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    March 18, 2020

    Responding to the effective expulsion of journalists working for three major US newspapers in China, the Head of Amnesty International’s China team, Joshua Rosenzweig, said:

    “This shameful assault on freedom of expression targets journalists who have uncovered the reality of numerous human rights violations in China, from Xinjiang to Hong Kong. These publications have also been among those providing in-depth investigations into Wuhan’s COVID-19 outbreak.

    “This latest escalation of the tit-for-tat row between Beijing and Washington threatens to severely undercut the flow of accurate and independent information from China. At a time when the world needs to work together to combat the devastation wrought by the virus, the banishment of these journalists could potentially have grim public health consequences – globally and within China.

    March 17, 2020

    Li Qiaochu © Private

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 28/20 HERE

    Li Qiaochu, an active defender of the rights of women and workers, was taken away by police in Beijing on 16 February 2020. No copy of her detention notice has been provided to her family. They do not know what charges she is being held under. 

    Detained in an unknown location, the detention of Li Qiaochu is suspected to be related to her activism against gender violence and the fact that her partner, Xu Zhiyong, attended an informal gathering of lawyers and activists in Xiamen in December 2019. Without access to her family and a lawyer of her choice, there are grave concerns that Li Qiaochu is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

    March 03, 2020

    Gui Minhai via Twitter

    DOWNLOAD THE PDF OF UA 21/18 HERE

    Bookseller Gui Minhai was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and deprivation of political rights for five years on the charge of “illegally providing intelligence to foreign entities” on 24 February 2020. Without access to his family, a lawyer of his choice and consular officials, there are grave concerns for his health and that Gui Minhai is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. 

    Gui Minhai appears to have been tried and convicted in secret, denying him any chance of a fair trial. Despite the claim that he handed over ‘intelligence’ while in their custody, it appears that his conviction is primarily based on his attempted trip to Beijing with two Swedish diplomats in 2018.

    Without any further information provided, the court notice also stated that Gui Minhai had reapplied for Chinese citizenship in 2018. This would mean he could not rely on his Swedish citizenship any longer. As Gui Minhai has been held in custody since 2015, the true intention of this decision cannot be verified. 

    February 20, 2020

    Spokespeople available for interview

    China is systematically harassing Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic groups even after they have left the country, according to new testimonies gathered by Amnesty International.

    The case studies, published online today, reveal how China targets members of the Uyghur and other diaspora communities across the globe through pressure from its embassies abroad, as well as through messaging apps and threatening phone calls.

    “These chilling accounts from Uyghurs living abroad illustrate how the far-reaching shadow of repression against Muslims from China extends far beyond its borders,” said Patrick Poon, Amnesty International’s China Researcher.

    “Even when Uyghurs and members of other minorities flee persecution in Xinjiang, they are not safe. The Chinese government will find ways to reach them, to intimidate them and, ultimately, attempt to bring them back to face a grim fate – including by pressuring other governments to return them.”

    February 17, 2020

    Responding to the arrest of prominent Chinese activist and legal scholar Xu Zhiyong, who has been targeted since attending a meeting of human rights lawyers and activists and who recently criticized President Xi Jinping over the coronavirus crisis, Amnesty International’s China Researcher Patrick Poon said:

    “The detention of Xu Zhiyong shows that the Chinese government’s battle against the coronavirus has in no way diverted it from its ongoing general campaign to crush all dissenting voices and its ruthless assault on freedom of expression.

    “Xu has been in the authorities’ sights ever since he attended a meeting of human rights activists in Xiamen in December, and he has since criticized President Xi’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

    “He now joins the several others who have been targeted for investigation by the authorities for attending the Xiamen meeting and who currently languish in detention under constant risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

    February 07, 2020

    Responding to the death of Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who was reprimanded by Wuhan police after he tried to issue the first warnings about the novel coronavirus and was then diagnosed with the virus himself, Amnesty International’s Regional Director Nicholas Bequelin said:

    “The case of Li Wenliang is a tragic reminder of how the Chinese authorities’ preoccupation with maintaining ‘stability’ drives it to suppress vital information about matters of public interest.

    December 18, 2019

    By Nicholas Bequelin, Regional Director at Amnesty International

    Mesut Ozil’s social media post about the political situation in Xinjiang has prompted an angry response from the Chinese authorities. The Arsenal footballer’s accusation that China is persecuting the predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority has been dismissed by Beijing as “fake news”. Meanwhile, a Gunners match was pulled from the state TV schedule and Chinese football fans have reportedly burned Arsenal shirts in protest at the player’s comments.

