China

China:leading human rights defender Gao Zhisheng released after 3 years posted on: 2014/08/08

Front Line Defenders welcomes the release of one of China’s most prominent human rights activists, Gao Zhisheng who has been released after three years in jail, although it remains unclear whether he will be subject to ongoing surveillance that would limit his future human rights activities.

Update: China – Human rights defender Mr Ilham Tohti finally granted access to lawyer, who reveals he was deprived of food for ten daysposted on: 2014/06/27

On 26 June 2014 human rights defender Mr Ilham Tohti, who has been in custody for over five months, was finally permitted to see his lawyer, Mr Li Fangping. The lawyer reported that the human rights defender was deprived of food for ten days during his detention.

Tiananmen 25: More than a Symbolic Legacy

(Visit the China campaign site for more interviews with Tiananmen student leaders)

Twenty five years ago today, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) demonstrated the extent to which it would go in order to face down any challenges to its power or legitimacy.

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'