Daily Archives: 18/09/2021

EU Parliament urges UAE to free imprisoned human rights activists

17/09/21

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European Union legislators have urged the United Arab Emirates to free several prominent human rights activists and other “peaceful dissidents” imprisoned in the country.

In a strongly worded resolution passed on Thursday, the EU Parliament condemned alleged rights violations in the wealthy Gulf state and demanded the “immediate” and unconditional release of Ahmed Mansoor, Mohammed al-Roken and Nasser bin Ghaith.

The resolution was approved with a sizeable majority, winning the support of 383 legislators. Just 47 legislators opposed the text, while 259 abstained from the vote.

Mansoor, 52, was arrested in 2017 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of publishing false information and “insulting the status and prestige of the UAE”, including in posts on social media platforms.

Global rights group Amnesty International has designated the activist, who has allegedly been held in solitary confinement since his arrest, as a “prisoner of conscience”.

Al-Roken, a human rights lawyer, is also considered a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty.

The 58-year-old is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence after being found guilty of attempting to overthrow the government in a July 2013 mass trial that saw scores of other defendants convicted.

Bin Ghaith, an economist and academic, was also imprisoned for 10 years in March 2017 over a series of social media posts deemed to be critical of UAE authorities.

Call for Expo boycott

The EU Parliament resolution called for “all other human rights defenders, political activists and peaceful dissidents” detained in the country to be freed.

It urged EU member states to boycott the Expo 2020 world fair in Dubai, “in order to signal their disapproval of the human rights violations in the UAE”, recommending they “withdraw their sponsorship”.

[…]

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/17/eu-parliament-urges-uae-to-free-imprisoned-human-rights-activists

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/RC-9-2021-0434_EN.html

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uae-european-parliament-release-political-prisoners-boycott-dubai-expo

https://icfuae.org.uk/press-releases/european-parliament-adopts-resolution-condemning-uae-human-rights-abuses

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Al-Rukn

China: Acts of torture against detained rights lawyer Chang Weiping

17/09/21

China Change » An Open Letter to the People's Republic of China Ministry of  Public Security and Minister Zhao Kezhi

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The Observatory has been informed by the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) about the acts of torture and ill-treatment perpetrated against Chang Weiping, a prominent human rights lawyer known for taking on sensitive human rights cases and filling lawsuits against companies for discrimination in the workplace against women, LGBTQ+ persons, and individuals affected by HIV/AIDs.

On September 14, 2021, Chang Weiping was allowed to meet his lawyer for the first time since his arbitrary arrest on October 22, 2020. During the meeting, which took place at the Feng County Detention Centre, in the area of Baoji City, Shaanxi Province, Chang Weiping reported having been subjected to numerous forms of physical and psychological torture in the six-month period he spent under “residential surveillance in a designated location” (RSDL), a form of enforced disappearance [1] , from October 2020 to April 2021. Chang Weiping was subjected to the “tiger chair” [2] for six consecutive days, subjected to sleep deprivation, placed under 24 hours video surveillance, denied food and allowed to shower only five times during the six-month period. At the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal, Chang Weiping remained detained at the Feng County Detention Centre, at high risk of renewed acts of torture.

The Observatory recalls that Chang Weiping was arrested on October 22, 2020 at his home in Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province, by police officers from Baoji City. Later the same day, Chang Weiping’s wife received a phone call from a police officer who informed her that her husband had been placed under RSDL. Following his detention, the Baoji City Public Security Bureau denied two separate requests presented by Chang Weiping’s lawyers to meet with their client. Furthermore, one of the lawyers was informed that Chang Weiping was suspected of “subversion of State power” and that the case involved “State secrets”.

Six days before his arrest, on October 16, 2020, Chang Weiping had published a video statement on social media denouncing the physical and psychological torture he had been subjected to while in detention under RSDL from January 12 to 21, 2020, including being tied to a “tiger chair”. Arrested on charges of “subversion of State power” (Article 105(1) of China’s Criminal Law), Chang Weiping was released on bail pending trial on January 21, 2020. Nonetheless, he was requested to leave his city of residence and was confined to his family home in Baoji, where he remained under strict police scrutiny, including daily phone calls and weekly meetings with the police. Furthermore, he was prevented from being reunited with his family.

[…]

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/china-acts-of-torture-against-detained-hrd-chang-weiping

https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/43060

https://www.facebook.com/Free-Chang-Weiping-%E5%B8%B8%E7%8E%AE%E5%B9%B3-107416584492421/

https://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news/section/11/234188/Albert-Ho-lets-go-of-alliances

https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1610339-20210913.htm

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