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    November 06, 2014

    November 5, 2014

    The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
    Prime Minister of Canada
    Office of the Prime Minister
    80 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

    Re:  Visit to China

    Dear Prime Minister,

    We are a Coalition of Canadian organizations across the country concerned about human rights in China.   We are writing to urge that during your official visit to China over the coming days, in advance of next week’s APEC Leaders’ Meeting, you, and Ministers and other Canadian officials travelling with you, raise the issue of human rights during bilateral meetings with Chinese leaders and other events and opportunities.

    October 01, 2014

    The Chinese authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all those detained for peacefully showing support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, said Amnesty International.

    At least 20 people have been detained by police in several cities in mainland China over the past two days for posting pictures online with messages of support for the protesters, shaving their heads in solidarity, or for planning to travel to Hong Kong to participate in the protests.

    A further 60 have been called in for questioning by the authorities, known as being 'invited for tea'.

    "The rounding up of activists in mainland China only underlines why so many people in Hong Kong fear the growing control Beijing has in their city's affairs," said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.

    "The fundamental freedoms being exercised by hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong continue to be denied to those in mainland China."

    Police are known to have detained people in Beijing, Jiangsu, and the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, which are close to Hong Kong.

    October 01, 2014
    By Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International in Hong Kong.

    The streets of Hong Kong are hard to recognize these days. The exhilarating energy filling the city’s main roads, crowded with hopeful protesters, is something I have not seen since I was a young student back in 1989, when we took to the streets in solidarity with the Tiananmen protesters.

    But not even then had so many people taken to the streets in Hong Kong – nor had the police’s response been so brutal.

    What started as a student protest around a week ago has now taken over large parts of Hong Kong, with citizens claiming nothing but to be allowed to have a say on how their city is run, and by whom.

    September 23, 2014

    The life sentence handed down by a Chinese court to prominent Uighur academic Ilham Tohti on charges of “separatism” is an affront to justice, Amnesty International said.

    “This shameful judgement has no basis in reality. Ilham Tohti worked to peacefully build bridges between ethnic communities and for that he has been punished through politically motivated charges,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Tohti is a prisoner of conscience and the Chinese authorities must immediately and unconditionally release him.”

    Through his work as an academic and writer, Tohti has tried to build mutual understanding between Uighurs and Han Chinese in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), amid rising ethnic tensions in the region. He founded the website Uighur Online and is an outspoken critic of Beijing’s policies in the XUAR.

    Police arrested Tohti, along with seven Uighur students, in January this year.  He has been tortured in detention, was denied food for 10 days and shackled for more than 20 days.

    September 22, 2014
    A guard passes by an exhibition board during the China International Exhibition on Police Equipment Anti-Terrorism Technology (CIPATE) in Beijing May 2009© Feng Li/Getty AFP

    Originally issued 00:01 BST  23 September 2014

    The flourishing trade, manufacture and export of tools of torture by Chinese companies is fuelling human rights violations across Africa and Asia, new research by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation reveals.

    The new report - China’s Trade in Tools of Torture and Repression - shows there are now more than 130 Chinese companies involved in the production and trade of potentially dangerous law enforcement equipment – compared to only 28 Chinese companies a decade ago.

    Some of the devices openly marketed by these companies – including electric shock stun batons, metal spiked batons, and weighted leg cuffs – are intrinsically cruel and inhumane and therefore should immediately be banned.

    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.

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