Status of Chinese People

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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
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    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
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    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
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    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Dissident’ Category

Chinese dissident

Chinese citizens sent to mental hospitals by government to quiet dissent

Posted by Author on December 29, 2011


ZHENGZHOU, China – The electric acupuncture needles stung her scalp, and the drugs bloated her weight, gave her heart palpitations and brought on premature menopause.

But Wu Chunxia consented to the treatments at the psychiatric hospital because if she didn’t, she knew she would be strapped to her bed and left vulnerable to assaults from violent inmates.

“It was worse than hell in there,” says Wu, 37, of the Henan provincial psychiatric hospital in Xinxiang. “I feared I would be strangled at night by other patients.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Dissident, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese citizens sent to mental hospitals by government to quiet dissent

As world hesitates, China stands firm on dissent crackdown

Posted by Author on May 26, 2011


BEIJING(AFP) — The international community’s mixed response to China’s crackdown on dissent — ranging from public criticism to total silence — has handed Beijing leeway to maintain its hard line, experts say.

Since Chinese authorities, apparently spooked by the pro-democracy uprisings sweeping the Middle East, began detaining lawyers, artists and other activists in February, a parade of Western leaders have met with Beijing’s top brass.

Some have slammed China over the clampdown — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this month called it a “fool’s errand”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Beijing, China, Dissident, Law, News, People, Politics, World | Comments Off on As world hesitates, China stands firm on dissent crackdown

What is driving China’s thuggish approach to foreign relations?

Posted by Author on November 8, 2010


Ian Buruma, guardian.co.uk, 7 November 2010 –

It must be galling for the Chinese government to keep seeing Nobel prizes go to the wrong Chinese.

The first wrong Chinese was Gao Xingjian, a critical playwright, artist, and novelist, who received the Nobel prize for literature in 2000, while living in exile in Paris. The latest is Liu Xiaobo, a literary critic and political writer, who was awarded this year’s Nobel prize for peace while serving a prison sentence for “subversion” of the Communist regime. Since the Dalai Lama is not a Chinese citizen, I will leave out his Nobel peace prize, though to China’s rulers it was perhaps the most irritating of all. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on What is driving China’s thuggish approach to foreign relations?

Five other prominent Chinese activists locked up for criticising the government

Posted by Author on October 24, 2010


(Excerpt) The Amnesty International –

The human rights defence movement in China is growing, but those who attempt to report on human rights violations or challenge politically sensitive government policies face serious risk of abuse. The authorities make frequent use of vaguely-worded charges to silence and imprison peaceful activists, such as “endangering state security”, “subversion of state power” and “separatism”.

Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, became another victim of this crackdown when she was placed under house arrest after she returned home from visiting Liu in prison after he had won the Nobel prize.

Amnesty International profiles five other prominent Chinese activists who have been locked up for daring to criticise the government. (They are Liu Xianbin, Gao Zhisheng, Tan Zuoren, Hairat Niyaz, Dhondup Wangchen ) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Photo, Politics, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on Five other prominent Chinese activists locked up for criticising the government

China’s Arrests, censorship and propaganda in reaction to Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel

Posted by Author on October 14, 2010


Reporters Without Borders, Oct. 13, 2010 –

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has said, “freedom of expression is essential in all countries.” Except in China, apparently. There have been many acts of censorship, intimidation and propaganda since the 8 October announcement that jailed dissident intellectual Liu Xiaobo is the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. According to the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, at least 40 human rights activists and journalists have been held or questioned for trying to celebrate Liu’s award.

In one of the latest developments, 1984BBS, a chat forum used by many journalists, has been closed under pressure from the police. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, censorship, China, Dissident, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China’s Arrests, censorship and propaganda in reaction to Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel

China detains Nobel Peace Prize winner’s wife: U.S. rights group

Posted by Author on October 11, 2010


(Reuters) – Chinese authorities are detaining the wife of jailed Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Price laureate Liu Xiaobo at her Beijing apartment, a U.S. human rights group said on Sunday.

