Freedom of Expression
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.”
The government of Tanzania should end its hostile rhetoric toward civil society groups and threats to obstruct their work, 18 national and international nongovernmental organizations said today. The comments have targeted groups helping pregnant girls finish their education and those working to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
The organizations shared the concerns raised in a joint statement by 25 Tanzanian organizations reaffirming their support for re-entry to school for adolescent mothers.
The Bangladesh authorities must make every effort to trace the whereabouts of and recover a prominent writer who has been abducted and may have been subject to an enforced disappearance, Amnesty International said today.
Farhad Mazhar, a prominent columnist, poet and political analyst, was taken from outside his home at approximately 5am this morning by a group of unidentified people. Half an hour later, his wife, Farida Akhtar, received a haunting phone call from Farhad, when he is reported to have told her: “They are taking me away, I’m afraid they will kill me.”
“The Bangladesh authorities must make every effort to locate Farhad Mazhar, bring him back to safety and hold the perpetrators accountable,” said Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director.
“Far too many people have gone missing in Bangladesh over recent years without any further news of their fate. The government must end impunity for these abuses.”
Hong Kong’s political leaders must show they are prepared to fiercely resist pressure from President Xi Jinping to further erode human rights in the city, Amnesty International said, as the Chinese President arrived to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.
“Hong Kong’s political leaders need to step up and show they won’t bend to Beijing’s pressure. They must be prepared to defend the city’s cherished human rights and freedoms and the rule of law that were guaranteed as part of the handover deal,” said Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.
Carrie Lam, who will be sworn in as Hong Kong’s new chief executive this weekend, has so far shown no appetite to stand up to Beijing when it comes to human rights.
There are reports banners critical of the Chinese government will be removed by police during President’s Xi visit to avoid causing “embarrassment”.