    Amnesty International has extensively documented the situation in Xinjiang over the past several years. We have interviewed more than 400 people outside of China whose relatives in Xinjiang are still missing, as well as individuals who said they were tortured while in detention camps there. We also collected satellite photos of the camps and analysed official Chinese documents that detail the mass-internment programme. This is what is really happening:

    December 09, 2019

    Responding to a claim by a Chinese government official that all people held at so-called “vocational education centres” in Xinjiang have “graduated” and achieved “stable employment” and “happy lives”, Nicholas Bequelin, Regional Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “While this may sound like progress, it’s more likely just the Chinese propaganda machine’s latest attempt to shift the narrative on its horrendous human rights violations in Xinjiang in the face of growing international condemnation.

    “If Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities are really being released from these repressive detention camps, then the onus is on the Chinese government to prove it.

    “Otherwise the claim that former ‘trainees’ are now in ‘stable employment’ leaves them at an extremely high risk of being subjected to forced labour.

    November 25, 2019

    Responding to another leak of official Chinese government documents (labelled “The China Cables”) detailing the framework for facilities that led to abuses of hundreds of thousands of predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in detention camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang), Amnesty International’s Campaigns Director for East Asia, Lisa Tassi, said:

    “China’s continued denial of the existence of detention centres in Xinjiang grows ever more futile in the face of ever-mounting evidence. This latest leak is yet further proof of its systematic persecution of ethnic and religious minorities in China on a sickeningly vast scale.

    “The abuses described in these leaked documents match the harrowing testimony Amnesty International has received from former detainees of mass internment camps in Xinjiang, as well as from relatives of those still missing.

    September 18, 2019

    Antonio Guterres should publicly and unequivocally condemn the Chinese authorities’ abusive policies in Xinjiang and call for an immediate closure of camps containing an estimated one million Turkic Muslims, a coalition of five human rights groups, including Amnesty International, said in a letter to the UN Secretary-General.

    “In the words of Mr Guterres himself, human rights are universal regardless of race, beliefs or location. We are asking him to apply that principle to the one million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims who continue to be arbitrarily detained by the Chinese authorities in so-called ‘political education camps’ in Xinjiang,” said Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

    “Mr Guterres’ private diplomacy on this issue is clearly not working. He must immediately speak out publicly against the persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang or he will forever be remembered for failing hundreds of thousands of people in this crucial moment.”

    September 10, 2019

    Tashpolat Tiyip receives an honorary doctorate from the Sorbonne in November 2008 © Nury Teyip

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 119/19 HERE

    Fears are mounting that the Chinese authorities will imminently carry out the execution of Tashpolat Tiyip. He is a prominent Uyghur academic who was convicted in a secret and grossly unfair trial. He has been arbitrarily detained since he was subjected to an enforced disappearance in 2017. His current whereabouts remain unknown.   
     
    Tashpolat Tiyip was the President of Xinjiang University when he was forcibly disappeared two years ago while travelling to Germany with a group of students for a conference. He was convicted of “separatism” in secret and grossly unfair proceedings and sentenced to a “suspended death sentence”. While this includes the possibility of commutation after two years’ imprisonment if no other crimes are committed, he now also faces the possibility of imminent execution.   

    Please send a fax, email or letter to the president.

    August 13, 2019

    By Teng Biao – Legal scholar and friend of Gao Zhisheng

    Gao Zhisheng is a prominent human rights lawyer in China. Over the years, he has been persecuted, kidnapped and sentenced to prison. In August 2017, he went missing again and has not been seen since.

    In 2004, I noticed an open letter to the National People’s Congress calling attention to the issue of Falun Gong, a religious group in China. By then, practitioners of Falun Gong had been subjected to large-scale persecutions for five years, but nobody dared to speak up for them. It was very courageous for a lawyer to openly speak about the issue, so I took note of his name: Gao Zhisheng.

    August 12, 2019

    Amnesty International, PEN Canada and Toronto Association for Democracy in China are pleased to announce the unveiling of the Liu Xiaobo Empty Chair Memorial on:

    Date:               Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 2 p.m.

    Location:        Amnesty International, 312 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa

    Speakers:

    Setsuko Thurlow, recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons;

    Wang Juntao, political activist and friend of Liu during the 1989 pro-democracy movement;

    Ti‑Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Binzhang, political prisoner and founder of Chinese pro-democracy movement overseas;

    Senator Con Di Nino

    Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

    Richard Stursberg, Chair, PEN Canada

    Winnie Ng, Chair, Toronto Association for Democracy in China

    July 30, 2019

    Responding to claims by senior Chinese officials that they have released the majority of ethnic minority Muslims being held in detention camps in northwest China, Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and South-East Asia said:

    “China is making deceptive and unverifiable statements in a vain attempt to allay worldwide concern for the mass detentions of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

    “We have received no reports about large scale releases – in fact, families and friends of people who are being detained tell us they are still not able to contact them.

    “Given China’s record of heavy censorship, outright falsehoods and systematic obfuscation about the situation in Xinjiang, it remains imperative that UN human rights investigators, independent observers and the media be given unrestricted access to the region as a matter of urgency.” 

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