asked that Mr. Liu be allowed to seek treatment abroad. The request was refused. Worse yet, he was kept under guard in a hospital and kept silenced.

    Because of his demand for greater human rights in China, he was branded as a criminal by the Chinese government. 

    Liu Xiaobo developed a conviction for the cause of democracy and human rights after witnessing the brutal government crackdown of the peaceful protest in Tiananmen Square in 1989. He once said, “as a survivor of the Tiananmen Square Democracy movement, I feel that I have a duty to uphold justice for those who died in the event.”

    July 13, 2017

    By Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    “Do you think the Chinese government will release him now?” In the piercing cold of a December night in Oslo, the same question kept coming. I had just attended the ceremony to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned human rights advocate, literary critic, and thorn in the side of the Chinese government.

    Vehemently denounced by the Chinese government as “a farce”, the ceremony had movingly paid tribute to that simple truth: that words are not crimes. Freedom of expression, as Liu Xiaobo had himself told the court a year earlier, was “the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity, and the mother of truth.” The court sentenced him to 11 years behind bars.

    While I was buoyed by the homage the world was paying to his courage, I also knew that the real battle was only beginning: would the international community exert enough pressure on the Chinese authorities to sway them to release Liu Xiaobo?

    July 13, 2017

    Responding to the news that Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo has passed away, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International commented:

    “Today we grieve the loss of a giant of human rights. Liu Xiaobo was a man of fierce intellect, principle, wit and above all humanity.

    “For decades, he fought tirelessly to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms in China. He did so in the face of the most relentless and often brutal opposition from the Chinese government. Time and again they tried to silence him, and time and again they failed. Despite enduring years of persecution, suppression and imprisonment, Liu Xiaobo continued to fight for his convictions.

    “Although he has passed, everything he stood for still endures. The greatest tribute we can now pay him is to continue the struggle for human rights in China and recognize the powerful legacy he leaves behind. Thanks to Liu Xiaobo, millions of people in China and across the world have been inspired to stand up for freedom and justice in the face of oppression.

    July 07, 2017
      Chinese labour activist Liu Shaoming is the latest victim of the authorities’ relentless assault on human rights, Amnesty International said, after he was sentenced to four and a half years in jail for publishing his story of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.   On Friday, a court in Guangzhou found Liu Shaoming guilty of “inciting subversion of state power”. He has already spent more than two years in detention, after he was taken away by police on 30 May 2015. His detention occurred five days after he published an article on US-website reflecting on his involvement in China’s 1989 pro-democracy movement.    “This is a most callous and unjust verdict against Liu Shaoming. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released. All that Liu Shaoming is guilty of is the legitimate exercise of his freedom of expression,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.   
    July 07, 2017
      The Chinese authorities must end their ruthless campaign of detention and torture of human rights lawyers and activists, said Amnesty International, ahead of the second anniversary of the start of an unprecedented crackdown launched under President Xi Jinping. Nearly 250 human rights lawyers and activists have been targeted during the nationwide sweep which began on 9 July 2015. Six have since been convicted for “subverting state power” or “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. Three others are still awaiting trials or verdicts. “For two years the Chinese government has been methodically decimating the ranks of human rights lawyers and activists. This vicious crackdown marked by arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions, torture and ill-treatment and fake confessions must end now,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International. “Lawyers and rights advocates play a crucial role in protecting human rights and the rule of law. The torment that they and their families continue to be subjected to flies in the face of the Chinese government claim that it upholds the rule of law.”  
    July 05, 2017

    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.

    June 28, 2017
    Responding to the news that Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo has developed late-stage liver cancer while in prison and is currently in hospital receiving treatment, Amnesty International’s China Researcher Patrick Poon said:     “It adds insult to injury that Liu Xiaobo, who should never have been put in prison in the first place, has been diagnosed with a grave illness. “The Chinese authorities should immediately ensure that Liu Xiaobo receives adequate medical care, effective access to his family and that he and all others imprisoned solely for exercising their human rights are immediately and unconditionally released. “The authorities must also stop their shameful and illegal house arrest of Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, and ensure that she is able to receive visitors, travel freely and reunite with Liu Xiaobo.”   Background
    June 14, 2017
    Jiang Tianyong release human rights lawyer China

    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.

    June 04, 2017

    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.”

    May 31, 2017

    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”.”


    May 10, 2017

    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.


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