Students join fight for activist Plight of Huseyin Celil prompts petition

Originally published by The Spec,02 March 2011

By John Burm 

St Thomas More Students have written 1,400 letters as part of a schoolwide campaign to urge the release or retrial of Huseyin Celil, a Canadian citizen and Burlington resident serving a life sentence in a Chinese prison. LETTER
 
 
WRITING St Thomas More Students have written 1,400 letters as part of a schoolwide campaign to urge the release or retrial of Huseyin Celil, a Canadian citizen and Burlington resident serving a life sentence in a Chinese prison.
Gary Yokoyama/The Hamilton Spectator
 
 

Students at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School want family members of a Burlington activist imprisoned in China to know they are not alone.

To that end, students Tuesday signed 1,000 petition letters for delivery to the Chinese Consulate in Toronto to appeal for Huseyin Celil’s release, and 250 postcards to be sent to Ottawa to remind the Canadian government of his plight.

Celil, a Canadian citizen and father of four, celebrated his 41st birthday Tuesday in solitary confinement where he is serving a life sentence for his advocacy work on behalf of the Muslim minority Uighur people in China.

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China focuses attention on border areas near India and Central Asia news

Originally published by domain-b.com, 04 March

Beijing: In what may be a tacit acknowledgment of its vulnerability China’s parliament has issued an advisory to the government to overhaul its defence and administrative set up in border areas connected to India and other countries in south and Central Asia.

The advisory has been issued by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), one of the two houses of Chinese parliament.

The advice will impact the lives of minority Tibetans whose land remains in illegal occupation of the Han Chinese as well as Uighur Muslims in Sinkiang Uighur province (Xinjiang), which borders Pakistan and Central Asia.

CPPCC has made “suggestions for developing border defence and overhauling the border defence administration system”, its chairman Jia Qinglin was quoted as saying at the annual session of the parliamentary body.

The CPPCC has suggested rapid urbanization to ensure the development of prefectures (or districts), which enjoy autonomy in the legal sense.

The 12th five-year plan beginning this year should provide a major impetus to the task of eliminating poverty and “fully implementing” the process of integration among the ethnic minorities in the border regions, he said.

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China rights group slams ‘repression’, web curbs

Originally published by AFP, Mar 3 2011
 
 
BEIJING (AFP) – Rights campaigners in China are facing a “new wave of frenzied repression” after an anonymous online call for anti-government rallies echoing those in the Arab world, a Hong Kong-based group said Thursday.

The Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), a network of activists, made the statement as it released its annual report for 2010, which catalogues a litany of alleged rights abuses, from web curbs to detentions to claims of torture.

The group called on Beijing to release all rights activists including jailed Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, investigate security personnel accused of rights violations and guarantee free expression and unfettered Internet access.

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Kazakh Opposition Leader Challenges President On Alleged Deal With China

Were any secret deals signed during Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev's (left) China visit?Were any secret deals signed during Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev’s (left) China visit?

Originally published by Radio Liberty,March 02, 2011
 
ASTANA/ALMATY — A Kazakh opposition leader is urging President Nursultan Nazarbaev to confirm or deny a report about an alleged deal he made in Beijing to lease Kazakh farmland to China, RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service reports.

Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the unregistered Algha (Forward) opposition party, issued the statement today on his Facebook page.

On March 1, the opposition weekly “Respublika” printed an article citing Nazarbaev’s former son-in-law, Rakhat Aliev, who wrote in his blog that Nazarbaev reached a deal with Chinese authorities during his trip to China last week under which Kazakhstan will lease 1 million hectares of land to China for a period of 99 years.

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Internet Freedom, Social Change: What’s Next?

Originally published by VOA News,01 March 2011

By David Byrd 

 

 

Egyptian anti-government protesters climb atop an Egyptian army armored personnel carrier, next to a signpost bearing the words

Photo: AP

Egyptian anti-government protesters climb atop an Egyptian army armored personnel carrier, next to a signpost bearing the words “Down Mubarak”, in Cairo,January 29, 2011

Online communication tools played a huge role in recent government changes in Tunisia and Egypt. But they also showed how easily governments can interrupt Internet traffic and cell phone transmissions.  VOA’s David Byrd has this look at the future of online communications in the Middle East, and how more of the control is moving from the government to the people.

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Well-Oiled Security Apparatus in China Stifles Calls for Change

Originally published by The New York Times,28 Feb 2011
By ANDREW JACOBS and JONATHAN ANSFIELD

BEIJING — The call to action shot across mobile phones and Internet chat sites, urging people to converge on 13 Chinese cities to demand an end to corruption, inflation and the strictures of authoritarian rule. “The Chinese people do not have the patience to wait any longer,” said one message.

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In China, Security Muffles Calls for Change

Originally published by The New York Times,February 28, 2011

 By ANDREW JACOBS and JONATHAN ANSFIELD

 BEIJING — The call to action shot across mobile phones and Internet chat sites, urging people to converge on 13 Chinese cities to demand an end to corruption, inflation and the strictures of authoritarian rule. “The Chinese people do not have the patience to wait any longer,” said one message.

The anonymous organizers got a sizeable turnout — but in China, most of those who poured into squares and shopping centers were police officers and plainclothes security agents.

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A Right Without a Remedy

Originally published by The New York Times,February 28, 2011

Editorial

In a landmark case three years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who are not American citizens have “the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus.” It gives them the right to have a federal judge decide promptly whether their detention is illegal and, if so, order their release because the United States controls the place they are held. The 5-to-4 decision in what is known as the Boumediene case was a repudiation of the Bush strategy of imprisoning the detainees outside American territory so the Constitution would not apply. Or so many thought.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the only circuit where detainees can challenge their detention, has dramatically restricted the Boumediene ruling. In its hands, habeas is no longer a remedy for the problem the Boumediene majority called “arbitrary and unlawful restraint.”

The sole recourse is for the Supreme Court, once again, to say what the Constitution requires judges to do in habeas cases. Fortunately, a case is at hand for the justices to do so in an appeal from the District of Columbia Circuit. In the Kiyemba case recently, five Uighur, or Chinese Muslim, detainees filed a brief with the Supreme Court in support of their petition for it to restore the power of federal trial judges to free them.

This appeal in no way threatens national security. The government has admitted that the Uighurs are not enemies, let alone enemy combatants. Refugees from China, they were mistakenly imprisoned during the Afghanistan war and sent to Guantánamo Bay in 2002. Other Uighurs accepted release to the island of Palau, 500 miles from the Philippines, but these five declined the offer because they have no connection to the island.

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