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    February 01, 2018
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    This is Tashi Wangchuk. He is from Tibet, a region of China.

    Before the government put him in detention in January 2016, he was a shopkeeper. Now he is a prisoner of conscience (POC).

    POCs are people in jail whose beliefs and actions have not been violent. Amnesty International believes that all POCs should be free. 

    Here is why Tashi is a POC.

    Tashi has a niece and a nephew. Although they are Tibetans, they cannot use their own language. In 2015, he looked for classes where they could learn Tibetan.

    He visited five schools in three provinces. He was sad to find that the Chinese government does not value Tibetan and that teachers in all the schools are using Chinese.

    Language is one of the most important ways to keep a culture alive. So Tashi decided to go to Beijing, China’s capital city, to campaign for students’ opportunity to learn Tibetan in schools. 

    The New York Times newspaper made a video about his efforts. It is called “A Tibetan’s Journey for Justice”. 

    January 04, 2018

    The trial today of a Tibetan language education activist, who could face up to 15 years in jail for “inciting separatism”, has exposed how ludicrously unjust the case against him is, Amnesty International said.

    December 26, 2017
    Reacting to the news that human rights activist Wu Gan received his verdict and was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment on 26 December in Tianjin, while human rights lawyer Xie Yang had his trial reconvened and was found guilty but exempt from punishment in Changsha on the same day, Amnesty International’s China Researcher Patrick Poon said:   “It is disgraceful that the Chinese authorities have chosen the day after Christmas to deal with two of the remaining people left in legal limbo from the unprecedented July 2015 crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists. Carrying out unfair trials and politicized sentencing of human rights defenders at the very time when diplomats, journalists, international observers and the general public are less likely to be able to respond reeks of a cynical political calculation”.   “By trying to avoid scrutiny from the press and the international community, the Chinese government betrays the fact it knows well these sham trials cannot withstand scrutiny”.  
    December 13, 2017
    Photo: Liu Xia and her husband Liu Xiaobo © Private

    Photo: Liu Xia and her husband Liu Xiaobo © Private

    Download PDF of UA 270/17 China

    270 China.pdf

    Liu Xia, a poet, an artist and the widow of late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, wrote a letter expressing her deep depression and loneliness under house arrest. According to reports, she received surgery in recent months to remove uterine fibroids. No direct contact with her has been allowed, nor confirmation of her whereabouts, since her husband’s death in July.

    November 30, 2017

    The Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China today released an Open Letter calling Prime Minister Trudeau to place human rights at the top of his agenda during his visit to China this week, including by rigorously pursuing human rights protections in discussions related to trade and by firmly calling for the release of prisoners of conscience – including 16 individuals with close Canadian connections - unjustly imprisoned in the country.

    November 27, 2017
    Interested in the rights of women in China? Take action in support of Ni Yulan during the Write for Rights letter-writing marathon.

    By Lü Pin, Chinese Feminist Activist

    The tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men spurred millions of women to speak up online about their disturbing experiences.

    Ten years after African American activist Tarana Burke coined #MeToo after meeting a victim of sexual violence, the social media campaign is an unexpected victory for the women’s movement. Due to the bravery of these women the offenders may finally be held to account.

    November 08, 2017

    The passing of Chinese writer and government critic Yang Tongyan underlines an alarming lack of accountability for the pattern of deaths of activists released on medical parole, Amnesty International said.

    Yang Tongyan, 56, passed away on Tuesday, according to his close friends. The prominent activist spent nearly half his life in detention and was released in August on medical parole. He underwent an operation to remove a brain tumour on 23 August.

    “Yang Tongyan was a peaceful champion of human rights and democracy, who made a huge personal sacrifice to stay true to his principles. The authorities feared the power of his writing and did all they could to silence him. He should never have spent a single day in jail let alone nearly half his life,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International.

    October 04, 2017

    Poet Wu Mingliang, better known by his pen name “Langzi”, and Peng Heping were released on 22 September after being criminally detained since August. It is believed Wu Mingliang’s detention was was related to poems that he had helped produce that commemorated Liu Xiaobo.

    Wu Mingliang was released on bail on 22 September 2017 after having been criminally detained at Haizhu District Detention Centre in Guangzhou on suspicion of “illegal business operations” since 18 August 2017. 

    Wu Mingliang’s lawyer and friends believe that he was detained due to his involvement in producing an anthology of poems in memory of Liu Xiaobo, who had passed away on 13 July 2017. Wu Mingliang was administratively detained for 10 days on 1 July 2017 after co-signing a letter of support of the detained Liu Xiaobo. During that time he was repeatedly asked by the police about an anthology of poems he took part in writing, editing and compiling to commemorate Liu Xiaobo, the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

    August 30, 2017
    Nathan VanderKlippe

    By Nathan VanderKlippe

    Amnesty note: On August 23 Nathan VanderKlippe called Amnesty in Toronto to contact a member of the Uighur Society in Canada. A few minutes later he was arrested.

