Tag Archives: Hong Kong

Hong Kong/China: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the charges against law professor Benny Tai in China (Hong Kong)

May 19, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the charges against law professor Benny Tai in China (Hong Kong).

Benny Tai is an associate professor of law at the University of Hong Kong and was one of the panelists at the Law Society’s Asian and South Asian Heritage Month event in 2016. He received widespread media attention in January 2013 when he proposed the Occupy Central with Love and Peace campaign (“Occupy Central”). Occupy Central (also known as the “Umbrella Movement”) was a civil disobedience movement that took place in Hong Kong between September 28, 2014 and December 15, 2014. It called on protesters to block roads and paralyze the city’s financial district if the Chinese and local governments failed to implement universal suffrage for the 2017 Chief Executive and the 2020 Legislative Council elections in Hong Kong in accordance with “international standards”.

It has come to the Law Society’s attention that on March 27, 2017, Professor Tai and eight other activists were formally charged for their leadership roles in the Occupy Central protests. Professor Tai is facing the common law charges of “inciting others to create a public nuisance”, “inciting others to incite more people to create a public nuisance”, and “conspiring to create a public nuisance”. Each of these charges carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

Professor Tai and others believe that political considerations may have played a role in the sudden decision to prosecute the leaders of Occupy Central, especially in light of the fact that the charges were brought just one day after the date of the Chief Executive election. Meanwhile, international watchdogs, such as Amnesty International and Freedom House, have condemned the prosecutions.

The Law Society is deeply concerned about Professor Tai’s situation and urges the Government of China to comply with China’s obligations under international human rights laws, including the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503815&langtype=1033

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503815&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/03/28/hong-kong-occupy-leader-benny-tai-willing-plea-guilty-police-crack-pro-democracy-figures/

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=182120

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2082841/nine-occupy-protesters-facing-rarely-sought-charges-hong

Day of the Endangered Lawyer/China: Day of Endangered Lawyers: Making sure they’re not forgotten

February 13, 2017

Activists in Hong Kong demonstrate for the release of rights lawyers detained in the Chinese mainland. Photo: rfa.org

As families in Hong Kong gathered to celebrate the Lantern Festival on Sunday, our thoughts were on civil rights activists and rights lawyers who are still behind bars or under house arrest in the mainland since the so-called “709 crackdown on dissent” that took place in July 2015.

In May 2015, more than 600 mainland lawyers petitioned the authorities to release 20 civil rights activists who were arrested after they rallied to the defense of the family of Xu Chunhe, a civilian man who had fallen victim to the excessive force used by mainland police and died in Heilongjiang province.

However, rather than addressing their demand, the mainland authorities used their petition as a pretext to mount an all-out crackdown on dissent from July 9 2015.

Within two months, more than 300 mainland rights lawyers, law firm staffers and human rights activists who had been committed to defending the rights of dissidents were rounded up and detained by the police on charges ranging from instigating subversion and endangering national security to disturbing public order. They were held without a proper trial.

To make things worse, many detainees were subjected to inhumane treatment in jail such as torture or solitary confinement.

Almost two years on, many of them have either remained in custody or virtually become unaccounted for. As a result, hundreds of families are separated. Many of the victims’ families are tormented by the fact that they might not be able to see their loved ones again.

http://www.ejinsight.com/20170213-day-of-endangered-lawyers-making-sure-theyre-not-forgotten/

http://www.endangeredlawyers.org/readings/

http://dayoftheendangeredlawyer.eu/

Day of the Endangered Lawyer/China: Hong Kong

January 24, 2017

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At the Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG) event to mark the Day of the Endangered Lawyer!

http://www.voachinese.com/a/news-day-of-endangered-lawyers-20170124/3689271.html?utm_source=HRIC+Updates&utm_campaign=9a978d9c76-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_24&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b537d30fde-9a978d9c76-259223637 (CHINESE)