Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

China

    July 17, 2019

    Responding to the statement by a senior Google executive that the company has “terminated” plans to launch Project Dragonfly, its censored search engine for China, Joe Westby, researcher on technology and human rights at Amnesty Tech, said:

    “This is the first time that Google have so clearly confirmed that they have abandoned Project Dragonfly entirely. Its public walk-back on this disastrous project is good news and is in no small part thanks to the campaigning of hundreds of Google employees, 70 plus human rights organisations and thousands of people around the world who demanded the company respect human rights and ‘drop Dragonfly’.

    “However, this latest comment still falls short of committing to conclusively dropping its censored search engine for good. In reality Google’s position refusing to rule out working with China on such projects in the future has not changed.

    July 12, 2019

    This week, a group of 22 countries issued a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council expressing concern over the arbitrary detention, surveillance and other violations against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

    The statement calls on China to provide “meaningful access to Xinjiang for independent international observers, including for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights”.

    The record number of states standing up to China at the Council on their human rights record shows the mounting international concern over the mass detention of Uyghurs and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang.

    The countries that signed the statement include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    May 28, 2019

    The Chinese authorities must end a wave of persecution targeting those seeking to commemorate the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, Amnesty International said ahead of the 30th anniversary of the bloodshed. 

    Over recent weeks, police have detained, placed under house arrest or threatened dozens of activists who are seeking to mark the June 4 anniversary, as well as relatives of those killed.

    Hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters and civilians were killed when soldiers opened fire in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on 3–4 June 1989, as they sought to crush widespread protests calling for political reform.

    “Thirty years on from the Tiananmen bloodshed the very least the victims and their families deserve is justice. However, President Xi continues to read from the same tired political playbook, cruelly persecuting those seeking the truth about the tragedy in a concerted effort to wipe the June 4 crackdown from memory,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director of Amnesty International.

    May 09, 2019

    Transgender people in China are performing highly dangerous surgery on themselves and buying unsafe hormone treatments on the black market because it is almost impossible for them to access the health care they urgently need, Amnesty International said in a new report.

    “'I need my parents’ consent to be myself'- Barriers to gender-affirming treatments for transgender people in China” reveals that prevalent discrimination and stigma, restrictive eligibility requirements, and a lack of information, leave transgender people to seek unregulated and unsafe gender-affirming treatments.

    “China is failing transgender people. Discriminatory laws and policies have left many people feeling they have no choice but to risk their lives by performing extremely dangerous surgery on themselves and to seek unsafe hormone drugs on the black market,” said Doriane Lau, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    April 26, 2019

    Wei Zhili via Twitter

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 37/19 HERE

    Wei Zhili was transferred to secret incommunicado detention on 20 April 2019. Under this form of detention, he is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and does not get access to a lawyer of his choice.
     
    Wei Zhili is an editor of “New Generation” (xinshengdai) a website which monitors and reports on internal migrant workers in China. Police took him and another colleague away on 20 March amid a crackdown on students and activists advocating for workers’ rights. They produced no arrest or search warrant while they were searching his home in Guangzhou and questioning him before his arrest. 

    April 15, 2019

    Gao Zhisheng © Hu Jia

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 212/17 HERE

    Gao Zhisheng, a former prisoner of conscience and human rights lawyer, is subject to enforced disappearance. No information about his whereabouts is known since he was taken away from his home in Yulin City, Shaanxi, northwest China, on 13 August 2017. Gao Zhisheng previously shared his experience of repeated torture in detention as a result of his work, raising fears that he is at high risk of torture and other ill-treatment or even death.

    Gao Zhisheng, an activist and human rights lawyer, has not been seen or heard from since he was first reported missing by his family on 13 August 2017. He has been subject to enforced disappearance, raising fear of torture and other ill-treatment.

    April 09, 2019

    Responding to the guilty verdicts for “public nuisance” against nine leaders of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement protests in Hong Kong, Man-kei Tam, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong said:

    “Today’s guilty verdicts are a crushing blow for freedom of expression and peaceful protest in Hong Kong. The government has used vague charges in their relentless persecution of the Umbrella Nine.

    “The government is increasingly using prosecutions as a political tool to target peaceful activists, abusing the law to silence debate about sensitive issues such as Hong Kong democracy and autonomy. We urge the government to cease this chilling assault against people legitimately exercising their right to freedom of expression.”

    Background

    Among the nine activists convicted at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts are the co-founders of the “Occupy Central” campaign – legal scholar Professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, sociologist Professor Chan Kin-man and retired pastor Reverend Chu Yiu-ming. 

    April 01, 2019

    To see a loved one wrongfully detained is a painful ordeal. But to not know where they are detained, or if they are even alive at all, is even harder.

    This is the situation faced by hundreds of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic Muslim people living overseas while their relatives languish in Chinese political detention camps.

    To make matters worse, their desperate search for information is being hindered by their own family members still in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). This is not because those relatives don’t want to help; instead, it’s because they fear cooperating could mean they are the next ones sent to the notorious camps.

    “Transformation-through-education centres” is the euphemistic term the Chinese government prefers to use for these facilities. It claims the individuals held there receive “vocational training” to help them with their “radical thoughts”.

