Select this search icon to access the search form

Main menu

Facebook Share


    April 24, 2015

    The Chinese authorities are sending mixed messages over domestic violence as they commute the death sentence of a woman that killed her violent husband but continue to persecute five women’s rights activists, said Amnesty International on Friday.

    Li Yan, 44, was given a two year reprieve by a court in Sichuan province, in southwest China. The death sentence is expected to be commuted to a prison term after two years of good behaviour. The change comes after the Supreme People’s Court ordered an unprecedented retrial last June. 

    “The reprieve for Li Yan could prove a landmark verdict for future cases where domestic violence is a mitigating factor. With her case, the highest court in China has sent a clear message that judges must not ignore domestic violence,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Yet, the continued persecution of five young activists that campaign to prevent violence against women casts a dark shadow on this ruling.”

    April 17, 2015

    Meet, from left to right, members of China’s Women’s Rights Action Group Wu Rongrong, Wei Tingting, Li Tingting, Wang Man and Zheng Churan © Private. 

    These five Chinese activists decided to mark International Women’s Day in 2015 by launching a campaign against sexual harassment. They had made stickers to distribute, printed with slogans like “Go police, go arrest those who committed sexual harassment!” This was not their first event organized to raise public awareness on gender equality issues. They had staged “Occupy the Men’s Toilets” to challenge the lack of public facilities for women, and had attended demonstrations in wedding dresses spattered with red ink to protest domestic violence.

    April 17, 2015

    The sentencing of the highly respected journalist Gao Yu to seven years in jail by a Chinese court is an affront to justice and an attack on freedom of expression, Amnesty International said on Friday.

    Gao Yu, 71, was found guilty by a court in Beijing of the spurious charge of “disclosing state secrets”. Her trial in November was held behind closed doors. Her lawyer has said she will appeal against the sentence.

    “This deplorable sentence against Gao Yu is nothing more than blatant political persecution by the Chinese authorities. She is the victim of vaguely worded and arbitrary state-secret laws that are used against activists as part of the authorities’ attack on freedom of expression,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Gao Yu is a prisoner of conscience, solely imprisoned for challenging the views of the government. She should be released immediately and unconditionally.”

    April 13, 2015

    The Chinese government must drop all charges against each of the five women activists released on bail late on Monday, Amnesty International said today.

    Arrested for campaigning against sexual harrassment

    The five activists - Wei Tingting, Wang Man, Wu Rongrong, Li Tingting and Zheng Churan - arrested and detained on 7 March for planning to mark International Women’s Day by launching a campaign against sexual harassment.

    “The decision to release all five women is an encouraging breakthrough,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “The authorities must now follow through and drop all charges and restrictions against the women.”

    March 20, 2015

    Huseyin Celil (also known as Husein Dzhelil or Huseyincan Celil) is a member of China's Uighur minority and a human rights activist.

    In the 1990s, he suffered persecution and detention in China for his work advocating for the religious and political rights of the Uighur people.

    He left China and eventually made his way to Turkey, where he was recognized as a refugee by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Mr. Celil was resettled to Canada in 2001 and became a Canadian citizen in November 2005.

    March 12, 2015

    The Chinese authorities must immediately drop charges and release five women activists who were detained for calling for an end to sexual harassment, Amnesty International said.

    The five women - Wei Tingting, Wang Man, Li Tingting, Zheng Churan and Wu Rongrong -were criminally detained on Thursday for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” If convicted each face a maximum of five years in prison.
    “Demanding that women are not sexually harassed is in no way a criminal act,” said William Nee, Amnesty International China Researcher.

    “The charges against all five women should be dropped and the women immediately and unconditionally released. The Chinese authorities should be working with these women to address sexual harassment, not persecuting them.”

    The women have been detained since last Saturday when they were taken into police custody ahead of events they had planned for International Women’s Day on 8 March. All five women are now believed to be held at Haidian Police Station in Beijing.

    March 03, 2015

    The proposed new anti-terror law in China would be a targeted assault on freedom of religion and expression, as well as the rights of ethnic minorities, Amnesty International warned.

    Despite recent revisions, the draft law has virtually no safeguards to prevent those who peacefully practice their religion or simply criticize government policies from being persecuted on broad charges related to “terrorism” or “extremism”.

    The National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s annual parliamentary session which starts on Thursday, is expected to rubber-stamp the latest draft of the law.

    “China has a duty to protect people from violent attacks but this draconian law is not the answer. National security is being used as a pretext to further attack religious freedom and silence government critics,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    Anyone suspected of “terrorist” activities could also see their freedom of movement severely restricted, and be subjected to so-called “education” measures or other forms of arbitrary detention.

    February 04, 2015

    Police in China must end the crackdown against hundreds of supporters of a man on trial for killing two members of a demolition gang that stormed into his home and beat his family in a violent forced eviction, Amnesty International said.

    On Wednesday, dozens of police officers were deployed to block more than 300 supporters of Fan Mugen from attending the start of his trial at Suzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in eastern China.

