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Human Rights Day 2017: Free Prisoners of Conscience

On 10 December 2017, over 100 activists gathered to mark #HumanRightsDay2017 at Chinese Embassy in London,calling for  #FreePrisonersOfConscience #FreeLiuXia #FreeIlhamTohti #TashiWangchuk in cold and sleet weather. #國際人權日2017 超过100名活動人士在伦敦中使館前集会, 在寒冷雨雪交加中要求 #自由良心犯 #自由劉霞 #自由伊力哈木 #自由扎西文色

Action twitter:

This past autumn, Yang Tongyan (杨同彦, a.k.a. Yang Tianshui 杨天水), a freelance writer and democracy veteran, died of brain cancer two months after he was released on medical parole under surveillance. Similarly, four months ago, Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), the first Nobel Peace Prize winner, died in state custody since Nazi Germany.

Liu Xia, poet, photographer, Liu Xiaobos widow, has been held under house arrest and under very heave surveillance without charge since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.Liu Xia suffers from severe depression and heart attacks.

Hu Shigen, former university lecturers, democracy veteran, have spent more than 19 years in prison for trying to found an opposition political party and an independent trade union, lead several underground churches and organise peaceful gatherings. Hu suffers from coronary artery disease and high blood pressure and has been sent to hospital for emergency treatment several times since August 2016.

Tens of thousands of prisoners of conscience including Wang Bingzhang (王炳章), Ilham Tohti, Gulmira Imin, Hu Shigen (胡石根), Qing Yongmin (秦永敏), Chen Wei (陈卫), Chen Shuqing (陈树庆),Chen Xi (陈西)  Chen Yunfei  (陈云飞), Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫), Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), Huang Qi(黄琦),Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄aka Yang Maodong 杨茂东 ) Liu Ping (刘萍), Wei Zhongping (魏忠平), Zhang Haitao (张海涛), Lü Gengsong (吕耿松), Liu Shaoming (刘少明), Liu Xianbing  (刘贤斌), Lu Yuyu (卢昱宇), Li Tie (李铁), Guo Quan (郭泉),Zhou ShiFeng (周世锋), Wu Gan (吴淦),Wang Quanzhang (王全璋), Jiang Tianyong,Shan Lihua (单利华), Li Xiaoling (李小玲), Kwon Pyong (权平),Liu Feiyue (刘飞跃), Wang Jiangfeng (王江峰), Li Yuhan (李昱函), Xia Lin (夏霖), Zhen Jianghua (甄江华), Druklo and Tashi Wangchuk, have now been held by the CCP regime. Dozens of prisoners of conscience died in prison or immediately following their release.

Lee Ming-cheh, Taiwanese national and NGO worker, supporting democracy and human rights activities in mainland China, was kidnapped from Macau to mainland China by Chinese security officials in March. Lee had been subject to enforced disappearance for six months until his trial.  Lee was sentenced to five years in prison in Novemeber for his online discussions on democracy and criticism of the CCP regime. Lee is the first non-Chinese national to be imprisoned in a long period of time for freedom of expression.

In Hong Kong, over one hundred activists were convicted for “unlawful assembly” in 2014 Umbrella Movement, in August, at least sixteen activist were sentenced to six to thirteen months for their peaceful assembly. Both Chinese authority and Hong Kong authority have violated the Bill of Rights of Hong Kong as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Hong Kong and signed by P. R. China.

Beijing authorities have forced removal of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from Beijing since 18 November. More migrant workers in the other big cities in China have also been evicted out of the urban areas. Beijing authorites have arressed and attempted to arrest citizen jouralists for writing on the case.  Hua Yong, an artist, one of the citizen journalists, has been forced to flee around the country.

The international community should show solidarity with prodemocracy activists, human rights activists and citizen journalists

  • Continue to press the CCP to disclose medical records of of detainees including human rights defenders to their own appointed doctors / legal counsel and family members  on a regular basis

  • Call for the release of all Tibetan, Uyghur, Chinese, HongKongese and Taiwanese prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally;
  • Urge China to immediately sign and ratify International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.
  • Help guarantee the rights of journalists including citizen journalists.


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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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