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    November 15, 2016
           Global tech leaders to attend World Internet Conference, Wuzhen, China 16 – 18 November.        Amnesty International’s experts on online censorship and privacy in China and the new Cyber Security Law available for interview from Hong Kong.

    Leaders from the tech industry gathering in Wuzhen, China, this week for the third World Internet Conference, should send a clear message to the Chinese government that they are not prepared to be complicit in the widespread abuse of the rights to freedom of expression and privacy.

    The conference comes a week after China’s legislature rubber-stamped a draconian new Cyber Security Law which would require any tech company operating in China to undertake unprecedented levels of censorship and pass on personal information to the authorities with insufficient safeguards to protect freedom of expression and the right to privacy.

    November 10, 2016

    In response to the appointment of China's Vice Minister of Public Security, Meng Hongwei, to head global police agency Interpol, Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International commented:

    "The appointment of Meng Hongwei is alarming given China's long-standing practice of trying to use Interpol to arrest dissidents and refugees abroad. It seems at odds with Interpol's mandate to work in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    "There now needs to be close scrutiny of the kind of notices that Interpol issues at the request of the Chinese government."

     

    November 07, 2016

    The Chinese government must immediately repeal a new cyber-security law that gives the authorities carte blanche to curb the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy, said Amnesty International.

    On Monday, China’s legislature passed the law which defines “cyber-security” in broad and vague terms, and requires internet companies to be complicit in censorship and share personal information of users with the authorities with virtually no safeguards.

    “The new cyber-security law tightens the authorities’ repressive grip on the internet. It goes further than ever before in codifying abusive practices, with a near total disregard for the rights to freedom of expression and privacy,” said Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “This dangerous law commandeers internet companies to be de-facto agents of the state, by requiring them to censor and provide personal data to the authorities at a whim.”

    October 11, 2016

    Ilham Tohti was selected by a jury of 10 global Human Rights organizations (See list below). The Award is given to Human Rights Defenders who have shown deep commitment and face great personal risk. The aim of the award is to provide protection through international recognition. Strongly supported by the City of Geneva, the Award will be presented on Oct. 11th.

    Ilham Tohti (China)

    A renowned Uyghur intellectual in China, Ilham Tohti has worked for two decades to foster dialogue and understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese. He has rejected separatism and violence, and sought reconciliation based on a respect for Uyghur culture, which has been subject to religious, cultural and political repression in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

    September 05, 2016

    The G20 Hangzhou Summit Declaration calling for greater “burden-sharing” to address the refugee crisis reveals how little most G20 countries have done to share responsibility so far, said Amnesty International today.

    There are currently 27 countries in the world with regular programmes for resettling refugees. Only 9 of them are in the G20. Amongst the G20 only Canada has shown genuine openness on resettlement, taking in 25,000 refugees from Syria since late 2015 and indicating it will take more.  Germany’s strong stance, accepting over a million refugees, was unmatched by other European members of the G20.

    August 30, 2016

    The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
    Prime Minister of Canada
    80 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, Ontario   K1A 0A2

    Dear Prime Minister,

    We write this Open Letter to you as members of the Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China,[1]  urging that you make a determined effort to raise key human rights cases and recommendations at every opening during your upcoming visit to China. 

    This trip – your first as Prime Minister – comes at a critical time, as China faces serious human rights challenges throughout the country.  There has been a concerted, deepening clampdown on human rights lawyers and activists and intensified measures to curtail freedoms of expression, association and assembly.  These are worrying indications of a deteriorating climate for human rights protection in the country. 

    August 26, 2016

    As the Prime Minister begins his first trip to China, the Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China is releasing an Open Letter, documenting serious human rights concerns and laying out recommendations for human rights reforms in China.  The Coalition has also urged the Prime Minister to press for freedom for thirteen prisoners.

    The Prime Minister’s first trip to China comes at a critical time.  There has been a clampdown on human rights lawyers and activists and intensified measures to curtail freedoms of expression, association and assembly.  These are indications of a deteriorating climate for human rights protection in the country.   

    Event:             Press Conference

    Speakers:      Sonam Chokey, National Director, Students for a Free Tibet Canada

                         Gloria Fung, Director, Canada-Hong Kong Link 

    August 04, 2016

    The Chinese authorities must end their relentless suppression of human rights lawyers and activists, Amnesty International said today, after a prominent lawyer became the latest to be convicted after an unfair trial.

    On Thursday, Zhou Shifeng was sentenced to seven years in prison after being found guilty of “subverting state power”, following a trial that lasted less than a day at Tianjin No.2 People’s Court in north east China.

    On Wednesday this week, democracy activist Hu Shigen was sentenced to seven-and-a half-years for “subverting state power”, and on Tuesday activist Zhai Yanmin was given a three-year prison sentence, suspended for four years, after being convicted of the same charge.

    “This wave of trials against lawyers and activists are a political charade. Their fate was sealed before they stepped into the courtroom and there was no chance that they would ever receive a fair trial,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    July 07, 2016

    Chinese authorities must end their ruthless assault against human rights lawyers and activists, Amnesty International said ahead of the first anniversary of the start of an unprecedented crackdown.

