Celebrate & Defend Liu Xiaobo

The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to scholar and activist Liu Xiaobo of China. Liu is a prominent government critic who has repeatedly called for human rights protections, political accountability and democratization in China. He co-authored “Charter 08,” a proposal for political and legal reform in China. He is serving an 11-year prison sentence for “inciting subversion of state power”.

Let’s celebrate the Nobel announcement and learn about Liu Xiaobo’s struggle, hopes and dreams for China. A video compilation of interviews of Liu will be presented. This will be followed with an analysis by Portland State University Political Science Professor Bruce Gilley, who recently testified at a hearing titled, “Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and the Future of Political Reform in China” before the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China. The program will conclude with a call for action by Amnesty International Group 48.

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010

Time: 6:30-8:00pm

Location: Browsing Lounge (Rm 238), Smith Memorial Student Union,
Portland State University

Address: 1825 SW Broadway, Portland (Google Map)

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Free Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo

China expressed outrage last week over the Nobel committee’s decision to award its prestigious Peace Prize to incarcerated Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo. But the real outrage is China’s treatment of those who dare to speak truth to power.

Amnesty International is overjoyed for Liu and the spotlight the award places on his unrelenting fight for fundamental freedoms and human rights in China. But Liu won’t be able to celebrate his win with the rest of the world from the confines of his prison cell.

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Urgent Action – Residents of Puning City (China)

20 April 2010

UA 87/10 – Health concern/Forced sterilization (PDF)

CHINA – Thousands of people

Local officials aim to sterilize 9559 people by 26 April, some against their will, in a drive to meet family planning targets in Puning City, Guangdong Province, southern China.

According to reports in the Chinese media, on 7 April the local authorities in Puning City began a special campaign to sterilize people who already have at least one child, to ensure that local birth control quotas are met. The local authorities claim that by the end of 11 April, the 20-day campaign had already met 50 per cent of its target. A local doctor, quoted in the Chinese media, said that his team was working from 8am until 4am the next day performing surgeries for sterilization. Local reports suggest at least some people are not freely consenting to being sterilized. Amnesty International considers forced sterilizations carried out by officials to amount to torture and the haste of the procedures raises questions about their safety and possible health impacts.

In addition, the Puning City authorities have detained 1377 family members of couples targeted for sterilization. Most of the detained are elderly and some are held in cramped conditions in houses which the local authorities are using temporarily as unofficial places of detention. This is widely seen to be a mechanism to pressure their relatives to undergo sterilizations.

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Hasty executions in China highlight unfair Xinjiang trials

10 November 2009

China: Hasty executions highlight unfair Xinjiang trials

Chinese authorities must ensure all individuals charged with offences during July riots in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) receive a fair trail and do not face the death penalty, Amnesty International said today.

The China Daily reported today that authorities prosecuted another 20 suspects on Monday, 9 November for offences ranging from murder, arson and robbery linked to the riots.

The trial follows the execution of eight Uighurs and one Han Chinese individual, announced by authorities yesterday. The announcement did not say when the nine were executed but reported that it was after the Supreme People’s Court reviewed and approved the sentences.

“In hastily executing these individuals after unfair trials, the Chinese authorities are perpetuating some of the very injustices that helped trigger the outburst of violence in the first place,” said Roseann Rife, deputy director of the Asia-Pacific program.

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Update on Urgent Action – Ilham Tohti (China)

28 August 2009

Further Information on UA 194/09 (20 July 2009) – Incommunicado detention/Fear of torture

CHINA – Ilham Tohti (m)

Ilham Tohti, editor of the website “Uighur Online” and associate economics professor at Central Nationalities University, was released on 23 August 2009 in Beijing, China’s capital. However, he remains under surveillance.

Ilham Tohti was taken from his home on 8 July, shortly after the authorities said that articles posted on his website had fuelled the violence in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwestern China. Ilham Tohti has denied the accusation saying that he would never agree with using violence.

His detention was arbitrary and illegal. In an interview with Radio Free Asia upon his release, Ilham Tohti said that he was not charged with any crime. His lawyer has not received any legal documentation on his detention, and he was not held in an official place of detention. It appears that his detention was a move to prevent him from communicating with journalists and through his website and blog.

In the same interview with Radio Free Asia, Ilham Tohti also said that he was not tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention, but that the police questioned him “day and night.” Upon release, the police told him not to criticize the government or he would face formal charges and punishment.

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