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    August 22, 2014

    The rare acquittal of a death row prisoner in China, who had languished in prison through six years’ of appeals, is another reminder of the need to immediately end all executions and abolish the death penalty in the country, Amnesty International said.

    Nian Bin, a former food stall owner, walked free today after a Fujian court acquitted him of "placing dangerous materials" due to insufficient evidenceafter he had lodged three appeals in six years.

    “This rare acquittal is yet another vivid example of why the death penalty should be abolished, and the ever present risk of executing innocent people is just one of many compelling arguments against the death penalty,” said Anu Kultalahti, Amnesty International’s China Researcher.

    “China’s justice system is deeply flawed and more needs to be done to promptly address the failures of this case, including allegations of torture. It’s appalling that Nian Bin and his family have had to suffer through six years with the threat of execution hanging over him despite the obvious lack of evidence in this case. ”

    July 14, 2014
    In a landmark decision the Supreme Court in China has overturned the death sentence of Li Yan for the murder of her violent husband after enduring months of domestic abuse.

    Li Yan, from Sichuan province in Southwest China, was sentenced to death in August 2011 for the murder of her husband Tan Yong, in late 2010. She was facing imminent execution after previous appeals had failed.

    Li Dehuai, Li Yan’s brother, received news that earlier in May the Supreme Court had sent the case back to the Sichuan Provincial High People’s Court for a retrial.

    The court's decision is a rare reversal on the back of intense pressure internationally and within China to commute Li’s sentence. We highlighted Li Yan’s case as an Urgent Action and our SMS Action Network sent 11,011 messages to the Chinese authorities urging them not to implement her death sentence.

    Thank you to everyone who took action and stood up for Li Yan.

    June 24, 2014

    The decision by China’s Supreme People’s Court to overturn the death sentence of a woman convicted of killing her husband after suffering months of domestic abuse, highlights the urgent need for the authorities to do more to prevent violence against women, said Amnesty International.

    Li Yan, 43, from Sichuan province in Southwest China was sentenced to death in August 2011 for the murder of her abusive husband, Tan Yong, in late 2010. Li Yan’s brother received news that the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Sichuan Provincial High People’s Court for a retrial in May.

    "Justice was never going to be served by executing Li Yan. The decision by the Supreme Court to overturn her death sentence is significant and the right course of action," said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    June 19, 2014

    Three anti-corruption activists have been imprisoned today simply for exercising their freedom of expression and assembly and should be released immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International said.

    Liu Ping and Wei Zhongping were sentenced to six and a half years’ imprisonment by the Yushui District Court in Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province, while Li Sihua was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

    All three of them were originally charged with “illegal assembly” – which was later changed to the more serious charge of “picking quarrels and creating a disturbance”. Liu Ping and Wei Zhongping were additionally charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” and “using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement”.

    June 18, 2014

    The secret trial of a prominent Uighur scholar on charges of “separatism” makes a mockery of China’s claims to be a country based on the rule of law, Amnesty International said.

    Prominent Uighur scholar, Ilham Tohti, who was arrested in January 2013, has reportedly been secretly tried by a court of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps – a semi-military organization - according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP). If convicted he faces anything from 10 years to life in prison, or even the death penalty.

    “If these reports about a ‘secret trial’ prove to be true, this will truly be another dent in China’s facade of being a country based on the rule of law. Tohti has been held incommunicado for the past six months with no access to lawyers in clear breach of international human rights law,” said William Nee, Amnesty International’s China Researcher.

    June 13, 2014

    The Chinese authorities must drop spurious charges against a prominent human rights lawyer and immediately release him, said Amnesty International.

    Pu Zhiqiang was formally arrested on 13 June for “picking quarrels” and “illegally obtaining personal information”. He was originally detained by police on 6 May after he attended a seminar in Beijing that called for an investigation into the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

    “These are trumped up charges against Pu Zhiqiang. The Chinese authorities must end the witch-hunt against those championing the rights of others and immediately release Pu," said William Nee, Amnesty International’s China Researcher.

    "It was a deeply disturbing sign when Pu was first detained. The past month has seen a widespread campaign of repression with the authorities going further than in previous years, both in terms of who has been targeted and the harsh measures being used.”

     

    For further information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter,
    Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    June 06, 2014
    By Trini Leung, Director for East Asia at Amnesty International.

    I’ll never forget the morning of June 2, 1989. I was living in Hong Kong and, together with a few fellow activists, we decided there was nowhere else to be but Beijing, near Tiananmen Square. It was a decision that changed my life.

    We took a flight to Beijing, and within hours found ourselves surrounded by thousands of Chinese men and women, young and old, activists, students and workers – all making history in Tiananmen Square. They were there defying one of the world’s most powerful governments, armed with nothing but words, courage and determination to stand by the students who had for weeks been demonstrating for more open and accountable governance.

    The atmosphere in the square was electric – unlike anything I had ever experienced – as groups of students, workers and other ordinary citizens engaged in lively debates about corruption, freedom, their rights and the country’s leadership.

    Continue reading this blog on CNN.com

    June 04, 2014

    The tragic events of the 1989 demonstrations in Beijing hold special resonance for Ti-Anna Wang. Born the same year, she was named after the Tiananmen Square protests. Her father was an ardent pro-democracy campaigner living in exile in Montreal, Canada since the early 1980s.

    June 04, 2014

    Originally published by Amnesty International UK

    It is our duty to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen protests and crackdown, as Amnesty and as ordinary people outside china. We should do it because we can.