    Fan Mugen claims he acted in self-defence. However he is charged with ‘intentional injury’ which can carry a death sentence. The case has captured the imagination of people across China, where violent forced evictions remain a significant issue.

    “Forced evictions are the cause of widespread discontent across China. Supporters of Fan Mugen are entitled to support him and speak out about the trial and must not be prevented from doing so by police,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International.

    December 02, 2014

    An act of kindness transformed Liu Ping from a factory worker into a passionate anti-corruption activist in China. Her daughter, 22-year-old Liao Minyue, tells their story.


    Kind hearted

    My mother, Liu Ping, was just an ordinary Chinese woman with a kind heart.

    Liao Minyue's mother, Liu Ping, is in jail for trying to expose corruption in China © Private

    We were very close. I chose to live with her after my parents divorced about 10 years back. We never fought, not even once. We used to go to the markets to collect old and unwanted vegetables for food. It never once struck me as anything to be ashamed of. On the contrary, those were warm and intimate times, because we were together.

    November 20, 2014

    Trials of two leading activists on Friday will lay bare the Chinese authorities’ duplicity over the rule of law, Amnesty International said. 

    Gao Yu, 70, a highly respected journalist, is accused of sharing state secrets and could face a life sentence if convicted at her trial in Beijing, which is being held behind closed doors.

    In a separate case on the other side of the country, in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, prominent Uighur academic Ilham Tohti, 45, is due to learn the outcome of his appeal against a life sentence for “separatism”, handed down on 23 September. Both cases have been marked by serious legal failures including the use of torture and other ill-treatment.

    “If Gao Yu and Ilham Tohti were to receive genuinely fair hearings, the charges against them would be dismissed as blatant political persecution,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.  

    November 18, 2014

    The Chinese government’s increasing efforts to influence global cyberspace rules is a further sign that internet freedom is under a sustained attack, said Amnesty International, ahead of China’s first World Internet Conference.

    The event, which takes place in the eastern Zhejiang province, between 19 -21 November, brings together senior Chinese officials and global web leaders to discuss the future of the internet. It is seen by many internet experts as part of China’s attempt to have a greater say in the rules that govern the web.

    “Internet freedom is under attack by governments across the world. Now China appears eager to promote its own domestic internet rules as a model for global regulation. This should send a chill down the spine of anyone that values online freedom,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.

    “China’s internet model is one of extreme control and suppression. The authorities use an army of censors to target individuals and imprison many activists solely for exercising their right to free expression online.”

    November 17, 2014

    The Chinese authorities appear to have intensified the crackdown against mainland activists for peacefully supporting the Hong Kong protests, Amnesty International said, following reports one faces the charge of “inciting subversion”.

    Wang Mo, from the southern city of Guangzhou, was formally arrested on Monday according to his lawyer. He could face more than five years in prison if convicted.

    Wang, a leading figure in the Southern Street activist movement, has been an active online campaigner and was recently pictured with three others holding a banner expressing support for the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.

    “Any harassment of activists for peacefully supporting Hong Kong protests is shameful but the serious charge of inciting subversion brought against Wang is an extremely alarming development,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.

    “The fear is that this could mark the start of a wave of similar charges against the scores of mainland supporters of the Hong Kong protests.”

    November 08, 2014

    APEC leaders must end their recent silence on the crackdown against mainland Chinese activists expressing support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. Political convenience should not trump principled action, Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    World leaders gathering in Beijing next Monday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation [APEC] summit, should urge China to release scores of mainland activists detained for peacefully supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, said Amnesty International.

    At least 76 people in mainland China remain in detention for supporting calls for genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong, according to the latest information Amnesty International has been able to verify.

    “APEC leaders must end their recent silence on the crackdown against mainland Chinese activists expressing support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. Political convenience should not trump principled action,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    November 06, 2014

    November 5, 2014

    The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
    Prime Minister of Canada
    Office of the Prime Minister
    80 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

    Re:  Visit to China

    Dear Prime Minister,

    We are a Coalition of Canadian organizations across the country concerned about human rights in China.   We are writing to urge that during your official visit to China over the coming days, in advance of next week’s APEC Leaders’ Meeting, you, and Ministers and other Canadian officials travelling with you, raise the issue of human rights during bilateral meetings with Chinese leaders and other events and opportunities.

    October 01, 2014

    The Chinese authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all those detained for peacefully showing support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, said Amnesty International.

    At least 20 people have been detained by police in several cities in mainland China over the past two days for posting pictures online with messages of support for the protesters, shaving their heads in solidarity, or for planning to travel to Hong Kong to participate in the protests.

    A further 60 have been called in for questioning by the authorities, known as being 'invited for tea'.

    "The rounding up of activists in mainland China only underlines why so many people in Hong Kong fear the growing control Beijing has in their city's affairs," said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.

    "The fundamental freedoms being exercised by hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong continue to be denied to those in mainland China."

    Police are known to have detained people in Beijing, Jiangsu, and the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, which are close to Hong Kong.


    Subscribe to China