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

 

OHCHR Press Briefing Notes - China

OHCHR Press Briefing Notes - China


5 May 2017

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani

Location: Geneva

Subject: (1) China

(1) China

We are deeply troubled that on Wednesday 3 May, defence lawyer Chen Jiangang and his family were reportedly taken by police while they were travelling in Yunnan province in the southwest of China. This latest event takes place in the context of an ongoing crackdown against Chinese lawyers and other human rights defenders. There has reportedly been no official communication of the reasons Chen was taken away. His wife and two children were subsequently released but Chen’s whereabouts remain unclear.

Chen was the defence lawyer chosen by Xie Yang, a lawyer who has been in detention since July 2015. Xie was only officially charged in January 2016 for inciting subversion of state power and disrupting court order. The trial was due to begin last week, but did not. In March this year, Chen reported that his client and other detained lawyers, including Wang Quanzhang, Jiang Tianyong and Li Heping, were subjected to ill-treatment and torture in custody. Li Heping, who spent 21 months in incommunicado detention, was secretly sentenced on 25 April to three years in prison, with the possibility of a four-year suspension should he choose not to appeal. He remains in custody and pressure continues to be exerted on his family. Prior to being reportedly taken by police last Wednesday, Chen had, in a video message, expressed concerns that he too may "lose his freedom" and that he may be coerced into self-incrimination.

Despite numerous calls by a number of UN human rights bodies, including Special Rappporteurs, the UN Committee against Torture and by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, we are dismayed by this continuing pattern of harassment of lawyers, through continued detention, without full due process guarantees and with alleged exposure to ill-treatment and coercion into self-incrimination. We also ask the Chinese authorities to halt the harassment against their relatives. The vast majority of detained lawyers were defending the basic rights of Chinese citizens, mostly economic, social and cultural rights. We urge the Chinese government to abide by its international human rights obligations, to ensure due process and fair trials, and to release without delay those being held for exercising their fundamental human rights or for defending the exercise of such rights by others.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Le Pen Beaten: English Congratulates Macron On French Election Win

Prime Minister Bill English has this morning congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential election. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The French Election Result

Macron is shaping as the third major test case, after Bill Clinton, after Tony Blair – on whether the aim of ‘progressive social policy’ and realities of ‘neo-liberal economic settings’ can be made to credibly co-exist within the same sentence, let alone within the decrees from the Elysee Palace. More>>

Werewolf: The Maverick On Moloka’i

Monday, April 17 was Moloka’i’s turn for some face-to-face time with Tulsi Gabbard, who is part Samoan and part haole (pakeha), a practising Hindu, and a Middle East combat veteran. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Snap Election In Britain

The election call is entirely opportunistic and self-serving and will – regardless of the outcome – put Britain in a worse negotiating position for managing its Brexit. More>>

Turkey: Observers Say Erdogan’s Constitutional Referendum Flawed

Lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms created unlevel playing field in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, international observers say. More>>

ALSO:

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO: