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China

    September 25, 2015

    Released: 00:01 GMT Saturday 26 September

    The Chinese government must stop repressing female activists if it is serious about advancing women and girls human rights, Amnesty International said ahead of a United Nations meeting of world leaders on gender equality co-hosted by China and UN Women.
    President Xi Jinping is due to chair the meeting on women’s empowerment this Sunday at the UN in New York, despite the Chinese authorities still detaining at least 11 women human rights activists and persecuting scores more since he came to power.

    In the past two years, the Chinese authorities have also shutdown three women’s rights NGOs as part of a wider crackdown against civil society.

    “It is hypocritical of President Xi Jinping to use the world stage to proclaim the importance of women’s human rights while the Chinese authorities continue to throw in jail women fighting for these rights,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    September 22, 2015

    Released 00:01 GMT Wednesday 23 September

    American tech companies seeking access to China’s domestic market must not turn a blind eye to the country’s severe internet-related human rights abuses, Amnesty International said ahead of a meeting between China’s President Xi Jinping and top US tech firms on Wednesday.

    Senior executives from Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft are expected to attend the US-China Internet Industry Forum in Seattle, which is part of President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to the USA.

    “US tech firms need to put people and principles before profit, and defend internet freedom. They must not turn a blind eye to China’s online repression in order to gain access to the lucrative Chinese market,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “If US tech firms get into bed with the Chinese government, they may end up being complicit in the imprisonment of people who are solely exercising their right to free expression online.”

    August 05, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT  6 August 2015

    The Chinese authorities must immediately ensure imprisoned journalist Gao Yu receives all necessary medical care, Amnesty International said, after her lawyer disclosed she is critically ill and is being denied appropriate treatment.

    In April, Gao Yu, 71, was sentenced to seven years in prison on the spurious charge of “disclosing state secrets". Amnesty International considers her a prisoner of conscience, solely imprisoned for challenging the views of the government.

    "The authorities are showing a callous disregard for Gao Yu’s health. Denial of medical care is a reckless way to achieve her silence,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    “Withholding medical treatment for activists in detention and prison in order to weaken or punish them is a tried and tested tactic. The Chinese authorities must immediately end this unlawful and inhumane practice.”

    The authorities have a history of denying appropriate medical care to detained and imprisoned human rights activists and government critics.

    July 31, 2015

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should ensure that the 2022 Winter Olympics do not cause or exacerbate human rights abuses in China, the Sport and Rights Alliance said today after the capital, Beijing, won its bid to host the event.

    Beijing beat a rival bid from the Kazakh city of Almaty after the Norwegian capital, Oslo, dropped out earlier in the race. The announcement was made at the IOC’s 128th session in Kuala Lumpur.

    The Sport and Rights Alliance is a coalition including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation, FIFPro – World Players’ Union, Football Supporters Europe, Terre des Hommes, and Transparency International Germany. The Alliance seeks to ensure that host countries of mega-sporting events respect human rights, child rights and labour rights, the environment, and anti-corruption requirements at all stages of the process – from bidding through construction and preparations to host events as well as during events themselves.

    CHINA

    July 11, 2015

    The Chinese authorities must end their assault on human rights lawyers, Amnesty International said on Saturday, after more than 50 lawyers and activists were targeted by police in a nationwide crackdown.

      LATEST UPDATE
    3.30pm [Beijing time] Monday 13 July   Total number of lawyers and activists targeted: 101  
      Total number of lawyers and activists still missing or in police custody: 25   TAKE ACTION

    Prominent human rights lawyers Li Heping and Sui Muqing are among at least 20 people feared detained. All the individuals missing since the crackdown began on Thursday 9 July are well-known for their work on human rights cases.

    July 01, 2015

    The Chinese government must immediately repeal a new national security law that gives the authorities sweeping powers to crack down on and suppress human rights, Amnesty International said.

    China's legislature today passed the law which defines "national security" in broad and vague terms, covering areas including politics, culture, finance and the internet.

    "The definition of 'national security' under the law is virtually limitless. The law gives a blank cheque to the government to punish and monitor anyone it does not like - human rights activists, government critics and other opposition voices," said Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International's Regional Director for East Asia.

    "The law clearly has more to do with protecting the Communist Party's control of the country than with national security. The leadership of the Party and its monopoly on political power is explicitly listed as being part of 'national security' in the law."

    June 18, 2015

    The Chinese government must release and drop all charges against three human rights campaigners about to be tried on state security charges for publishing books on democracy and activism, Amnesty International said today.

    Tang Jingling, Yuan Xinting, and Wang Qingying will be tried by Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court on Friday for “inciting subversion of state power”, a state security charge regularly levelled against human rights activists and peaceful critics of the Communist Party’s monopoly on power. They each face up to five years imprisonment.

    “This trial is another dark day for freedom of expression in China. It has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with arbitrarily silencing critics of the government,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Anything other than these men walking free will amount to a gross injustice.”

    June 05, 2015

    Ablikim Abdiriyim was released from prison on May 31, 2015, after completing his sentence and is now safe with his family.

    His deteriorating health and the harsh prison conditions, which included torture and solitary confinement, in China makes his release even more welcome.

        Rebiya Kadeer 

    Like his mother, prominent Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer, Ablikim was in prison for defending the rights of the Uighur minority in China. And like her, the Chinese authorities threw him in jail for standing up for human rights. And they hurt him, tortured him, in part to punish Rebiya for all her activism. Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience and campaigned tirelessly demanding his release.

    Rebiya said that she believes efforts by the international community helped to protect him during his detention:
     

    June 04, 2015
    Gao Yu journalist and prisoner of conscience

    By William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International. On twitter @williamnee

    26 years have passed since the tragic days in 1989 when thousands of peaceful pro-democracy protesters were brutally repressed in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

    But even though the tanks have long left the city’s infamous square, President Xi Jinping, appears as determined to quash anyone perceived as challenging the Communist Party’s hegemony.

    When President Xi took office in late 2012, he declared power would be put “in a cage”, but it is the independently minded academics, journalists, lawyers, and rights activists that have been thrown in jail.

    We are witnessing one of the darkest periods for freedom of expression in China since the bloodshed of 1989.

    June 02, 2015

    The Chinese authorities must drop a fundamentally flawed draft NGO law that would put a hold on civil society and have severe consequences for freedom of expression and association in the country, Amnesty International said.  

    In a submission to China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s Legislative Affairs Commission, Amnesty International highlights major shortcomings in the draft Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations Management Law that would stifle civil society and breach China’s international human rights obligations.

    “This chilling draft NGO law is a very real threat to the valuable and legitimate work of independent civil society groups. The authorities would have unchecked power to target organizations, restrict their activities, and ultimately choke civil society,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International. 

    The law is the latest in a series of repressive measures by the government to consolidate control. New regulations announced on 30 May, go so far as to require all domestic civil society organizations to have a Communist Party group.

    May 15, 2015

    The Chinese authorities must end their persecution of prominent human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, and drop all charges against him, Amnesty International said.

    Pu Zhiqiang was indicted on the charges of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and "inciting ethnic hatred" by Beijing prosecutors on Friday, primarily on the basis of online comments he made. If convicted he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

    “The charges against Pu Zhiqiang are another act of political persecution. The chances of him receiving a fair trial are close to zero,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “He did nothing more than comment on current affairs on social media. The Chinese government is blatantly violating his freedom of expression and attempting to silence an independent voice.”

    Pu Zhiqiang was originally detained by police on 6 May 2014, after he attended a seminar in Beijing that called for an investigation into the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

    April 27, 2015

    April 23, 2015

    "I believe my sister would not be alive today if it were not for all the people in China and across the world that spoke up for her. I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all the Amnesty International supporters everywhere who expressed concern and offered help to my sister, her life has been saved as a result"

    -Li Dehuai, brother of Li Yan 

    We are pleased to share the good news that the death sentence on Li Yan has been overturned!

    Li Yan had been sentenced to death in China for killing her abusive ex-husband. Her sentence is now commuted to the death sentence with a two-year reprieve. Under the Chinese law, death sentences with a two-year reprieve should be commuted to life imprisonment upon the expiration of the two-year period, as long as the prisoner does not commit another crime during the period of suspension.

    April 24, 2015

    The Chinese authorities are sending mixed messages over domestic violence as they commute the death sentence of a woman that killed her violent husband but continue to persecute five women’s rights activists, said Amnesty International on Friday.

    Li Yan, 44, was given a two year reprieve by a court in Sichuan province, in southwest China. The death sentence is expected to be commuted to a prison term after two years of good behaviour. The change comes after the Supreme People’s Court ordered an unprecedented retrial last June. 

    “The reprieve for Li Yan could prove a landmark verdict for future cases where domestic violence is a mitigating factor. With her case, the highest court in China has sent a clear message that judges must not ignore domestic violence,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Yet, the continued persecution of five young activists that campaign to prevent violence against women casts a dark shadow on this ruling.”

    April 17, 2015

    Meet, from left to right, members of China’s Women’s Rights Action Group Wu Rongrong, Wei Tingting, Li Tingting, Wang Man and Zheng Churan © Private. 

    These five Chinese activists decided to mark International Women’s Day in 2015 by launching a campaign against sexual harassment. They had made stickers to distribute, printed with slogans like “Go police, go arrest those who committed sexual harassment!” This was not their first event organized to raise public awareness on gender equality issues. They had staged “Occupy the Men’s Toilets” to challenge the lack of public facilities for women, and had attended demonstrations in wedding dresses spattered with red ink to protest domestic violence.

    April 17, 2015

    The sentencing of the highly respected journalist Gao Yu to seven years in jail by a Chinese court is an affront to justice and an attack on freedom of expression, Amnesty International said on Friday.

    Gao Yu, 71, was found guilty by a court in Beijing of the spurious charge of “disclosing state secrets”. Her trial in November was held behind closed doors. Her lawyer has said she will appeal against the sentence.

    “This deplorable sentence against Gao Yu is nothing more than blatant political persecution by the Chinese authorities. She is the victim of vaguely worded and arbitrary state-secret laws that are used against activists as part of the authorities’ attack on freedom of expression,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Gao Yu is a prisoner of conscience, solely imprisoned for challenging the views of the government. She should be released immediately and unconditionally.”

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