Tag Archives: Hong Kong

China: Int’l Day of the Disappeared: China must put a halt to secret detention and all forms of enforced disappearances

August 30, 2019

televised confessions

August 30 is set aside each year as the International Day of the Disappeared to raise awareness of the victims of enforced disappearances and to end the terrifying state practice.

The practice involves authorities taking someone using agents of the state, or those acting on their behalf, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that person’s fate or whereabouts. For those who are taken, the risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment is high.

In a report presented at the September session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances highlighted that from February to May alone, it had responded to 20 new cases of enforced disappearances in China. Recently, the group had had sent other forms of communications to the Chinese government, including a joint letter last August on the use of Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSDL), following a submission from Safeguard Defenders, which I am a co-founder of, along with the International Service for Human RightsNetwork for Chinese Human Rights Defenders, and the Rights Practice.

RSDL empowers police to take and hold someone in secret for up to six months. But seldom are they released after six months. Although the law ostensibly provides for the right to legal counsel or the notification of family members, exceptions in the law that have become the rule permit for the denial of procedural safeguards, important for preventing enforced disappearances and torture. Safeguard Defenders and others have extensively documented cases of abuse in RSDL.

Responding to the Working Group three months later, China claimed that disappearances under RSDL do not exist, which is an abject falsehood. This echoed China’s denial of extrajudicial “black jails” following the UN’s 2009 Universal Periodic Review before the Human Rights Council. Although a few years later, China acknowledged the existence of “black jails” and claimed that they were abolished. This happened conspicuously around the time that RSDL came into law.

China continues to mask its human rights abuses behind the rhetoric of the rule of law.

Land of disappearances

As I argued in The People’s Republic of the Disappeared, China has institutionalised arbitrary and secret detention, from extrajudicial to formalised criminal procedures.

China must abolish those sections of domestic law that permit secret detention. It must pass new legislation that defines and criminalizes enforced disappearances, and ensures the effective right to prompt access to legal counsel, requires all detainees’ real names be recorded in registers that include the date, time, location and all interrogation records, and other measures in line with international norms to end enforced disappearances. It must also protect the rights of victims and family members to seek remedy and know the truth.

Int’l Day of the Disappeared: China must put a halt to secret detention and all forms of enforced disappearances

http://www.businessinsider.fr/us/chen-qiushi-simon-cheng-china-crackdown-hong-kong-2019-8

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/family-08142019110446.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-47406389

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-39974953

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Zhisheng

https://international.thenewslens.com/article/124112

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_of_the_Disappeared

https://www.un.org/en/events/disappearancesday/

https://www.un.org/zh/events/disappearancesday/ (CHINESE)

https://www.un.org/fr/events/disappearancesday/ (FRANCAIS)

#InternationalDayoftheDisappeared

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#余文生
– 2002年開始執業成為律師,專責人權案,尤其有關宗教自由、刑事辯護、土地權、訪民案件、行政和民事訴訟
– 曾代表已經被拘禁三年的709律師王全璋
– 律師執照於2018年被註銷
– 於2018年1月18日曾經發表公開信呼籲修憲,翌日就被刑事拘留,同年4月19日被正式拘捕
– 自此被失蹤,失去自由外,亦失去了見代表律師以及家人的權利
– 今年5月11日被秘密審訊
———————————————————–
#YuWensheng
– Began legal career in 2002, specializing in human rights cases regarding freedom of religion, criminal defense, land rights, petitioners’ rights, administrative and civil litigation
– Represented 709 lawyer Wang Quanzhang who has been detained for three years
– License invalidated in 2018
– Published open letter recommending amendments to the Chinese constitution on 18 January 2018, taken away the next day by the police, and formally arrested on 19 April 2018
– Has been a victim of enforced disappearance since, having been denied his right to meet with his defense lawyers and his family
– Put on a trial in secret on 9 May

(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook, 30/08/19)