In a statement, Freedom Now said that Liu Xia has not been charged with a crime but has not been allowed to leave her home or use her mobile telephone after visiting her husband in jail to tell him about his award. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Beijing, China, Dissident, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China detains Nobel Peace Prize winner’s wife: U.S. rights group

Chinese dissident’s Peace Prize honors all such activists

Posted by Author on October 9, 2010


Editorials, The Washington Post, Oct 9, 2010 –

FOR LIU XIAOBO, the Nobel Peace Prize awarded Friday  will not be a get-out-of-jail-free card. Just ask Aung San Suu Kyi, the only other Nobel Peace Prize laureate in confinement. She was under house arrest when she won the prize in 1991 for her nonviolent leadership of Burma’s democracy movement, and she remains under house arrest today.

But the prize has enormous significance nonetheless. It should, first, inspire Western democracies to stand up to Chinese bullying, notwithstanding the growing economic power of the world’s most populous nation. Chinese officials warned Norway and the prize committee not to give the award to Mr. Liu, but the committee didn’t allow itself to be intimidated. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese dissident’s Peace Prize honors all such activists

Liu Xiaobo’s wife kept from doing interviews

Posted by Author on October 8, 2010


The wife of Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo is being prevented from giving interviews to the media, her brother said in a statement on Friday, expressing his joy at news of the award.

“The police are at the home of Liu’s wife Liu Xia and are preventing her from giving interviews,” Liu Tong was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.

Repeated calls by AFP to Liu Xia rang busy. About 20 minutes ahead of the announcement, she told AFP she had no news as to whether her husband would be honoured. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Liu Xiaobo’s wife kept from doing interviews

Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo wins Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by Author on October 8, 2010


By Aira-Katariina Vehaskari (AFP), Oct. 8, 2010 –

OSLO — Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, sparking a furious backlash from Beijing and renewed Western calls for his immediate release.

The 54-year-old writer and university professor was honoured “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China,” Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in his announcement.

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Human Rights, News, People, Social, World | Comments Off on Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo wins Nobel Peace Prize

U.S. Lawmakers Urge Obama for Chinese Dissidents Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng’s Release

Posted by Author on October 6, 2010


Radio Free Asia, Oct 6, 2010 –

U.S. legislators urged President Obama in a letter this week to press for the release of two Chinese dissidents when he meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao in November.

Obama and Hu will meet at the G20 summit scheduled for Nov.  11-12 in Seoul, South Korea.

The dissidents, Liu Xiaobo, a writer, and Gao Zhisheng, a lawyer, are described as “prisoners of conscience” in the Oct. 4 letter signed by a bipartisan group of 29 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and sent by the congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Dissident, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on U.S. Lawmakers Urge Obama for Chinese Dissidents Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng’s Release

Two Imprisoned Chinese Democracy Activists Gravely Ill, Require Immediate Medical Parole

Posted by Author on May 6, 2010


Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that political prisoners Zhang Jianhong (张建红) (also known by his pen name, Li Hong [力虹]) and Yang Tianshui (杨天水) are in extremely critical medical condition.

HRIC urges the prison authorities where Zhang and Yang are respectively held, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, to grant immediate medical parole to the prisoners on humanitarian grounds so that they may receive the proper care that they desperately require. HRIC also appeals to the international community to closely monitor the prisoners’ conditions and join the call for their release.

Zhang Jianhong (张建红), a.k.a. Li Hong (力虹)

Zhang is a 52-year-old writer and poet who has authored a number of essays calling for democratic reform. For his role in the 1989 Democracy Movement, Zhang served 18 months of Reeducation-Through-Labor for engaging in “counter-revolutionary propaganda.” More recently, on September 4, 2006, Zhang authored “Olympicgate,” an article criticizing the government’s human rights record in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympics [《活摘门方兴未艾,“奥运门”又将开启》]. As a result, on March 19, 2007, Zhang was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to six years in prison and an additional two years of deprivation of political rights. He is currently being held at the General Prison Hospital of Zhejiang Province in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and is scheduled for release on September 5, 2012.

Zhang suffers from advanced-stage muscular dystrophy and his condition has rapidly deteriorated over the past several months. Although the prison doctor who diagnosed Zhang stated that his illness was serious enough to qualify for medical parole, a full four months passed before Zhang was sent to the prison hospital for treatment. Officials have rejected repeated requests for medical parole by Zhang’s family and have refused to grant permission to seek treatment outside of prison facilities.

