World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


China: Hypocritical crackdown on anti-corruption campaigners

21 January 2014

The Chinese authorities must immediately release prominent activist Xu Zhiyong, whose trial is due to start in Beijing on Wednesday, Amnesty International said.

Xu Zhiyong wrote an article in May 2012, titled China Needs a New Citizens’ Movement, which is credited with spurring a loose network of activists who aim to promote government transparency and expose corruption.

Several other activists are also due to be tried later this week in connection with the New Citizens Movement.

“Instead of President Xi Jinping’s promised clamp-down on corruption, we are seeing a crackdown against those that want to expose it. The persecution of activists associated with the New Citizens Movement has to end,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

A highly regarded legal scholar, Xu Zhiyong has been detained in Beijing since July. He faces charges of “gathering a crowd to disturb order in a public place.” He faces up to five years in jail if convicted.

“We consider Xu Zhiyong to be a prisoner of conscience and he should be released immediately and unconditionally. Anything less would make a mockery of the Chinese government’s ongoing anti-corruption efforts,” said Rife.

Dozens of people linked to the New Citizens Movement – however tenuously – have been detained over the past year. Several of these activists have already been prosecuted simply for exercising their rights to assembly and free speech.

At a pre-trial hearing last Friday, a judge rejected a request from Xu Zhiyong’s lawyer for his case to be tried alongside other defendants that have been jointly charged for their activities linked to the New Citizens Movement. Xu Zhiyong has said he will remain silent in court in protest of the decision.

A further five activists are due to stand trial in Beijing later this week. Zhao Changqing and Hou Xin, are due to stand trial on Thursday. The trials of Ding Jiaxi and Li Wei, and Yuan Dong and Zhang Baocheng are expected to start on Friday.

“By denying a collective trial the judge is preventing the full-truth from being heard. It is yet another example of the injustice these activists face,” said Rife.

Three other activists - Liu Ping, Wei Zhongping and Li Sihua – were put on trial in December 2013 in Jiangxi Province in southern China. Zhang Lin, a veteran activist, stood trial on 18 December. The verdict in these cases is still to be announced.

Background

According to the organization Chinese Human Rights Defenders more than 65 people who are allegedly connected with the “New Citizens’ Movement” have been criminally detained or subjected to enforced disappearance as of early December. Thirty-seven have been formally arrested.

Xu Zhiyong has described the “New Citizens’ Movement” as a peaceful cultural, social and political campaign.

Suggested activities for “New Citizens” include; practicing “New Citizen Responsibility” by rejecting corruption and by doing good for society; participating in civic life by holding meetings to discuss the political situation; helping the weak; and uniting to share and coordinate work.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:


US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>


Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news