王全璋是中国维权律师,在#中国政府打压维权律师的#“709镇压”中于2015年8月被失踪。直到2018年7月12日律师才见到他,其妻才得知其下落。他现在狱中服刑。

王全璋的妻子李文足为丈夫长期不懈地呼吁。中国人权支持和声援王全璋、他的家人和亲友。
#被失踪者

(Human Rights in China Facebook, 30/08/19)

Hong Kong: Department of Justice demands trainee lawyer explain accusations of hate speech directed at Hong Kong police

August 21, 2019

A redacted letter from the Secretary for Justice raised concerns over the application of a solicitor trainee. Photo: Handout

Hong Kong’s justice department has ordered a trainee lawyer to explain why he was accused of directing hate speech at local police on social media just days before he qualified to join the legal profession.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday wrote to the law firm where the soon-to-be solicitor, surnamed Chu, worked for two years to demand a response, two legal sources told the Post. Chu left the firm in June, but it has continued to represent him in the admission process.

Chu was expected to be formally admitted as a lawyer before Justice Anthony Chan at the High Court on Saturday.

In its letter to the firm, the justice department said it received a complaint objecting to Chu’s admission to the legal ranks and requesting a response from him by Wednesday.

According to the letter, the complaint accused Chu of posting the phrase “black cops and families go to hell” and other foul language against police on his Facebook on July 28.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3023776/department-justice-demands-trainee-lawyer-explain

https://www.hkcnews.com/article/23023/律政司-黑警死全家-見習律師-23023/黑警死全家 (CANTONESE)

https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/ch/component/k2/1476147-20190822.htm (CANTONESE)

China/Hong Kong: Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Qiushi missing after return from Hong Kong protests trip

August 21, 2019

  • Authorities could try to silence Chen after he was observed rallies and posted videos about them on mainland social media, activists say

Human rights watchers and activists have expressed concerns for the safety of a mainland Chinese lawyer who went missing after visiting Hong Kong on the weekend to observe protests in the city.

Chen Qiushi, 33, a Beijing-based lawyer and public commentator, arrived in Hong Kong on Saturday as a tourist.

He attended a rally organised by pro-government supporters that day and also observed Sunday’s demonstration involving hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters.

While in Hong Kong, Chen uploaded several video diaries and observations about the protests to his Twitter-like Weibo account, which has more than 770,000 followers. The diaries have since been deleted from his Weibo account but are still available on YouTube.

In his last video filmed at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday night, Chen said he was forced to cut his trip short and return to the mainland because of pressure from mainland police and lawyers associations. He said he could be disqualified from practising law because of his visit.

“I’m showing everyone my lawyer’s licence here. Why? Because it may not be mine any more after I return,” he said.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3023796/chinese-human-rights-lawyer-chen-qiushi-missing-after-return

https://www.inkstonenews.com/politics/mainland-attorney-broadcast-hong-kong-protests-he-got-call-authorities/article/3023727

http://www.businessinsider.fr/us/chen-qiushi-simon-cheng-china-crackdown-hong-kong-2019-8

https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/2891222 (MANDARIN)

Hong Kong: After prison, academic’s university hearing a ‘test case’

August 16, 2019

PHOTO

The release on bail from jail of a prominent pro-democracy scholar in Hong Kong this week could be a test case for dwindling academic freedom in Hong Kong as university disciplinary hearings loom, academics have said.

Benny Tai, a law professor at Hong Kong University or HKU, who was the co-founder of Occupy Central – the pro-democracy movement, also widely known as the Umbrella Movement, that brought Hong Kong to a standstill in 2014 – was released from jail on Thursday 15 August with bail conditions that include not being able to travel outside Hong Kong.

Tai was sentenced to 16 months in April this year, one of nine pro-democracy activists from the 2014 movement to be jailed. He has been freed pending an appeal hearing which is scheduled for February 2020.

His release comes amid escalating protests in Hong Kong, which began 10 weeks ago over a proposed bill to extradite criminals to mainland China.

