Chinese Human Rights Defenders: “None of us is safe, and any one of us could be next”

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Originally published by Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders (blog) on October 4, 2013

Authorities in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are continuing to hold human rights lawyer Yang Maodong, better known as Guo Feixiong,  without criminal activists said on 3 October. He was criminally detained on 8 August on charges of “incitement to disturb public order,” after being involved in anti-censorship and anti-corruption protests. ”The authorities have made one arrest after the other in recent months, and this is still going on,” said Beijing-based fellow activist and poetWang Zang, who was among dozens of campaigners who signed a public petition calling for Guo’s release. Wang said those who signed the letter were angry at the ongoing crackdown on activists who have called since March on the highest-ranking ruling Chinese Communist Party leaders to reveal details of their assets, and those of their families. ”We wanted to protest this political oppression, but also to reiterate that Guo Feixong is innocent, and should be released immediately,” he said. ”None of us is safe, and any one of us could be next.

The overseas-based  Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) said last week it has confirmed the criminal detentions or disappearances of 58 individuals in the ongoing crackdown on anti-corruption activists, half of whom have been formally arrested.  Authorities in Beijing are preparing to try anti-graft activists Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng and Ma Xinli for “unlawful assembly” after they held up banners in the street calling on officials to disclose their assets in late March. Hubei activist Liu Jiacai, Shenzhen-based activist Yang Mingyu, known as Yang Lin, and Hunan-based activist Li Huaping, known by his online nickname Nuowei Senlin are also being held in detention centers for similar activities.

via Calls Grow For Chinese Lawyers Release As Crackdown Continues.

Shortly before this, Front Line reported that on 30 September 2013, it was informed that human rights defender, Cao Shunli,who had been missing since 14 September 2013, has been formally detained by police in Beijing. Cao Shunli has been campaigning since 2008 for greater civil society involvement in China’s drafting of its reports for the Universal Period Review (UPR) and of its National Human Rights Action Plans. China is due to have its next UPR examination by the UN Human Rights Council on 22 October 2013. On 30 September 2013, domestic Chinese organisation Human Rights Campaign in China reported that it had received information that Cao Shunli had been criminally detained by police on 28 September 2013.  She is believed to be held at Beijing First Prison. Cao Shunli’s family has not received any legal notification that the human rights defender has been formally detained. [On 14 September 2013, Cao Shunli was prevented from boarding a flight to Switzerland by two security agents at Beijing Capital Airport]

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