China

Front Line Defenders, PEN International and Storyful host online forum to discuss the current situation of human rights defenders in Chinaposted on: 2013/12/16

16 December 2013
Press release

To mark the fifth anniversary of the detention of Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, Front Line Defenders, PEN International and Storyful host online forum to discuss the current situation of human rights defenders in China

Liu Xiaobo, a prominent intellectual, is a long-time advocate of political reform and human rights in China and an outspoken critic of the Chinese communist regime. Over the past two decades Liu has served nine and a half years in prison for his work defending human rights. He is currently four years into an 11 year sentence for “inciting subversion of State power” after he co-authored Charter 08, a manifesto calling for democracy and respect for human rights in China. Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, which he was unable to accept in person due to his imprisonment. Since the announcement of his award, his wife Liu Xia, an artist, has been forced to live under house arrest, largely isolated from the outside world. Liu Xia has not been accused, charged or convicted of any crime.

China: End of Reeducation Through Labour System?posted on: 2013/11/21

One of the outcomes of the recently concluded meeting of the Chinese Communist Party's top leaders was the pledge to abolish the much reviled reeducation through labour (RTL), or laojiao system. Many questions remain as to what the next steps will be.

China: Diary of a Disappearance – Detention (Part Two)

Liu Dejun is a Chinese human rights defender who began his human rights works by educating migrant workers in a factory in Guangzhou about their rights and Chinese labour laws. He was subsequently fired, after which he started to write essays about human rights and democracy for online publication. In 2007 he set up a NGO providing legal assistance and education to migrant workers and the following year he was detained for ten days after giving out leaflets in Guangzhou calling for political reform. In 2009 he turned his attention to the rights of petitioners in Beijing and was involved in a number of high profile human rights cases. In 2010 he was abducted by the police in the middle of the night, beaten up, driven a mountainous area in the suburbs of Beijing and dumped on a roadside. The artist Ai Weiwei later made a documentary (Chinese only) about these events.

Liu Dejun persisted in his human rights work and in 2011 he was one of dozens of human rights defenders who were disappeared in China following online calls, which originated overseas, for a Middle Eastern style Jasmine Revolution to take place in the country. Without any legal process and not facing any charges, he was held captive for six weeks, during which time he was verbally and physically abused. In the following series of 3 blog posts, published with the authors permission, he describes what happened to him from moment of abduction to release. These types of 'disappearances' are still a widely used method of silencing dissent in China and elsewhere and will be marked this week on Friday 30th of August on the International Day of the Disappeared.

Part One, Part Three

China: Diary of a Disappearance – The Abduction (Part One)

Liu Dejun is a Chinese human rights defender who began his human rights works by educating migrant workers in a factory in Guangzhou about their rights and Chinese labour laws.  He was subsequently fired, after which he started to write essays about human rights and democracy for online publication.  In 2007 he set up a NGO providing legal assistance and education to migrant workers and the following year he was detained for ten days after giving out leaflets in Guangzhou calling for political reform.  In 2009 he turned his attention to the rights of petitioners in Beijing and was involved in a number of high profile human rights cases.  In 2010 he was abducted by the police in the middle of the night, beaten up, driven a mountainous area in the suburbs of Beijing and dumped on a roadside.  The artist Ai Weiwei later made a documentary (Chinese only) about these events. 

Liu Dejun persisted in his human rights work and in 2011 he was one of dozens of human rights defenders who were disappeared in China following online calls, which originated overseas, for a Middle Eastern style Jasmine Revolution to take place in the country.  Without any legal process and not facing any charges, he was held captive for six weeks, during which time he was verbally and physically abused.  In the following series of 3 blog posts, published with the authors permission, he describes what happened to him from moment of abduction to release. These types of 'disappearances' are still a widely used method of silencing dissent in China and elsewhere and will be marked this week on Friday 30th of August on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

Part Two, Part Three

A great leap forward for human rights in China or maybe even just one small step?

15/03/2013 - This week the world’s most populous country is finalising a once-in-a-decade leadership transition which began in November 2012 .The conclusion of the National People's Congress will see Xi Jinping assume the position of President of China, and will usher in a new era in which China is expected to surpass the United States in terms of size of its economy.

China: Charge of 'inciting subversion of state power' brought against human rights defender Mr Zhu Chengzhi posted on: 2012/08/13

On 9 August 2012, the wife of human rights defender Mr Zhu Chengzhi, received official notice from the authorities in Shaoyang City, Hunan Province, that her husband was being charged with 'inciting subversion of state power'

Human rights lawyer Mr Chen Guangcheng escapes house arrest; brother and fellow human rights defender, Ms He Peirong, reportedly detainedposted on: 2012/04/27

Front Line Defenders would like to draw your attention to human rights lawyer Mr Chen Guangcheng's escape from house arrest and the detention of his brother, and fellow human rights defender, Ms He Peirong.

On 27 April 2012, it emerged that Chinese human rights defender and 'barefoot' lawyer Mr Chen Guangcheng had escaped the brutal house arrest which he and his family had been subjected to since his release from prison in September 2010. Chen Guangcheng's current whereabouts are unknown, although it has been stated by a reliable source that he is in a secure location. Chen Guangcheng is a blind, self-taught lawyer who has defended the rights of farmers, people with disabilities and women subjected to abuse. He was also active in exposing forced abortions and sterilizations in and around Linyi City in Shangdong Province.

A fellow human rights defender involved in Chen Guangcheng's escape, Ms He Peirong, released the news on a micro-blogging site on 27 April and was reportedly detained at her home in Nanjing city at approximately 11am that morning. There are no further details of her situation at present.

Gao Zhisheng - Currently missing in Chinaposted on: 2012/02/01

Human rights defender and self-taught lawyer Gao Zhisheng was named one of China's top ten lawyers by the Ministry of Justice in 2001. However, after beginning to investigate and draw attention to allegations of abuse against members of China’s religious minorities, he became subject to harassment, detentions and forced disappearances himself.

China: Sentencing of human rights defender Mr Li Tie to ten years imprisonment on charges of subverting state powerposted on: 2012/01/19

On 18 January 2012, human rights defender and writer Mr Li Tie was sentenced to ten years in prison on subversion charges based on articles published on-line in which he was critical of the Chinese government and called on people to defend their rights.

In the last ten years Li Tie has written a number of articles endorsing democratic reform and advocating for local elections.

On 18 January 2012, following a hearing which lasted approximately half an hour, Wuhan Intermediate People's Court sentenced Li Tie to ten years in prison for “subversion of State power”.