    The opening phrase of a book, The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi, an Italian Jewish chemist and writer who survived the holocaust, has always stuck with me; it quotes a letter from a Nazi soldier who said that the victims of the holocaust would not get to write the history of the holocaust, because they would not exist. History belongs to the victor.

    In a recent poll of students in China, only 1 in 10 was able to identify an image which, for the rest of the world, is iconic. There are few global events with which an image is as entrenched as the Tiananmen protests is with ‘Tank Man’.

    June 03, 2014

    On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, Amnesty International has documented a further 30 activists that have been persecuted as the Chinese authorities attempt to suppress those that seek to commemorate the victims of 4 June 1989.

    Those targeted in the past few days include Luo Xi, who was a student activist in 1989, who has been criminally detained and Bao Tong, 81, a former political aide to the late Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang, who opposed the crackdown in 1989. Bao has been forced to leave Beijing.

    At least 66 people have now been detained by the Chinese authorities in connection to the Tiananmen anniversary.

    “The past few days have seen the Chinese authorities ratchet up the repression. They appear willing to stop at nothing in their attempts to prevent people from marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown. They have gone further when compared to past years including the 20th anniversary, with more people criminally detained this time,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    June 02, 2014

    The arrest of artist Guo Jian is just the latest in a string of detentions and harassment of activists ahead of the Tiananmen Square protest anniversary.© Hong Kong Alliance

    The Chinese authorities must end the severe persecution against all those attempting to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, said Amnesty International after a Chinese born Australian artist became the latest to be detained for giving a media interview on the crackdown.

    Police in Beijing took away Guo Jian, 52, shortly after publication of an interview he gave to the Financial Times.

    “Guo Jian is the latest victim of the Chinese authorities’ merciless campaign of repression ahead of the Tiananmen anniversary. He along with the scores of others detained for peacefully speaking out about the bloodshed of 1989 must be immediately released,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.
    “This current wave of detentions ahead of 4 June is harsher than in recent years.”

    May 30, 2014

    Tuesday June 3, 2014, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

    10:00 am – Press Conference, Charles Lynch Room, Centre Block
    10:30 am – Commemoration Reception, Room 505 Victoria Building, 140 Wellington Street

    On the 25th anniversary of the brutal crackdown of student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, three Canadians will present their first-hand accounts of the events in the square that night at a 10:00 am press conference at Charles Lynch hosted by David Sweet, MP on Parliament Hill.  They will be introduced by Cheuk Kwan, Chair, Toronto Association for Democracy in China and will bear witness to a massacre that the Chinese government is anxious to erase from our memory.

    Ms. Liane Lee 李蘭菊, representative of the Hong Kong Federation of Students in 1989
    Mr. Yuguo Chen 陳育國, lecturer in political science at Beijing University in 1989
    The Hon. Jim Munson, CTV Beijing Bureau Chief in 1989

    The press conference will be followed by a 10:30 am commemoration reception hosted by the Hon. Consiglio Di Nino at 505 Victoria Building. They will be joined by:

    May 29, 2014

    The deplorable mass sentencing of 55 people at a stadium in China’s north-western Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region [XUAR] is no solution to addressing public security fears, said Amnesty International.

    Fifty five people, believed to be mostly Muslim Uighurs, were sentenced for terrorism, separatism and murder. Three were sentenced to death.

    “Those responsible for the recent violent attacks have shown a callous disregard for human life and must be held to account. But speedy show trials will not deliver justice for the victims. Hastily sentencing people after unfair trials will only exacerbate tensions in the region,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.

    The sentencing took place in front of more than 7,000 people, state media reported on Wednesday. 

    All of those sentenced are believed to be at risk of torture in detention. The local Communist Party leader, Zhang Chunxian said recently that suspected criminals should be “severely punished” before trial.

    May 27, 2014

    The widespread persecution of activists in the run-up to the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown exposes the lie behind President Xi Jinping’s claims to be delivering greater openness and reform, said Amnesty International.

    Dozens of activists have been detained, placed under house arrest or questioned by police in recent weeks for attempting to commemorate the hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters and civilians who were killed or injured in the crackdown.

    “The 25th Tiananmen anniversary was a critical test for President Xi’s claims to be delivering greater openness. But Xi has opted for repression over reform,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, who is in Hong Kong this week to pay his respects to the victims of 4 June. 

    “The response by the Chinese authorities to the 25th anniversary has been harsher than in previous years, as they persist with trying to wipe the events of 4 June from memory.”

    May 08, 2014

    The Chinese authorities are using trumped-up charges to target a prominent journalist who has been detained for disclosing state secrets, said Amnesty International.

    Gao Yu, 70, is accused of sharing a ‘secret’ document with editors of a foreign website in August last year, Chinese state media reported on Thursday.

    “Gao is the latest victim of China’s vaguely worded and arbitrary state secret laws which the authorities repeatedly use as a smokescreen to target activists,” said Anu Kultalahti, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    Gao is an outspoken campaigner for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. The past week has seen several prominent activists arrested ahead of the 25th anniversary of the crackdown on 4 June.

    “The timing of Gao’s detention is highly dubious and raises serious questions as to the authorities’ true motives,” said Kultalahti.
    Gao’s friends became concerned for her whereabouts when she failed to turn up to an event to commemorate the Tiananmen crackdown. State media have since confirmed that she was detained on 24 April.

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