According to a May 3, 2010, report by China Free Press (Canyu), Zhang’s daughter said that when she saw her father on April 25, during the latest monthly family visit, he could no longer take food by mouth and was being sustained through intravenous feeding. He was no longer able to get up from the hospital bed and could barely talk. She said that Zhang only spoke a few sentences, mainly about what the family should do after his death. Zhang’s daughter said that the family wishes to have Zhang undergo a thorough medical evaluation outside the prison system in order to determine whether treatments are still an option, and if not, to at least provide comfort to him at home and be with him during his last days.

Yang Tianshui (杨天水)

Yang, 48, is a prolific author of essays and articles calling for democratic reform and accountability for human rights abuses. Yang previously served a ten-year prison sentence for organizing “counter-revolutionary activities” related to his involvement in the 1989 Democracy Movement. From 2002 to 2005, Yang published a number of essays on overseas Internet websites, for which he was detained, arrested, and on May 17, 2006, convicted of “subversion of state power.” Yang was then sentenced to 12 years in prison and an additional four years of deprivation of political rights. He is currently serving his sentence at Nanjing Prison in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, and is scheduled for release on December 22, 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Human Rights, Li Hong, News, People, Politics, World | Comments Off on Two Imprisoned Chinese Democracy Activists Gravely Ill, Require Immediate Medical Parole

Sakharov Network calls on EU Requiring Chinese Activist Hu Jia’s release

Posted by Author on April 10, 2010


The Sakharov Network calls on the European Parliament’s president and the countries of the European Union to take energetic action to obtain the release of imprisoned Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia on health grounds, as Hu is seriously ill.

Winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2008, Hu has been hospitalized in Beijing since 30 March, when his condition worsened. His family fears he may be suffering from liver cancer. The authorities have refused to inform the family about the results of several analyses he has undergone.

In a message to the Sakharov Network (the network of past winners of the Sakharov Prize), his wife, Zeng Jinyan, said: “I am very worried about what could happen to him if he is not treated and released as soon as possible.”

Zeng, who has herself been under house arrest in Beijing for years, yesterday formally asked the prison authorities to release Hu on medical grounds. Hu was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in 2008 on a charge of “inciting subversion of state authority.”

A total of 35 European Parliament members (MEPs) of the Greens, ALDE, EPP and S&D groups, including Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Graham Watson, are the first signatories of a Sakharov Network petition calling for Hu’s photo to be hung outside the parliament building in Brussels. A photo of Burmese democratic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who – like Hu – is a Sakharov Prize laureate, is already displayed on the building’s facade.

“When one of the Sakharov Prize laureates is in danger of dying, the European Parliament and, through it, all of Europe must use all possible means to save them,” the Sakharov Network said. “Today there is an urgent need to save Hu Jia.”

The Network added: “If China wants the Shanghai 2010 Expo, which is supposed to embody universal values, to be a success, then it must show compassion and tolerance towards its dissidents.”

The Reporters without Borders

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Health, Hu Jia, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Sakharov Network calls on EU Requiring Chinese Activist Hu Jia’s release

Long Live Gao Zhisheng

Posted by Author on April 1, 2010


The Wall Street Journal, Apr.1, 2010-

China has many ways of punishing political dissenters: There are the usual methods like putting people in jail, harassing them with constant surveillance, or resorting to physical torture. And then there is the special form of retribution that seems to have been invented for Gao Zhisheng, a lawyer once known for his fearlessness in handling politically sensitive cases.

Mr. Gao was taken away by authorities in February last year after constant harassment, and by fall was rumored to be dead when police described him as “missing.” His crime was to be outspoken about government abuses, which he knew a lot about thanks to his work representing persecuted religious minorities and land evictees. Authorities refused to answer questions about his whereabouts, except to say he was “where he should be.” His wife and children fled to the United States just before he disappeared.

This week Mr. Gao resurfaced, but under similarly mysterious circumstances. His captors appear to have given him a cell phone, perhaps in response to international pressure, and he has spoken to several friends and family members who confirm he is alive. He says he has been “released,” but is unable to speak freely and seems to be accompanied by others. He may be captive under a kind of house arrest.

His case is important not only because of the work that he himself has done, although that is certainly admirable. Rather it’s emblematic of China’s deteriorating legal and human-rights situation. The Communist Party leadership is increasingly tightening the screws on dissent, from locking up dissidents to censoring media.

