Category Archives: Special Topics

Julia Lovell: The Cultural Revolution on Trial by Alexander Cook review – a sensational moment in Chinese history

Yao Wenyuan

Irrational premise … Yao Wenyuan, a writer and member of the Gang of Four, is tried in 1980. Photograph: Tang Likui/AP

China’s civil society has suffered badly in the political crackdown of the last four years: journalists are stifled by ever-tightening constraints; intellectuals are nervous of even saying the president’s name in company, for fear of being seen as denigrating the cult of “Uncle Xi”. Above all, the Chinese Communist party (CCP) has rained down blows on the rule of law. Legal personnel have been held for months in “black” prisons without access to counsel and been shackled, tortured, their family members harassed. On 14 January this year, China’s chief justice aggressively emphasised that the law was subservient to party writ: “We should resolutely resist erroneous influence from the west: ‘constitutional democracy’, ‘separation of powers’ and ‘independence of the judiciary’. We must make clear our stand and dare to show the sword.” Continue reading

Chinese Attorney Defends Torture Report Amid Accusations of ‘Fake News’

Screenshot of detained lawyer Jiang Tianyong

Screenshot of detained lawyer Jiang Tianyong in interview with Beijing-backed satellite broadcaster Phoenix TV in which Jiang inaccurately stated he made up claims his client Xie Yang, another detained lawyer, was tortured, March 2, 2017. Public domain

Claims by official Chinese media that allegations of torture meted out to jailed human rights lawyer Xie Yang were “fake news” cooked up to appeal to “Western media tastes” were rejected by his defense lawyer on Thursday. Continue reading

Hong Kong daily Sing Pao says its journalists and website are under attack

New York, February 22, 2017–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Hong Kong authorities to investigate the harassment of journalists at the daily Sing Pao. Sing Pao Media Enterprises, which owns the paper, released a statement yesterday saying that staff have been followed and harassed, and that the newspaper’s computer system was attacked. Continue reading

‘My Brother Has Been Appallingly Treated’

Zhu Xiaoyan, the U.S.-based sister of veteran jailed democracy activist Zhu Yufu, has called on the ruling Chinese Communist Party to end the beatings and mistreatment meted out to her brother in prison. Continue reading

Torture & the Criminalization of Human Rights Advocacy

A new report released this week by Chinese Human Rights Defenders highlights the widespread use of systematic torture by Chinese security agencies as a key tactic aimed at extracting forced confessions from detained . The report notes that this phenomenon is part of a broader move by the Chinese state to legalize repressive measures and criminalize human rights advocacy. Benjamin Haas at The Guardian reports: Continue reading

Court applies for fourth verdict deferral for Chinese activist who voiced support for Occupy protests

A Guangxi court has applied for the verdict for women’s rights activist Su Changlan to be deferred for the fourth time, her lawyer has said. Su was detained in October 2014 after making comments on social media in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Occupy movement. She previously worked as a volunteer for the New York-based Women’s Rights in China group, and has been a long time campaigner for women’s and children’s rights. Continue reading

SHAO JIANG: Remembrance and Resistance:the 26th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre (Beijing Massacre 1989)

On Thursday the 4th of June, 7pm-9pm, around 110 people gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in London to commemorate victims of the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Commemorators read out the names of known victims of the massacre, and mark their names on a street map of Beijing showing the places where most of these victims were killed or the hospitals to which their bodies were taken. Continue reading

Chinese Activists Send Cards to Hundreds of Prisoners of Conscience

Family members of Chinese human rights lawyers jailed since a July 2015 crackdown

Family members of Chinese human rights lawyers jailed since a July 2015 crackdown, in undated photo. Courtesy of an RFA listener.

Rights activists in China have launched a greetings card campaign for political prisoners around the country ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations on Jan. 30, as foreign diplomats paid visits to embattled activists faced with eviction in Beijing. Continue reading