    Terrified to talk

    March 05, 2019

    Responding to reports by The Intercept that Google is still working on Project Dragonfly, its censored search engine for China, Anna Bacciarelli, AI and Big Data Researcher and Adviser at Amnesty Tech, said:

    “The lack of transparency around the development of Dragonfly is very disturbing. We continue to call on Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai to publicly confirm that it has dropped Dragonfly for good, not just ‘for now’. Our Secretary General Kumi Naidoo visited Google’s Mountain View office last week to reiterate our concerns over Dragonfly, including the apparent disregard for transparency and accountability around the project.

    “If Google is still developing Project Dragonfly, it’s not only failing on its human rights responsibilities but ignoring the hundreds of Google employees, 70+ human rights organisations and hundreds of thousands of campaign supporters around the world who have all called on the company to respect human rights and drop Dragonfly.”
     

    February 04, 2019

     The United Nations Human Rights Council should adopt a resolution establishing an international fact-finding mission to Xinjiang, the region of China where up to one million Turkic Muslims are being arbitrarily detained, a group of nongovernmental organizations said in a joint statement to UN member states today. During the next session of the Human Rights Council, from February 25 to March 22, 2019, the Council will consider the outcome report of China’s November 2018 Universal Periodic Review, at which Chinese officials denied allegations of grave human rights violations in Xinjiang.

    February 01, 2019

    Responding to a Hong Kong judicial review that upheld the government’s policy of forcing transgender people to undergo surgery before having their gender legally recognized, Man-kei Tam, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, commented:

     “Today’s judgment is a blow for the recognition of transgender people. It is a missed opportunity to address the discrimination transgender people in Hong Kong face.

    “No one should be forced to undergo gender affirming surgery in order to have their gender legally recognized. We urge the government to do the right thing and end this discriminatory and highly intrusive policy irrespective of today’s ruling.

    “The government should also swiftly introduce comprehensive legislation against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.”

    Background

    Henry Edward Tse, Q and R are three transgender men born female. They sought a judicial review after the government refused to legally recognize his gender unless he underwent gender affirming surgery. They feared such medical treatment would damage their health.  

    January 29, 2019

    Responding to the five-year prison sentence imposed by a Chinese court against Liu Feiyue, founder of human rights website “Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, for “inciting subversion of state power”, Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International, commented:

    “Today’s deplorable verdict against Liu Feiyue has nothing to do with justice. He is the latest victim of the Chinese government’s sustained assault against those defending human rights. He is a Prisoner of Conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.

    “Through his website, Liu Feiyue shone a light on the human rights violations faced by many people in China. But instead of addressing these abuses when they are exposed, the authorities have instead decided to unjustly silence Liu Feiyue.  He should not have been prosecuted nor spent a single day in prison for solely exercising his right to freedom of expression.” 

    Background

    January 28, 2019

    Responding to the 4 and a half years prison sentence handed down by a Chinese court to human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who was found guilty of “subverting state power”, Doriane Lau, China Researcher at Amnesty International, commented:

    “Today’s verdict is a gross injustice. It’s outrageous that Wang Quanzhang is being punished for peacefully standing up for human rights in China. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.

    “In the three years leading up to his sham of a trial, the authorities disappeared Wang Quanzhang into a black hole, where he was likely tortured. Wang’s family, who continue to be harassed by the authorities, didn’t even know if he was alive until recently. His continued imprisonment only prolongs their suffering.”

    Background

    Wang Quanzhang was the last lawyer awaiting a verdict in connection with the Chinese government’s mass crackdown in 2015, which targeted nearly 250 human rights lawyers and activists.

    January 24, 2019

    Responding to the Chinese authorities’ confirmation that Australian-Chinese writer Yang Hengjun has been detained on suspicion of “endangering national security”, Joshua Rosenzweig, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International commented:

    “The Chinese authorities have serious questions to answer over the detention of Yang Hengjun, but it could be months before we find out anything more about his condition or what they’re accusing him of doing.

    “If it’s true that Yang is being held under ‘residential surveillance in a designated location’, then there is cause for serious concern over his wellbeing. Facing up to six months in incommunicado detention at an unknown location with no contact with the outside world, Yang Hengjun is at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

    “These conditions are simply unacceptable. We urge Chinese officials to be transparent, disclose where he is held and grant Yang Hengjun immediate access to both a lawyer of his choosing and Australian consular officials. There are no excuses for the Chinese authorities to deny Yang these rights.”

    January 23, 2019
    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 7/19 HERE

    Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian national, was sentenced to death after he was convicted of drug trafficking at his re-trial. 

    First arrested on 3 December 2014, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment by the Dalian Municipal Intermediate People’s Court on 20 November 2018. Schellenberg subsequently appealed the verdict. The Liaoning High People’s Court heard his case on 29 December 2018 and considered new evidence. It ordered a full retrial on the grounds that the 15-year sentence was too lenient. The Dalian Municipal Intermediate People’s Court held a retrial on Schellenberg’s case on 14 January 2019. He was found guilty of a more serious drug-related offence, and sentenced to death. Announcing a death sentence at the same time of the conviction instead of on a later date was unprecedented, according to Mo Shaoping, a partner of the law firm representing Schellenberg.

    Pages

    Subscribe to China
    rights