According to the Dui Hua Foundation, a prisoner advocacy group, there are around 5,687 political and religious prisoners China today. Mr. Gao’s reappearance is an event to celebrate, but there’s still a long road ahead of him, and for others like him who are fighting for a freer China. (The Wall Street Journal)

Posted in China, Dissident, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, World | 1 Comment »

China: Signatory to the Charter 08 Sent to Shanghai Mental Hospital by Police

Posted by Author on February 2, 2010


Radio Free Asia, Feb. 2, 2010 –

HONG KONG— Chinese dissident He Jian, a signatory to the Charter 08 petition calling for broad political and democratic reforms, has been confined to a Shanghai mental hospital, according to knowledgeable sources.

He frequently circumvented China’s so-called Great Firewall software to outmaneuver China’s aggressive online censorship, posting articles on Twitter and other overseas Web sites in support of Charter 08 and its drafter, Liu Xiaobo.

Liu was sentenced in December to 11 years’ imprisonment for initiating the manifesto.

Police in Shanghai’s Putuo district detained He at the Putuo Psychiatric Health Center “two or three days ago,” sources said Tuesday.

An officer contacted by phone at the Putuo Police Station declined to comment, saying he wasn’t “involved in particular cases.”

But an official at the Putuo Psychiatric Health Center confirmed that He had been confined there.

“Mr. He Jian is now in the hospital,” one staff member said, “on Psychiatric Ward No. 3.”

A nurse on the ward said he was in bed no. 48, but added, “You have to talk to the chief duty doctor to know more about him.”

“He was sent in by police … two or three days ago,” she said.

Calls to He’s mother, Zhang Xiaoyun, rang unanswered Tuesday.

Last post on Twitter

He had posted online that, for signing Charter 08, he has received death threats from Shanghai authorities and been held in a “black jail” or illegal detention center.

Plainclothes police also beat his mother, he wrote.

His last known communication was a Twitter posting on Jan. 26, in which he disclosed that a local police officer had phoned his mother to ask that he report to police the following day.

He hasn’t been seen since, friends say.

He Yongquan, a Shanghai rights activist, said Tuesday that Shanghai is now seeing a harsh crackdown on dissidents.

Charter 08 demands a new Chinese constitution guaranteeing human rights, the open election of public officials, and freedom of religion and expression……. (more details from Radio Free Asia)

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, East China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, shanghai, Social, World | Comments Off on China: Signatory to the Charter 08 Sent to Shanghai Mental Hospital by Police

10 Forbidden Stories of 2009 in China (7)- Activists flee and testify to human rights violations

Posted by Author on January 16, 2010


Epoch Times Staff, updated: Jan 7, 2010 – (cont’d)

Qiu Mingwei, former editor of the Peoples Daily online internet forum. (Xu Xia/Epoch Times)

<< Previous

A number of activists flee China and testify to human rights violations

A number of dissidents fled China during the course of 2009, wresting freedom for themselves and embarrassing the Chinese authorities in the process.

Among them was Qiu Mingwei , deputy director of the People’s Forum, the public Internet forum of the People’s Daily, the CCP’s official mouthpiece. Qiu had participated in a July 1 march for democracy and human rights in Hong Kong. When he returned to China he was accused of “possessing secret state documents, and speaking to outside sources without permission.”

Rather than defend himself he chose to make a break for it, and fled to Hong Kong on July 30. Escapees in 2009 also include the wife and children of Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer who published an account of 50 days of tortured and whose current whereabouts are unknown after being seized by the regime. (to be cont’d)

Original report from The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Dissident, Human Rights, intellectual, News, People, Politics, Social | Comments Off on 10 Forbidden Stories of 2009 in China (7)- Activists flee and testify to human rights violations

Former Czech president Havel protests outside China embassy for Liu Xiaobo

Posted by Author on January 8, 2010


Author: ČTK, Czech Happenings, 06.01.2010 –

Prague – Former Czech president Havel, bishop Vaclav Maly and actor Pavel Landovsky tried to hand over an open letter of protest against the imprisonment of human rights activist Liu Xiaobo to the Chinese embassy in Prague today, but eventually they had to throw the letter in a letter-box.

The three former Czech dissidents called on the Chinese President and government not to repeat what happened in the past in former Czechoslovakia in which human rights activities were persecuted, Havel told journalists.

The Czech protesters chose a symbolical date to make their call.

“Today is the Epiphany festival [commemorating the three Magi visiting the baby Jesus at Bethlehem] and also exactly 33 years have passed since we issued the Charter 77 (human rights manifesto),” Havel said.

