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    June 05, 2015

    Ablikim Abdiriyim was released from prison on May 31, 2015, after completing his sentence and is now safe with his family.

    His deteriorating health and the harsh prison conditions, which included torture and solitary confinement, in China makes his release even more welcome.

        Rebiya Kadeer 

    Like his mother, prominent Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer, Ablikim was in prison for defending the rights of the Uighur minority in China. And like her, the Chinese authorities threw him in jail for standing up for human rights. And they hurt him, tortured him, in part to punish Rebiya for all her activism. Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience and campaigned tirelessly demanding his release.

    Rebiya said that she believes efforts by the international community helped to protect him during his detention:

    June 04, 2015
    Gao Yu journalist and prisoner of conscience

    By William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International. On twitter @williamnee

    26 years have passed since the tragic days in 1989 when thousands of peaceful pro-democracy protesters were brutally repressed in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

    But even though the tanks have long left the city’s infamous square, President Xi Jinping, appears as determined to quash anyone perceived as challenging the Communist Party’s hegemony.

    When President Xi took office in late 2012, he declared power would be put “in a cage”, but it is the independently minded academics, journalists, lawyers, and rights activists that have been thrown in jail.

    We are witnessing one of the darkest periods for freedom of expression in China since the bloodshed of 1989.

    June 02, 2015

    The Chinese authorities must drop a fundamentally flawed draft NGO law that would put a hold on civil society and have severe consequences for freedom of expression and association in the country, Amnesty International said.  

    In a submission to China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s Legislative Affairs Commission, Amnesty International highlights major shortcomings in the draft Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations Management Law that would stifle civil society and breach China’s international human rights obligations.

    “This chilling draft NGO law is a very real threat to the valuable and legitimate work of independent civil society groups. The authorities would have unchecked power to target organizations, restrict their activities, and ultimately choke civil society,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International. 

    The law is the latest in a series of repressive measures by the government to consolidate control. New regulations announced on 30 May, go so far as to require all domestic civil society organizations to have a Communist Party group.

    May 15, 2015

    The Chinese authorities must end their persecution of prominent human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, and drop all charges against him, Amnesty International said.

    Pu Zhiqiang was indicted on the charges of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and "inciting ethnic hatred" by Beijing prosecutors on Friday, primarily on the basis of online comments he made. If convicted he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

    “The charges against Pu Zhiqiang are another act of political persecution. The chances of him receiving a fair trial are close to zero,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “He did nothing more than comment on current affairs on social media. The Chinese government is blatantly violating his freedom of expression and attempting to silence an independent voice.”

    Pu Zhiqiang was originally detained by police on 6 May 2014, after he attended a seminar in Beijing that called for an investigation into the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

    April 27, 2015

    April 23, 2015

    "I believe my sister would not be alive today if it were not for all the people in China and across the world that spoke up for her. I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all the Amnesty International supporters everywhere who expressed concern and offered help to my sister, her life has been saved as a result"

    -Li Dehuai, brother of Li Yan 

    We are pleased to share the good news that the death sentence on Li Yan has been overturned!

    Li Yan had been sentenced to death in China for killing her abusive ex-husband. Her sentence is now commuted to the death sentence with a two-year reprieve. Under the Chinese law, death sentences with a two-year reprieve should be commuted to life imprisonment upon the expiration of the two-year period, as long as the prisoner does not commit another crime during the period of suspension.

    April 24, 2015

    The Chinese authorities are sending mixed messages over domestic violence as they commute the death sentence of a woman that killed her violent husband but continue to persecute five women’s rights activists, said Amnesty International on Friday.

    Li Yan, 44, was given a two year reprieve by a court in Sichuan province, in southwest China. The death sentence is expected to be commuted to a prison term after two years of good behaviour. The change comes after the Supreme People’s Court ordered an unprecedented retrial last June. 

    “The reprieve for Li Yan could prove a landmark verdict for future cases where domestic violence is a mitigating factor. With her case, the highest court in China has sent a clear message that judges must not ignore domestic violence,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Yet, the continued persecution of five young activists that campaign to prevent violence against women casts a dark shadow on this ruling.”

    April 17, 2015

    Meet, from left to right, members of China’s Women’s Rights Action Group Wu Rongrong, Wei Tingting, Li Tingting, Wang Man and Zheng Churan © Private. 

    These five Chinese activists decided to mark International Women’s Day in 2015 by launching a campaign against sexual harassment. They had made stickers to distribute, printed with slogans like “Go police, go arrest those who committed sexual harassment!” This was not their first event organized to raise public awareness on gender equality issues. They had staged “Occupy the Men’s Toilets” to challenge the lack of public facilities for women, and had attended demonstrations in wedding dresses spattered with red ink to protest domestic violence.

    April 17, 2015

    The sentencing of the highly respected journalist Gao Yu to seven years in jail by a Chinese court is an affront to justice and an attack on freedom of expression, Amnesty International said on Friday.

