Wife and son of detained Mongolian human rights activist charged

The International Freedom of Expression eXchange, 12 May 2011

(RSF/IFEX) – Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the trumped-up charges of “illegal business activities” and “drug possession” that the Chinese authorities have brought against the wife and son of Hada, the Mongolian human rights activist who should have been released in December 2010 on completing a 15-year jail sentence.

In an interview for the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre on 4 May 2011, Hada’s sister-in-law, Naraa, revealed that Hada’s wife, Xinna, and his son, Uiles, are being held in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, and that they were formally charged on 17 January. Arrested in early December 2010, their only crime was to support Hada in his fight to defend his basic rights.

Naraa’s interview has confirmed fears that Hada and his two closest relatives are still being detained and that they have not been resting in a luxury hotel, as the China authorities claimed in December 2010. Uiles was to have gone on trial at the end of April, but the trial has been postponed without a new date being set, Naraa said.

Naraa said the Chinese authorities have made it clear to Hada and his relatives that they will not be freed until they sign an undertaking to abandon their human rights activities. Until now, they have refused to do this, she said. Hada has gone on several hunger strikes in protest against the conditions in which they are being held. His health has deteriorated and is now very worrying.

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FPI Bulletin: How the Obama Administration should follow up on its rhetoric on rights in China

The Foreign Policy Initiative, 11 May 2011

From FPI Director of Democracy and Human Rights Ellen Bork

“Deplorable.” That’s how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described China’s human rights record in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic. Obama administration officials have been talking about human rights in China a lot lately. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary Clinton, and other top State Department officials, including Michael Posner (who gave a very negative assessment after the U.S-China Human Rights Dialogue in Beijing) have all spoken up.

Is there anything new here? At the opening of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington this week, Secretary Clinton asserted that “over the long arch of history…societies that work toward respecting human rights are going to be more prosperous, stable, and successful.” This is not so different from the approach President Bush took, insisting that respect for human rights and political liberalization serve China’s own interests.

Arguing for “stability” as the rationale for political liberalization and respect for human rights has a built-in contradiction. It suggests that China’s communist leaders will see the wisdom of letting go of power. Unfortunately, they don’t see things that way. They are keen to keep the Chinese Communist Party in power and claim that American overtures on human rights and democracy are part of a plot to destroy China.

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Chinese Regime’s War on Christian House Churches

The Epoch Times, 9 May 2011
By Luo Ya

Chinese authorities continued their raids during outdoor worship services of an underground Christian “house” church in Beijing the first Sunday in May.

The arrests show the intention of China’s newly appointed Secretary of Religious Affairs to “break up and crush all house churches” and bring them under the mantle of government control, a member of the church told The Epoch Times.

At least 31 Christians of Beijing’s Shouwang Church were taken away from their outdoors worshipping site by police on May 1 according to China Aid Association. People were sent to different Public Security Bureaus or police stations, among them a minister from Beijing’s New Tree Church who had joined the service of Shouwang Church. He was held by police for two full days.

This latest crackdown on Shouwang Church followed earlier police raids on Apr. 17 and 24—Easter Sunday—when several dozen church members were arrested and 500 members placed under house arrest.

Two days of Sino-U.S. human rights talks at the end of April, during which the U.S. brought up the issue of persecution of religious groups, proved ineffectual in protecting Chinese Christians who choose to worship outside the state-sanctioned “Three-Self Patriotic Movement” Church.

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Independent TV Broadcasts to China May Cease

The Epoch Times, 8 May 2011
By Shanshan Wu

Taiwanese telecommunications company refuses to renew satellite contract

A Taiwanese government-controlled telecommunications company has decided to shut down the satellite broadcasts to China of a TV station that provides independent, uncensored reporting on China. Critics say this decision was meant to curry favor with the Chinese regime and represents a threat to Taiwan’s own democracy.