Liu Xiaobo, 54, a co-author of Charter 08 that drew inspiration from Charter 77, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for alleged subversion of the state last December.

He is a writer, honorary chairman of Chinese PEN-club and a university professor.

The European Union has denounced the Chinese court´s verdict and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has expressed deep concern about it.

Maly visited China previously and met the families of the arrested dissidents. He said today he does not like it that no representative of the Chinese embassy reacted to the three former Czech dissidents´ ringing the bell today.

“It is very awkward, it shows that relations with China must be conditioned on discussion and dialogue on human rights,” Maly told journalists.

Havel said it is important to express solidarity with dissidents in countries that are not free……. (more details)

Posted in Artists, China, Dissident, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Leading US authors demonstrate against jailing of Chinese writer

Posted by Author on January 4, 2010


Alison Flood, guardian.co.uk, Monday 4 January 2010 –

Acclaimed US authors including EL Doctorow, Don DeLillo and Edward Albee gathered on the steps of the New York Public Library on New Year’s Eve to protest against the imprisonment of Chinese writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo.

The authors called on China to release Liu, who was given an 11-year prison sentence on Christmas Day for “inciting subversion of state power” with his writing. “We want to express and explain our outrage, to commit ourselves to working for Liu’s release, and to urge all those in this country and around the world who care about free expression to join us,” said Kwame Anthony Appiah, author and president of PEN’s US branch.

The assembled writers stood in the snow to read aloud from the passages of Liu’s writing that were cited by the court in Beijing when condemning him to prison, as well as from poems he wrote to his wife during a previous three-year term of “re-education through labour” during the 1990s, calling his sentencing “shameful”.

Liu is the co-author of the Charter 08 campaign for political and human rights reform, in which he writes that “we should end the practice of viewing words as crimes”. A member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, he was arrested last December before the Charter was made public, and has been detained for the last year……. (more details from The Guardian)

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Human Rights, News, People, Speech, USA, World, writer | 2 Comments »

The imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo recalls a bleak tradition of China’s repression

Posted by Author on December 26, 2009


The Times, UK, Dec. 26, 2009-

Communist China was born amid trumped-up charges against supposed enemies of the State. The eleven-year prison sentence imposed yesterday on Liu Xiaobo, a literary scholar and the country’s most prominent dissident, demonstrates a bleak continuity in the regime’s practices. It was a peculiarly cynical touch that the judgment was issued on Christmas Day.

Liu was seized from his home a year ago. One of his compatriots — a blogger, in a country that seeks to control access to the internet — pointedly referred to him yesterday as the Chinese Mandela. The comparison is not far-fetched, except that in his trial for high treason in 1963, Nelson Mandela at least had the opportunity to make a five-hour speech.

Liu was given no opportunity to respond to his sentence, which was a foregone conclusion. His “crimes” consist of calls for political reform. He published half a dozen online articles, including one for the BBC, and organised a petition for a reform entitled Charter 08. His model was the Charter 77 movement in Czechoslovakia, which proved to be a rallying point, that aided the triumph of liberty. Several hundred Chinese intellectuals have signed Liu’s petition. As happened in Czechoslovakia, a repressive communist regime uses a catch-all law against subversion in order to stifle dissent.

Western diplomacy faces a conundrum. China has emerged as a 21st-century economic giant, yet its embrace of the global market has gone unaccompanied by political reform. There is a long tradition in Western political thought, from Charles James Fox through the Victorian free- traders John Bright and Richard Cobden, that sees commerce as the route to comity. Yet China is a counter to the assumption that repressive regimes are inevitably softened by greater prosperity, and a burgeoning middle class.

As the advanced industrial democracies suffer the consequences of a huge financial crisis, China’s relative influence in the global economy has increased. It is as if, having attained a crucial status in international economic relations, China’s regime sees its new prosperity as a means of asserting its political model. Western governments must deal with that fact.

Western standards of living are increasingly tied to China. America’s wide current account deficit is, in effect, being supported by the huge stock of savings that China has built up and invested in dollar-denominated financial instruments over the past decade. China matters to the West. Yet it appears, from the draconian treatment meted out to Liu, that it is futile to expect economic development on its own to support trends towards Western liberal political rights within China.

