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    May 02, 2014

    At least six media workers have been detained since the turn of the year as Myanmar authorities are stepping up a disturbing crackdown on freedom of expression and jailing new prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International said ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May.

    “The crackdown on free media in Myanmar is a deeply worrying attempt to silence dissenting views. It casts doubt on the government’s promises to improve respect for human rights,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director.

    “We are seeing a continuation of the practice of arresting and detaining human rights defenders and peaceful political activists – a hallmark of the country’s previous military government.”

    “Myanmar must immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience including the six media workers who have been detained this year. The authorities should scrap or amend draconian legislation that restricts the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”

    March 13, 2014

    The Chinese authorities must immediately release the founder of a human rights website who has been detained following a police raid on his home, said Amnesty International.

    Huang Qi, founder of the website 64 Tianwang, was taken away by 11 police officers in Chengdu, in south west China, at around 3pm on Thursday. Police also seized computers, mobile phones and USB sticks.

    The detention is the latest in a series of raids in the past week against individuals that write for 64 Tianwang. All have been accused of "picking quarrels and provoking troubles”.

    William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International commented:

    “There now appears to be a concerted campaign of intimidation by the Chinese authorities against those associated with the 64 Tianwang website. Once again the authorities have shown their intent to stifle debate on human rights within China."

    “These are spurious charges against Huang Qi and others detained solely for their work for 64 Tianwang. They must be immediately released.”

    March 11, 2014

    The Chinese authorities must immediately release three citizen journalists detained since the weekend for highlighting a security crackdown in Beijing for the annual parliamentary session currently under way, said Amnesty International.

    Liu Xuehong, Xing Jian and Wang Jing, - who all write for the Chinese website 64 Tianwang - were taken away by police in separate raids in Beijing over the weekend.

    “Journalism is not a crime and these three activists should be released immediately,” said William Nee China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Their detention shows the disturbing lengths the authorities are willing to go to control the message during the National People’s Congress.”

    The three citizen journalists have been criminally detained on suspicion of "picking quarrels and provoking troubles”. All had been reporting on the plight of petitioners near Tiananmen Square.

    Scores of petitioners are being prevented from protesting as part of a security crackdown during the National People’s Congress  China’s annual parliamentary session which began last Wednesday and runs for 10 days.

    In the submission prepared for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Iran in October-November 2014, Amnesty International noted the following concerns:
     

    Executions, including of juvenile offenders, carried out in violation of international standards for fair trial. Torture and other ill-treatment in detention centres continue to be committed with impunity, Violence against women and girls, Discrimination on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, ethnic identity or religious belief. Religious and ethnic minorities. Criminalization of Adult same-sex sexual conduct. Undue restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, affecting in particular human rights defenders, trade unionists, women’s rights activists, journalists and student activists, Control of universities, including by limiting academic freedoms.

    Read the full report here

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