    Gao Yu, 71, was found guilty by a court in Beijing of the spurious charge of “disclosing state secrets”. Her trial in November was held behind closed doors. Her lawyer has said she will appeal against the sentence.

    “This deplorable sentence against Gao Yu is nothing more than blatant political persecution by the Chinese authorities. She is the victim of vaguely worded and arbitrary state-secret laws that are used against activists as part of the authorities’ attack on freedom of expression,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Gao Yu is a prisoner of conscience, solely imprisoned for challenging the views of the government. She should be released immediately and unconditionally.”

    April 13, 2015

    The Chinese government must drop all charges against each of the five women activists released on bail late on Monday, Amnesty International said today.

    Arrested for campaigning against sexual harrassment

    The five activists - Wei Tingting, Wang Man, Wu Rongrong, Li Tingting and Zheng Churan - arrested and detained on 7 March for planning to mark International Women’s Day by launching a campaign against sexual harassment.

    “The decision to release all five women is an encouraging breakthrough,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “The authorities must now follow through and drop all charges and restrictions against the women.”

    March 20, 2015

    Huseyin Celil (also known as Husein Dzhelil or Huseyincan Celil) is a member of China's Uighur minority and a human rights activist.

    In the 1990s, he suffered persecution and detention in China for his work advocating for the religious and political rights of the Uighur people.

    He left China and eventually made his way to Turkey, where he was recognized as a refugee by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Mr. Celil was resettled to Canada in 2001 and became a Canadian citizen in November 2005.

    March 12, 2015

    The Chinese authorities must immediately drop charges and release five women activists who were detained for calling for an end to sexual harassment, Amnesty International said.

    The five women - Wei Tingting, Wang Man, Li Tingting, Zheng Churan and Wu Rongrong -were criminally detained on Thursday for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” If convicted each face a maximum of five years in prison.
    “Demanding that women are not sexually harassed is in no way a criminal act,” said William Nee, Amnesty International China Researcher.

    “The charges against all five women should be dropped and the women immediately and unconditionally released. The Chinese authorities should be working with these women to address sexual harassment, not persecuting them.”

    The women have been detained since last Saturday when they were taken into police custody ahead of events they had planned for International Women’s Day on 8 March. All five women are now believed to be held at Haidian Police Station in Beijing.

    March 03, 2015

    The proposed new anti-terror law in China would be a targeted assault on freedom of religion and expression, as well as the rights of ethnic minorities, Amnesty International warned.

    Despite recent revisions, the draft law has virtually no safeguards to prevent those who peacefully practice their religion or simply criticize government policies from being persecuted on broad charges related to “terrorism” or “extremism”.

    The National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s annual parliamentary session which starts on Thursday, is expected to rubber-stamp the latest draft of the law.

    “China has a duty to protect people from violent attacks but this draconian law is not the answer. National security is being used as a pretext to further attack religious freedom and silence government critics,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    Anyone suspected of “terrorist” activities could also see their freedom of movement severely restricted, and be subjected to so-called “education” measures or other forms of arbitrary detention.

    February 04, 2015

    Police in China must end the crackdown against hundreds of supporters of a man on trial for killing two members of a demolition gang that stormed into his home and beat his family in a violent forced eviction, Amnesty International said.

    On Wednesday, dozens of police officers were deployed to block more than 300 supporters of Fan Mugen from attending the start of his trial at Suzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in eastern China.

    Fan Mugen claims he acted in self-defence. However he is charged with ‘intentional injury’ which can carry a death sentence. The case has captured the imagination of people across China, where violent forced evictions remain a significant issue.

    “Forced evictions are the cause of widespread discontent across China. Supporters of Fan Mugen are entitled to support him and speak out about the trial and must not be prevented from doing so by police,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    December 02, 2014

    An act of kindness transformed Liu Ping from a factory worker into a passionate anti-corruption activist in China. Her daughter, 22-year-old Liao Minyue, tells their story.


    Kind hearted

    My mother, Liu Ping, was just an ordinary Chinese woman with a kind heart.

    Liao Minyue's mother, Liu Ping, is in jail for trying to expose corruption in China © Private

    We were very close. I chose to live with her after my parents divorced about 10 years back. We never fought, not even once. We used to go to the markets to collect old and unwanted vegetables for food. It never once struck me as anything to be ashamed of. On the contrary, those were warm and intimate times, because we were together.

    November 20, 2014

    Trials of two leading activists on Friday will lay bare the Chinese authorities’ duplicity over the rule of law, Amnesty International said. 

    Gao Yu, 70, a highly respected journalist, is accused of sharing state secrets and could face a life sentence if convicted at her trial in Beijing, which is being held behind closed doors.

    In a separate case on the other side of the country, in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, prominent Uighur academic Ilham Tohti, 45, is due to learn the outcome of his appeal against a life sentence for “separatism”, handed down on 23 September. Both cases have been marked by serious legal failures including the use of torture and other ill-treatment.

    “If Gao Yu and Ilham Tohti were to receive genuinely fair hearings, the charges against them would be dismissed as blatant political persecution,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.  


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