There lies the diplomatic importance of the Liu case. A brave man has been treated in the worst traditions of an autocratic regime. As Liu takes as his model the campaigns for human rights in the Eastern bloc, then Western governments should follow him. The Helsinki final agreement, signed by the US and the Soviet Union in 1975, established human rights as an integral concern of the superpower relationship and gave heart to dissident movements. As Liu begins his incarceration, the West should seek a new Helsinki with an emerging superpower. Trade is not enough.

The Times

Posted in Business, China, Dissident, Economy, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, intellectual, Law, News, People, Politics, Speech, Trade, World | 1 Comment »

China: Liu Xiaobo’s 11-Year Sentence Send Message of Zero Tolerance for Universal Human Rights

Posted by Author on December 25, 2009


Human Rights in China, December 25, 2009 –

In one of the most high-profile political trials in China in recent years, a Beijing court today found Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) guilty of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced him to 11 years of imprisonment and two years’ deprivation of political rights.  Liu’s lawyers told Human Rights in China (HRIC) they do not agree with the decision, stating that Liu was merely exercising his right as a citizen to freedom of expression. According to his lawyers and family, Liu plans to appeal.

“The guilty verdict demonstrates once again the Chinese authorities’ intolerance for free expression and their incapacity to respond constructively to critical voices,” said Sharon Hom, HRIC’s executive director. “But the Chinese government must recognize that the free pass on human rights that it has been receiving from the international community will not insulate it forever from the growing demands of its own people for freedom and democratic reforms.”

“By using the police and security apparatus and the legal system to violate the rights of its citizens, the Chinese government may find itself, in time, subverting its own state power,” said Hom.

The conviction and sentence were pronounced by judge Jia Lianchun (贾连春) of the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court (北京市第一中级人民法院), who previously convicted and sentenced rights defense lawyer Gao Zhisheng (高智晟) and AIDS activist Hu Jia (胡佳) on similar charges. The government based the conviction on Liu’s role in drafting and organizing the signing of Charter 08, a petition issued in December 2008 calling for human rights protection and political reform, and on six essays Liu published between 2005 and 2007 critical of the Chinese government. (Click here for excerpts selected and translated by Human Rights in China.)

Liu, 53, was detained, imprisoned, and put under house arrest many times for his writing and activism, including a 20-month detention (June 1989 to January 1991) for participating in the 1989 Democracy Movement, and a three-year Reeducation-Through-Labor sentence (October 1996 to October 1999) for criticizing government corruption. Liu continued to write essays about the human rights condition in China and to advocate for political reform up until his most recent detention on December 8, 2008, one day before the release of Charter 08. In the weeks before Liu’s trial, more than 450 co-signatories of Charter 08 signed an online petition accepting collective responsibility……. (more details from Human Rights in China)

Posted in Activist, Beijing, China, Dissident, Human Rights, intellectual, News, People, Politics, Speech, World | Comments Off on China: Liu Xiaobo’s 11-Year Sentence Send Message of Zero Tolerance for Universal Human Rights

Christmas Day in China: 11-year jail sentence for free speech activist Liu Xiaobo

Posted by Author on December 25, 2009


Reporters Without Borders, Dec. 25, 2009-

Reporters Without Borders is profoundly shocked by this unbelievable and outrageous sentence. A Beijing court today sentenced leading Chinese free speech activist Liu Xiaobo 刘晓波) to eleven years in prison on a charge of subverting state authority for posting outspoken articles online and helping to draft Charter 08, a call for democratic reform. He had been facing a possible 15-year sentence. The dissident said he would appeal.

“It is a disgrace that Liu Xiaobo is going to spend the next eleven years in prison when all he did was defend free expression and participate in a debate about his country’s future with many other Chinese intellectuals,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It is also disgraceful that such a sentence was announced on Christmas Day.”

The press freedom organisation added: “Where are the universal values of freedom of expression that China is supposed to represent in Shanghai in 2010? The national and international pressure for this famous dissident’s release must be redoubled. The international community must not be manipulated by the Chinese authorities, who are trying to minimise reaction by concluding this case during the end-of-year holidays.”

Arrested in December 2008, Liu spent nearly a year in prison before being formally charged with subversion on 12 December. His trial on 23 December was accompanied by a high degree of police surveillance. Dozens of foreign journalists, foreign diplomats and Liu supporters were kept away from the courthouse. Liu’s wife, who had wanted to attend, was prevented from leaving her home.