Many are closely watching how Tai’s case will be now handled by the administration at HKU.

Terence Halliday, research professor at the American Bar Foundation – an interdisciplinary institute of advanced studies in Chicago – and an honorary professor at Australian National University, said Tai’s release was a “small window of hope in an increasingly dark situation”.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20190816103158703

http://www.ejinsight.com/20190816-benny-tai-granted-bail-pending-appeal-of-his-conviction/

Hong Kong Police: Not Aware of Any Military Plans by China

https://www.law.hku.hk/faculty/staff/tai_benny.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai

https://hk.news.appledaily.com/local/daily/article/20190817/20750771 (CANTONESE)

Hong Kong: Jailed Hong Kong Umbrella Movement leader Benny Tai released on bail pending appeal

August 15, 2019

umbrella movement occupy trial

Benny Tai, one of the nine leaders jailed for participation in the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, has been allowed bail pending an appeal.

Legal scholar Tai was sentenced to 16 months in prison in April over public nuisance charges. He applied for an appeal to overturn his conviction and sentencing.

Mr Justice Andrew Macrae, vice-president of the Court of Appeal, approved the HK$100,000 cash bail application on Thursday. Tai has to surrender his travel document, cannot leave Hong Kong and must live at the address he has given.

Macrae said the appeal will be held between February 24 and 26 next year.

All nine activists have filed appeals to overturn their conviction. Other than Tai, Chan Kin-man, Shiu Ka-chun and Raphael Wong, who were given jail sentences, also appealed over prison terms. Chan was sentenced to 16 months in prison as well.

Jailed Hong Kong Umbrella Movement leader Benny Tai released on bail pending appeal

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3022869/hong-kong-law-scholar-benny-tai-serving-jail-term-co

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/hong-kong-pro-democracy-leader-benny-tai-released-bail-190815050454547.html

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/key-protest-leader-released-as-hong-kong-establishment-calls-for-talks-20190815-p52hjl.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/hong-kong-umbrella-movement-leader-released-on-bail/2019/08/15/8aba3df4-bf3d-11e9-a8b0-7ed8a0d5dc5d_story.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/12/british-academics-call-university-hong-kong-not-dismiss-jailed/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/stop-the-hong-kong-extradition-bill/

http://www.jeromecohen.net/jerrys-blog/2019/8/15/hong-kongs-crisis-what-do-lawyers-have-to-do-with-it

https://www.geo.tv/latest/244957-hong-kong-readies-for-more-protests-trump-ties-crisis-to-us-china-trade-deal

http://news.trust.org//item/20190815091357-t3qad/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai

https://hk.feature.appledaily.com/goodestchannel/video/5d53e17841d483000718d907/%E6%88%B4%E8%80%80%E5%BB%B7%E7%8D%B2%E4%BF%9D%E9%87%8B%E7%AD%89%E5%80%99%E4%B8%8A%E8%A8%B4%20%E7%9B%B4%E6%93%8A%E5%BA%AD%E5%A4%96%E6%83%85%E6%B3%81 (CHINESE)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai (FRANCAIS)

http://www.tynpanama.com/salud/Crisis-de-Hong-Kong-China-muestra-el-poder-militar-en-la-frontera-h5213.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.cope.es/actualidad/espana/noticias/uno-los-lideres-revolucion-los-paraguas-2014-queda-libertad-20190815_479488 (ESPANOL)

https://www.zeit.de/news/2019-08/15/hongkong-laesst-protest-anfuehrer-von-2014-frei (DEUTSCH)

https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/hongkong-demokratie-aktivist-benny-tai-ueberraschend-freigelassen-a-1282037.html (DEUTSCH)

https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2019/08/15/news/crisi_di_hong_kong_la_cina_fa_sfoggio_di_potenza_militare_al_confine-233653711/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.yeniakit.com.tr/haber/hong-kongda-semsiye-devrimi-protestolarinin-lideri-kefaletle-serbest-birakildi-886885.html (TURKCE)

https://www.hurriyet.de/news_hongkong-land-228-sst-protest-anfand-252-hrer-benny-tai-frei_143522535.html (TURKCE)

