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    December 22, 2015

    The three year suspended prison sentence handed down against human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang is a deliberate attempt by the Chinese authorities to shackle a champion of freedom of expression, Amnesty International said today.

    On Tuesday, a court in Beijing sentenced Pu Zhiqiang to three years in prison, suspended for three years, for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and “inciting ethnic hatred”. The conviction was primarily based on seven social media posts, in total approximately 600 characters, in which Pu criticized government officials and polices.

    “Clearly it is positive that Pu Zhiqiang is unlikely to spend another night in jail, yet that cannot hide the gross injustice against him. He is no criminal and this guilty verdict effectively shackles one of China’s bravest champions of human rights from practicing law,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    December 15, 2015

    Tech firms must reject the Chinese authorities’ efforts to influence global internet governance in ways that would curb freedom of expression and exacerbate human rights abuses, Amnesty International said ahead of China hosting a major internet summit.

    President Xi Jinping is expected to address senior executives of global tech firms attending the three-day World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, eastern China, which starts on Wednesday.

    The Chinese government runs one of the world’s most repressive internet censorship regimes. The authorities continue to use vaguely-worded laws to arbitrarily target individuals for solely exercising their right to freedom of expression online. Since President Xi Jinping came to power, hundreds of people have been detained solely for expressing their views online.

    “Under the guise of sovereignty and security, the Chinese authorities are trying to rewrite the rules of the internet so censorship and surveillance become the norm everywhere. This is an all-out assault on internet freedoms,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    December 11, 2015
    Delayed trial of renowned human rights lawyer due to start on Monday Amnesty International’s human rights experts on China available for interview

    The Chinese authorities must end their persecution of prominent human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, Amnesty International said, ahead of his trial which is set to begin on Monday in Beijing.

    According to his lawyers, Pu Zhiqiang faces up to eight years in prison on the charges of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and “inciting ethnic hatred”, primarily on the basis of seven social media posts, in total around 600 characters, in which he criticized the government.

    “The chances of Pu Zhiqiang receiving a fair trial are close to zero. He is being punished solely for standing up to the Chinese government in his courageous defence of human rights,” said Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    November 27, 2015

    The six-year prison sentence against leading Chinese human rights campaigner Guo Feixiong for his peaceful advocacy of human rights and political reforms is a clear-cut act of political persecution, said Amnesty International today, as it called for his and two other activists immediate and unconditional release.

    Guo Feixiong, 48, the better-known pen-name of writer and human rights advocate Yang Maodong, was convicted of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, by a court in Guangzhou, southern China.

    Fellow activists, Liu Yuandong, 37, and Sun Desheng, 32, were sentenced to 3 years and 2 and a half years in prison respectively after being found guilty of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place”.

    “It’s a dark day when people advocating for press freedom and democracy are subjected to torture and other ill-treatment and sentenced to lengthy prison terms after sham trials,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    November 11, 2015

    Released  22:01 GMT Thursday 11 November 2015

     China’s criminal justice system is still heavily reliant on forced confessions obtained through torture and ill-treatment, with lawyers who persist in raising claims of abuse often threatened, harassed, or even detained and tortured themselves, Amnesty International said in a new report released today.

    The report, No End in Sight, documents how criminal justice reforms hailed as human rights advances by the Chinese government have in reality done little to change the deep-rooted practice of torturing suspects to extract forced confessions. Attempts by defence lawyers to raise or investigate torture claims continue to be systematically thwarted by police, prosecutors and the courts.

    “In a system where even lawyers can end up being tortured by the police, what hope can ordinary defendants have?” said Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    October 29, 2015

    Chinese women will remain at risk of intrusive forms of contraception and coerced or forced abortions, despite the authorities announcing a change to the country’s decades-long one-child policy, Amnesty International said today.

    State media reported today that all urban married couples will now be allowed to have two children instead of one.

    “The move to change China’s one-child policy is not enough. Couples that have two children could still be subjected to coercive and intrusive forms of contraception, and even forced abortions – which amount to torture,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “The state has no business regulating how many children people have. If China is serious about respecting human rights, the government should immediately end such invasive and punitive controls over people’s decisions to plan families and have children.”

    October 19, 2015

    The Hong Kong authorities must uphold international standards of fair trials in the two cases involving Ken Tsang Kin Chiu, a protester who was beaten and kicked by seven police officers during the pro-democracy protests last year, said Amnesty International today.

    The seven policemen were suspended shortly after the incident and formally charged last Thursday, 15 October, exactly a year after the incident. That same day, Ken Tsang was formally arrested and charged as well, for allegedly having assaulted police officers and resisted arrest in an incident that took place about 10 minutes before the beating took place, in what the Hong Kong Department of Justice said was a “different” case.

    “The government is trying to draw attention away from this important case of police accountability through what many see as the politically-motivated timing of Ken Tsang’s simultaneous arrest and prosecution” said Mabel Au, director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.

    September 27, 2015

    Released: 16:01 GMT Sunday 27 September, 2015

    The Chinese authorities must immediately release eight mainland activists detained for supporting last year’s pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, Amnesty International said on the first anniversary of people taking to the streets in the city.