This is not the first time that the Christmas period has proved to be particularly dangerous for Chinese human rights activists. See the previous release.

Inspired by Charter 77, the charter circulated by Czechoslovak dissidents in 1977, Charter 08 was released on 8 December 2008, two days before the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Originally signed by some 300 intellectuals and human rights activists, it now has more than 10,000 signatures.

A former University of Beijing philosophy professor and winner of the Reporters Without Borders press freedom prize in 2004, Liu is committed to the idea that the Chinese media will one day be able to operate as a real fourth estate and stand up to the omnipotent Communist Party.

Examples of some of Liu’s statements about free expression.

Reporters Without Borders

Posted in Beijing, China, Dissident, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, intellectual, Law, News, People, Politics, Speech, World | Comments Off on Christmas Day in China: 11-year jail sentence for free speech activist Liu Xiaobo

Leading China Dissident Liu Xiaobo Gets 11-Year Term for Subversion

Posted by Author on December 24, 2009


By ANDREW JACOBS, New York Times, December 24, 2009 –

BEIJING — In an unequivocal rebuke to those pursuing political reforms, a Chinese court on Friday sentenced one of the country’s best-known dissidents to 11 years in prison for subversion.

Liu Xiaobo, 53, a former literature professor and a dogged critic of China’s single-party political system, was detained in December 2008 after he helped draft a petition known as Charter 08 that demanded the right to free speech, open elections and the rule of law.

The 11-page verdict, largely a restatement of his indictment, was read out Friday morning at the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, said Mr. Liu’s lawyer, Shang Baojun. In addition to his prison term, Mr. Liu will be deprived of his political rights for an additional two years, a penalty that will prevent him from writing or speaking out on a wide range of issues.

“We are just extremely disappointed,” said Mr. Shang, who added that Mr. Liu intended to appeal the verdict.

Gregory May, first secretary with the U.S. Embassy who stood outside the courthouse Friday morning, called on the authorities to immediately release Mr. Liu.

“Persecution of individuals for the peaceful expression of political views is inconsistent with internationally recognized norms of human rights,” he said.

Although Mr. Liu had faced a 15-year sentence, legal experts and human rights advocates said the punishment was very harsh and was meant to send a message to others who might agitate for political reform in one of the world’s longest-running authoritarian governments.

Nicholas Bequelin, a senior Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch in Hong Kong, described Mr. Liu as “a sacrificial lamb” and said that the Communist Party leadership was trying to intimidate its critics. The rights group called the trial “a travesty of justice.”

Mr. Bequelin and others said Mr. Liu’s prosecution for violating rights enshrined in China’s Constitution suggested a political hardening, a trend that began before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“It shows that the leadership is increasingly conservative and restrictive of basic freedoms,” Mr. Bequelin said, “and it also sends a strong message to the rest of the world that China is not really serious when it talks about human rights.”…… (more details from New York Times)

Posted in Beijing, China, Dissident, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Speech, World | Comments Off on Leading China Dissident Liu Xiaobo Gets 11-Year Term for Subversion

New Book: “Egg On Mao’s Face”: true epic of a dissident who defaced the Chinese leader’s portrait in Tiananmen Square

Posted by Author on October 4, 2009


By Paul Gessell, The Ottawa Citizen, Canada, Oct. 4, 2009-

Egg on Mao
By Denise Chong
Random House Canada, $32.95

Ottawa author Denise Chong tried to look inconspicuous as she stood at the pre-arranged rendezvous point on a busy street in the Chinese city of Liuyang.

Before arriving, Chong had used a map to memorize the layout of the city and the locations of her clandestine destinations. She did not want to arouse suspicion or provoke queries from helpful strangers by looking lost or in search of something forbidden to foreigners.

Chong is of Chinese ancestry, lived in Beijing for a few years and has travelled to the country frequently, so she has learned how to blend in as much as possible. In her younger days, her glamorous, western-style hairdo and clothes would have instantly betrayed her as a foreigner gliding through a sea of dull Mao suits and stern haircuts.

These days, Chong jokes, she runs the risk of being the dowdy one, the only woman in China, it seems, without a dyed orange streak in her hair.

Amid the traffic of Liuyang, Chong pulled out a faded pink baseball cap and put it on her head. That was the signal. A stranger approached. The two walked towards the Liuyang River. The secrets of Liuyang were about to be revealed.