    Late in the evening of Aug. 23, I drove a rented car to Elishku township in Yarkand County. Within 15 minutes of arrival, police began to arrive. Local villagers, I believe, had reported my presence. I was escorted to a local government office, where I was questioned by the local party secretary, police chief, officials from the propaganda department and local waiban, as well as agents from the Ministry of State Security. When police demanded to look through my photographs, I called my contact at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who after a lengthy phone call said the local officials would only heed his intervention if he sent a formal document. As it was midnight by this time, this was not a feasible option. My MFA contact, however, said the local officials had agreed to only look at and not delete photographs. I showed them my pictures. They did not delete any, largely because there were none to delete.

    August 11, 2017

    Almost 70,000 people from across the world have urged China’s President to lift all restrictions and end the harassment against poet and artist Liu Xia, one month after the death of her husband, Nobel Peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo.

    Liu Xia has not been heard of since her husband’s hastily arranged funeral ceremony and sea burial on 15 July. Prisoner of Conscience, Liu Xiaobo, passed away in custody two days earlier.

    In an open letter to President Xi Jinping, nearly 70,000 people call on the Chinese authorities to lift all arbitrary restrictions against Liu Xia, and ensure she can travel freely.

    “Liu Xia is being cruelly punished for never giving up on her wrongfully imprisoned late husband,” said Lisa Tassi, East Asia Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International.

    “Liu Xia’s immeasurable loss is being callously compounded by the Chinese authorities’ vindictive and illegal attempt to silence her. Our message to President Xi is clear: end the harassment and free Liu Xia now.”

    July 14, 2017

    Chinese authorities must end their callous assault against human rights activists and free all those still imprisoned for solely exercising their right to freedom of expression, said Amnesty International, ahead of the expected release of prominent social activist Xu Zhiyong.  

    Xu Zhiyong is due to be released from prison on Saturday, 15 July after completing a four year jail sentence. In January 2014, he was convicted of “gathering a crowd to disturb order in a public place” following more than six months in pre-trial detention.

    “Xu Zhiyong’s release is long overdue. His conviction was a sham and he should never have spent a single day in jail for simply exercising his right to freedom of expression,” said Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    In recent years, activists have been released from prison, or on bail, only to find themselves under intense surveillance and round-the-clock monitoring by unidentified security personnel or thugs.

    “The authorities must not continue to harass or intimidate Xu Zhiyong or his family, and instead let him again enjoy the freedom that was unjustly taken from him.”

    July 13, 2017

    Valiant Human Rights Defender and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo passed away as a result of liver cancer July 13, 2017.

    He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in 2009 for "inciting subversion of state power". He was recognized by Amnesty International as a Prisoner of Conscience. He was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May and despite repeated requests from Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia, the Chinese authorities refused to let them travel abroad for treatment.

    Liu Xia, artist, poet, and human rights defender, has been forced to stay at home under heavy surveillance and subjected to intimidation by the Chinese authorities, ever since Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

    Her crime? She refused to stop trying to release her wrongfully imprisoned husband.

    With the passing of Liu Xiaobo it’s time the Chinese authorities stop cruelly punishing Liu Xia.

    She has been kept in isolation since October 2010, and she has suffered from psychological stress, anxiety and depression as a result.

    July 13, 2017


    Nobel Prize Winner leaves a lasting legacy for China

    Chinese authorities announced today that Liu Xiaobo, human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has passed away.

    Information on Liu Xiaobo’s ill health, who was suffering from terminal liver cancer, was released only after he became too ill to recover. Several Western countries have previously asked that Mr. Liu be allowed to seek treatment abroad. The request was refused. Worse yet, he was kept under guard in a hospital and kept silenced.

    Because of his demand for greater human rights in China, he was branded as a criminal by the Chinese government. 

    Liu Xiaobo developed a conviction for the cause of democracy and human rights after witnessing the brutal government crackdown of the peaceful protest in Tiananmen Square in 1989. He once said, “as a survivor of the Tiananmen Square Democracy movement, I feel that I have a duty to uphold justice for those who died in the event.”

    July 13, 2017

    By Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    “Do you think the Chinese government will release him now?” In the piercing cold of a December night in Oslo, the same question kept coming. I had just attended the ceremony to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned human rights advocate, literary critic, and thorn in the side of the Chinese government.

    Vehemently denounced by the Chinese government as “a farce”, the ceremony had movingly paid tribute to that simple truth: that words are not crimes. Freedom of expression, as Liu Xiaobo had himself told the court a year earlier, was “the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity, and the mother of truth.” The court sentenced him to 11 years behind bars.

    While I was buoyed by the homage the world was paying to his courage, I also knew that the real battle was only beginning: would the international community exert enough pressure on the Chinese authorities to sway them to release Liu Xiaobo?

    July 13, 2017

    Responding to the news that Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo has passed away, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International commented:

    “Today we grieve the loss of a giant of human rights. Liu Xiaobo was a man of fierce intellect, principle, wit and above all humanity.

    “For decades, he fought tirelessly to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms in China. He did so in the face of the most relentless and often brutal opposition from the Chinese government. Time and again they tried to silence him, and time and again they failed. Despite enduring years of persecution, suppression and imprisonment, Liu Xiaobo continued to fight for his convictions.

    “Although he has passed, everything he stood for still endures. The greatest tribute we can now pay him is to continue the struggle for human rights in China and recognize the powerful legacy he leaves behind. Thanks to Liu Xiaobo, millions of people in China and across the world have been inspired to stand up for freedom and justice in the face of oppression.

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