    Five of the activists, Su Changlan, Chen Qitang, Wang Mo, Xie Wenfei and Zhang Shengyu, have since been formally arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”. A sixth person, Sun Feng, has been indicted with the same crime. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

    Two others, Ji Sizun and Ye Xiaozheng, could face up to five years in prison on the charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. Ji Sizun faces an additional charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place”, which also carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

    September 25, 2015

    Released: 00:01 GMT Saturday 26 September

    The Chinese government must stop repressing female activists if it is serious about advancing women and girls human rights, Amnesty International said ahead of a United Nations meeting of world leaders on gender equality co-hosted by China and UN Women.
    President Xi Jinping is due to chair the meeting on women’s empowerment this Sunday at the UN in New York, despite the Chinese authorities still detaining at least 11 women human rights activists and persecuting scores more since he came to power.

    In the past two years, the Chinese authorities have also shutdown three women’s rights NGOs as part of a wider crackdown against civil society.

    “It is hypocritical of President Xi Jinping to use the world stage to proclaim the importance of women’s human rights while the Chinese authorities continue to throw in jail women fighting for these rights,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    September 22, 2015

    Released 00:01 GMT Wednesday 23 September

    American tech companies seeking access to China’s domestic market must not turn a blind eye to the country’s severe internet-related human rights abuses, Amnesty International said ahead of a meeting between China’s President Xi Jinping and top US tech firms on Wednesday.

    Senior executives from Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft are expected to attend the US-China Internet Industry Forum in Seattle, which is part of President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to the USA.

    “US tech firms need to put people and principles before profit, and defend internet freedom. They must not turn a blind eye to China’s online repression in order to gain access to the lucrative Chinese market,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “If US tech firms get into bed with the Chinese government, they may end up being complicit in the imprisonment of people who are solely exercising their right to free expression online.”

    August 05, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT  6 August 2015

    The Chinese authorities must immediately ensure imprisoned journalist Gao Yu receives all necessary medical care, Amnesty International said, after her lawyer disclosed she is critically ill and is being denied appropriate treatment.

    In April, Gao Yu, 71, was sentenced to seven years in prison on the spurious charge of “disclosing state secrets". Amnesty International considers her a prisoner of conscience, solely imprisoned for challenging the views of the government.

    "The authorities are showing a callous disregard for Gao Yu’s health. Denial of medical care is a reckless way to achieve her silence,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    “Withholding medical treatment for activists in detention and prison in order to weaken or punish them is a tried and tested tactic. The Chinese authorities must immediately end this unlawful and inhumane practice.”

    The authorities have a history of denying appropriate medical care to detained and imprisoned human rights activists and government critics.

    July 31, 2015

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should ensure that the 2022 Winter Olympics do not cause or exacerbate human rights abuses in China, the Sport and Rights Alliance said today after the capital, Beijing, won its bid to host the event.

    Beijing beat a rival bid from the Kazakh city of Almaty after the Norwegian capital, Oslo, dropped out earlier in the race. The announcement was made at the IOC’s 128th session in Kuala Lumpur.

    The Sport and Rights Alliance is a coalition including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation, FIFPro – World Players’ Union, Football Supporters Europe, Terre des Hommes, and Transparency International Germany. The Alliance seeks to ensure that host countries of mega-sporting events respect human rights, child rights and labour rights, the environment, and anti-corruption requirements at all stages of the process – from bidding through construction and preparations to host events as well as during events themselves.


    July 11, 2015

    The Chinese authorities must end their assault on human rights lawyers, Amnesty International said on Saturday, after more than 50 lawyers and activists were targeted by police in a nationwide crackdown.

    3.30pm [Beijing time] Monday 13 July   Total number of lawyers and activists targeted: 101  
      Total number of lawyers and activists still missing or in police custody: 25   TAKE ACTION

    Prominent human rights lawyers Li Heping and Sui Muqing are among at least 20 people feared detained. All the individuals missing since the crackdown began on Thursday 9 July are well-known for their work on human rights cases.

    July 01, 2015

    The Chinese government must immediately repeal a new national security law that gives the authorities sweeping powers to crack down on and suppress human rights, Amnesty International said.

    China's legislature today passed the law which defines "national security" in broad and vague terms, covering areas including politics, culture, finance and the internet.

    "The definition of 'national security' under the law is virtually limitless. The law gives a blank cheque to the government to punish and monitor anyone it does not like - human rights activists, government critics and other opposition voices," said Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International's Regional Director for East Asia.

    "The law clearly has more to do with protecting the Communist Party's control of the country than with national security. The leadership of the Party and its monopoly on political power is explicitly listed as being part of 'national security' in the law."

    June 18, 2015

    The Chinese government must release and drop all charges against three human rights campaigners about to be tried on state security charges for publishing books on democracy and activism, Amnesty International said today.

    Tang Jingling, Yuan Xinting, and Wang Qingying will be tried by Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court on Friday for “inciting subversion of state power”, a state security charge regularly levelled against human rights activists and peaceful critics of the Communist Party’s monopoly on power. They each face up to five years imprisonment.

    “This trial is another dark day for freedom of expression in China. It has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with arbitrarily silencing critics of the government,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Anything other than these men walking free will amount to a gross injustice.”


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