Hong Kong: Academics plead with university not to sack professor

August 12, 2019

Prof Tai’s appeal is scheduled for August 15, but pro-Beijing groups are calling on the University of Hong Kong to remove him from his position as an associate professor of law. (stock photo)

Hundreds of international academics have signed an open letter in support of a jailed Hong Kong law professor being held in solitary confinement, urging his university not to dismiss him from his job.

 

Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of nine founders of the 2014 Umbrella movement, was sentenced to 16 months in prison in April over public nuisance charges related to his role in the mass protests that lasted for 79 days.

Prof Tai’s appeal is scheduled for August 15, but pro-Beijing groups are calling on the University of Hong Kong to remove him from his position as an associate professor of law. More than 300 academics have signed the letter in support of Prof Tai, released today.

“Professor Tai has expressed his willingness to accept criminal punishment in service of his convictions, he should not be additionally published by losing his academic position,” they say in the letter to Xiang Zhang, president of the University of Hong Kong.

Terry C Halliday, a research professor at the American Bar Foundation, warned that a dismissal would also be a “disaster” for the university’s global reputation.

The university is expected to schedule a disciplinary hearing after Prof Tai’s appeal, having said in April it would follow up on the court’s decision in accordance with its internal procedure.

Another jailed founder of the 2014 movement, Chan Kin-Man was an associate professor of sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, but retired at the end of 2018 before he was tried. He is also serving a 16-month sentence.

Prof Tai was sent to solitary confinement after joining the city-wide strike by refusing to work in the prison last Monday.

 

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/asia-pacific/academics-plead-with-university-not-to-sack-professor-38394853.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/12/british-academics-call-university-hong-kong-not-dismiss-jailed/

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/08/08/jailed-hong-kong-democracy-leader-benny-tai-sent-solitary-confinement-strike-action/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai

https://www.law.hku.hk/faculty/staff/tai_benny.php

http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/8/9/n11442207.htm (CHINESE)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai (FRANCAIS)

#BennyTai

Hong Kong: Jailed Hong Kong democracy leader Benny Tai sent to solitary confinement over strike action

August 8, 2019

A leading activist jailed over the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement has been transferred to solitary confinement after he joined Monday’s general strike while in prison.

Legal scholar Benny Tai, one of the original proponents of the 2014 street occupation protests, was sentenced to 16 months in jail in April over public nuisance charges.

Occupy nine sentencing

Pro-democracy lawmaker Gary Fan said on Wednesday that he visited Tai in prison: “Benny Tai told me that he joined the city-wide general strike on August 5, and rejected the work assigned to him by the authorities.”

“This act went against the discipline imposed by prison authorities, therefore he is currently held in solitary confinement. It is unclear what the authorities’ next step is,” Fan wrote on Facebook.

Tai is serving his sentence at Shek Pik Prison, a high-security facility on Lantau Island. Citing an hour-long meeting with Tai, Fan said that the academic had become thinner but was still energetic.

Tai has spent a lot of time reading and was following the recent protests via the radio. He was aware of the mass arrests by the police, the lawmaker added.

In April, Tai was convicted of two charges related to public nuisance, and was sentenced to jail later that month. District court judge Johnny Chan said at the time that Tai and the other defendants did not express any regret, and the 2014 protests caused “excessive damage and inconvenience” to the public.

Tai has lodged appeals against both his conviction and sentence. His application will be heard by the court on August 15.

Jailed Hong Kong democracy leader Benny Tai sent to solitary confinement over strike action

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/years-of-ignoring-peaceful-protests-fuels-hong-kong-violence-11762902

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/editorials/2019-08-07-editorial-turn-a-deaf-ear-and-the-response-is-violence/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai (FRANCAIS)