    At least 248 human rights lawyers and activists were targeted during the nationwide sweep which began on 9 July 2015. One year on, 18 17 individuals caught up in the onslaught remain detained, eight nine of whom could face life imprisonment after being charged with “subverting state power”.

    “Human rights lawyers have faced the full wrath of China’s secretive machinery of repression. The detained lawyers must be released and this systemic assault against individuals defending the rights of Chinese people must end,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    “President Xi Jinping has the gall to claim the Chinese government upholds the rule of law even when lawyers face life in jail for trying to do just that.”

    April 28, 2016

    The Chinese government must scrap a new law aimed at further smothering civil society, Amnesty International said today.

    China’s National People’s Congress adopted on 28 April a fundamentally flawed law governing Foreign NGOs and their domestic partners. The new law will have severe consequences for freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, which are already sharply curtailed under existing laws and policies.

    “The authorities – particularly the police – will have virtually unchecked powers to target NGOs, restrict their activities, and ultimately stifle civil society,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International. 

    “The law presents a very real threat to the legitimate work of independent NGOs and should be immediately revoked.”

    The law is the latest in a raft of legislation aimed at bolstering government power under the guise of national security and at the cost of human rights. A sweeping National Security Law, passed in July 2015, defines “national security” in such broad and vague terms that the authorities are essentially given carte blanche.

    March 30, 2016

    March 2016 marks the 10th year that Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil has spent in a Chinese prison.

    As Prime Minister Trudeau prepares for a trip to China later this year, he must raise Huseyin Celil’s case with the Chinese authorities and call for his release.

    Huuseyin Celil, an ethnic Uighur, was imprisoned and abused while in prison in China in the 1990’s. He fled the country with his wife and they were resettled to Canada as refugees.  He became a Canadian citizen in 2005.  Huseyin Celil was detained by the Uzbek authorities and deported to China in 2006 while on a family visit to Uzbekistan.

    Amnesty International believes Huseyin Celil is imprisoned because of his advocacy on behalf of the rights of the Uighur minority group in China. He was originally sentenced to death, which was commuted to life in prison in 2007.  This sentence was further reduced, to less than 20 years in February 2016.  A reduction in his prison term is not enough.  Huseyin Celil has never had a fair trial and must be released from prison.  

    March 25, 2016

    The Chinese authorities must call off their manhunt against those it believes are behind the publication of a letter calling on President Xi Jinping to resign, Amnesty International said, after it was revealed close family members of a prominent dissident are the latest to have been detained.

    Chinese blogger and government critic, Wen Yunchao, 45, who currently lives in New York, said on Friday that his mother, Qiu Qiaohua, 65, father, Wen Shaogan, 72, and younger brother Wen Yun’ao, 41, were taken away by police in Guangdong province, southern China on 22 March.

    Police are believed to have detained at least 20 people in connection to publication of an open letter criticizing President Xi. This includes 16 people who work for Wu Jie News, the website which published the letter earlier this month, who the BBC reported on Friday have been detained.

    “The authorities should call off the political hounding of those suspected to be behind the open letter and release all those detained in connection with it,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    March 06, 2016

    Chinese women’s rights activist Su Changlan has been in prison since October 27, 2014. She was held incommunicado for months. In February 2017, the court extended the deadline for issuing its verdict for the fourth time. Meanwhile, Su Changlan continues to be held in deplorable, cramped conditions while her health deteriorates. At times she has been denied access to her family and lawyer.  Her brother and husband were arrested and detained for a month simply for advocating on her behalf. She has conducted weekly hunger strikes since November 2016 and plans to do so until a verdict is issued in her case.  

    So what is Su Changlan’s ‘crime’? “Inciting subversion” for making online posts in support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. It is believed that the charges against her are partly due to her activism on women’s rights issues. She is now paying a terrible price for her peaceful work and faces life imprisonment.

    February 05, 2016

    The Chinese authorities are showing total contempt for due process and the rule of law in the case of five detained Hong Kong booksellers, Amnesty International said, after police in Guangdong in southern China confirmed that three of the men missing since last October are in their custody and being investigated.

    Guangdong police confirmed late on Thursday that Lui Por, Cheung Chi-ping and Lam Wing-kee are suspected of “illegal activity”. The Hong Kong publishing company that the men work for, Mighty Current Media, is known for its books on Chinese leaders and political scandals, which are banned in China but are popular with mainland Chinese tourists visiting Hong Kong.  

    “The latest official disclosures about the last three missing book publishers are anything but satisfactory. The Chinese authorities need to end their smoke and mirrors strategy and come clean with a full and proper explanation,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    January 29, 2016

    Three Chinese human rights campaigners who were handed jail sentences on Friday for publishing books on democracy and activism are the latest victims of politically motivated “national security” charges used to silence government critics, Amnesty International said.

    Tang Jingling, 44, Yuan Xinting, 44, and Wang Qingying, 31, were convicted by Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court for “inciting subversion of state power”, and were sentenced to five years, three-and-a-half years and two-and-a-half years in jail respectively.

    “Today’s verdict against the three activists is a gross injustice. Their peaceful and legitimate work never threatened state security, this is solely about the authorities arbitrarily silencing government critics,” said Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “The authorities appear to be stepping up the use of spurious “national security” charges as they escalate their attack against human rights activists and peaceful critics of the government’s abuse of power.”

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