Those secrets can be found in the newly published book, Egg on Mao: The Story of An Ordinary Man Who Defaced An Icon And Unmasked A Dictatorship. This is Chong’s astounding story of Lu Decheng, a young bus mechanic from Liuyang imprisoned for nine years after he and two friends threw 30 paint-filled eggs on the giant portrait of Mao Tse-tung (often spelled Zedong) permanently displayed in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The incident happened just after 2 p.m. on May 23, 1989, amid the pro-democracy student protests that ended so brutally when tanks bulldozed their way into the crowds, killing hundreds, if not thousands.

Chong’s book opens with the egg-throwing. The three men are quickly betrayed by the student demonstrators, turned over to the police and sentenced to long years in prison.

Interspersed with these events are alternating chapters on Decheng’s childhood and youth, showing how he came to despise Mao and the communist regime.

This was a regime that disciplined Decheng, while a young schoolboy, for failing to cry at a memorial for Mao, shortly after the death of the communist leader. (This transgression came back to haunt Decheng, the adult, when the authorities were investigating his egg-throwing.)

This was also a regime that tried to prevent Decheng and his girlfriend, Qiuping, both 17 at the time, from living together or getting married. And then when Qiuping became pregnant, the authorities tried to force her to have an abortion because she lacked a birth permit.

This was also a regime that tried to exploit the great love between Decheng, the prisoner, and Qiuping, the dutiful wife, for political purposes. In the end, the regime crushed that love.

By the time Decheng was released from jail, he and Qiuping were divorced. He soon remarried and later fled to Burma, then Thailand and, in 2006, he came to Canada.

Now, in poor health, he lives in Calgary with his second wife and their two sons. Decheng’s daughter from his first marriage has also come to Canada.

The other two egg-throwers served even longer prison sentences than Decheng. They have both recently left China to settle in Indiana. The three men have considerable star power within the West’s Chinese pro-democracy movement……. (more details from The Ottawa Citizen)

Posted in China, Dissident, history, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Speech, World, writer | Comments Off on New Book: “Egg On Mao’s Face”: true epic of a dissident who defaced the Chinese leader’s portrait in Tiananmen Square

China Human Rights Briefing, August 31- September 6, 2009

Posted by Author on September 11, 2009


Chinese Human Rights Defender, Sep. 10, 2009-

Highlights

Human Rights and Democracy Activist Xie Changfa Receives Harsh Sentence:

After over a year of detention, Xie Changfa (谢长发), a China Democracy Party organizer turned human rights activist, was convicted of “subversion of state power” and sentenced to 13 years in prison by Changsha City’s Intermediate Court on September 1.  This harsh verdict echoes the original prison terms handed down to the banned Democracy Party’s founders over a decade ago, indicating that the government has not become any more tolerant of dissent or efforts by citizens to exercise their political rights or their right to defend other citizens’ rights in the intervening years.

Nation-wide Clampdown on Activists and Petitioners in Anticipation of 60th Anniversary of Founding of the People’s Republic:

As with other major events during which the eyes of the nation and world fall on Beijing, such as this past June’s anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre or last year’s Olympic Games, police and officials are sparing no effort to ensure that any “unharmonious” voices are kept silent.  To that end, officials from Tianjin City, Hebei Province, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning Province, Shanxi Province and Shandong Province have agreed to work together with Beijing police to  tighten up security around the capital in the buildup to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, including establishing checkpoints on all roadways leading towards the capital and working to “solve problems locally”, preventing petitioners from travelling to Beijing.  On the afternoon of August 29, a group of 15 Shanghai petitioners in Beijing were seized and forcibly returned home after they travelled to Tiananmen Square to watch rehearsals for the National Day celebrations.

Activists and lawyers in Beijing have been visited by police and told to leave town, subjected to enforced “tourism” with policemen, or placed under house arrest.  They are being told not to return until one week after the celebration.  On August 31, Zhang Hui (张辉), the director of the Mr. Democracy Research Institute (德先生研究所) in Beijing, was forced to leave the capital and return to his hometown in Shanxi.  This sort of harassment will only increase over the next few weeks as National Day draws nearer. …… (more details from Chinese Human Rights Defender)

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Special day, World | Comments Off on China Human Rights Briefing, August 31- September 6, 2009