On April 11, Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom informed New Tang Dynasty Asia Pacific (NTD AP) Television in writing that it will terminate its contract with NTD AP in August. NTD AP has broadcast to Taiwan and China on Chunghwa’s ST 1 satellite since August 2007. NTD is a media partner of The Epoch Times.

Chunghwa Telecom claims the service termination cannot be avoided due to lack of capacity on the company’s ST 2 satellite, which is replacing the ST 1.

Information published on the internet by Chunghwa contradicts its claim of reduced capacity. In articles posted on the Internet, Chunghwa has said the ST-2 satellite will offer significantly greater capacity than the ST-1 satellite with expanded service coverage, higher transmitting power, more transponder capacity and increased bandwidth.

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German arts academy honors Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei

DW-World, 8 May 2011

A German arts academy has appointed Chinese artist, dissident and government prisoner Ai Weiwei to their institution. The move came out of solidarity to his cause, but also out of recognition for his work.

Detained Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei has been appointed to the German Academy of the Arts, the institution said over the weekend.

Ai’s forthright criticisms of the political situation in his home country have helped make him the most famous Chinese artist in Germany. The artist has long had good contacts in Berlin.

Academy president Klaus Staeck called on China to release Ai, adding that his appointment to the German institution was also due to his artistic significance.

“It is not only out of solidarity,” Staeck said. “We have also chosen a major artist.”

Prior to his April 3 arrest in Beijing, Ai had planned to rent various venues in Berlin to serve as studios. Ai, who was active in the human rights movement in China, was taken into police custody accused of economic crimes.

Nothing has been heard from the artist since, but the Chinese government asserts that his detention had nothing to do with human rights or freedom of speech.

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WUC Congratulates Dr. Lobsang Sangay for Being Elected as Prime Minister of Central Tibetan Administration in Exile

For immediate release

06 May 2011
Contact:  World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

Dear Dr. Lobsang Sangay,

on behalf of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) I would like to extends our warmest congratulations to you for being elected in a democratic, transparent and fair election process as Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of Central Tibetan Administration in-Exile (CTA). We are convinced that both your professional and academic experience as well as your deep commitment to the Tibetan cause will be of great value not only for your new position, but also for the whole Tibetan community inside and outside of Tibet.

We welcome your decision to continue the efforts made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as his Middle-Way-Approach to seek genuine autonomy within China, since it shows clearly your commitment to a nonviolent, peaceful and democratic struggle.

Tibetans and Uyghurs have been living under the yoke of Chinese oppression for decades. They have been subjected to Beijing’s assimilation policies aimed at eroding their religious identity and at accelerating cultural alienation. The PRC government’s fierce repression policies in Tibet and East Turkestan are the main causes of political instability, ethnic conflicts and social tensions in today´s China. We therefore strongly support the work of the CTA and we believe that it is important to join our forces to bring freedom and democracy to our people.

The relations between the Uyghur and the Tibetan people go back to the 60s soon after His Holiness the Dalai Lama fled to India and last until today. The WUC works closely with many Tibetan organizations worldwide as well as with the CAT in order to promote common goals.

We sincerely invite you to visit our office in Munich, Germany, to share experiences and expertise on the struggle for democracy and human rights for Tibetan and Uyghur people whenever it is convenient for you.

I wish you the very best for this important position!

With my best wishes,

Rebiya Kadeer

WUC President

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China demands Nobel Prize apology from Norway

AFP, 6 May 2011

OSLO — China is demanding an apology from Norway before agreeing to restore relations soured when dissident Liu Xiaobo received the Nobel Peace prize, Beijing’s ambassador was quoted Wednesday as saying.

Chinese ambassador in Oslo Tang Guoqiang made the remarks during a gathering last weekend at the Confucius Institute, a body promoting Chinese language and culture, in Bergen, participants told AFP.

“He demanded an apology from the Norwegian government,” said Dan Femoen, a local official in the western city who was at the gathering.

“He said that trade between the two countries was not impossible but that it was more difficult given that an apology over the Nobel Peace prize did not appear to have been made,” he said.

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