Will the Chinese ever be free?
Monday 14th December 2015 | Faima
One of China's most influential human rights lawyers, Pu Zhiqiang was put on trial after being accused of inciting ethnic hatred. The case has attracted a lot of media attention yesterday as journalists, diplomats and activists stood at the courtroom entrance they where shoved up the road by security officials.
If reporters from the BBC and other international organiastions are treated like this by officals, whilst in the middle of reporting, imagine the treatment of people when the cameras off.
So what is China hiding?
The death of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, renowned Tibetan leader, led to worldwide outrage over his ‘wrongful’ imprisonment as well as the goverment's treatment of lawyers and activists who supported his cause. More than 100 lawyers and activists have been detained or gone missing, including Wang Yu the lawyer who messaged her friends, worried about a potential home invasion, moments before her disappearance.
As well as Wang Yu, who was an ‘outstanding example’ of a human rights lawyer, staff at three top law firms have been searched, with six lawyers from one firm being detained. A further 17 have gone missing. One journalist, reporting on a pro-democracy protest was detained for an unbelievable nine months.
IN July, Rinpoche was arrested for allegedly being involved with a car park bombing. After spending 13 years of his life in prison, Rinpoche met an early death. But protesters believed he should not have been in prison in the first place.
The crackdown on advocates of human rights issues is the government’s attempt to keep a ‘grip on public opinion’ says William Nee of Amnesty International. China’s two-tier passport system which calls for more scrutiny for Muslim and Tibetan groups has also been a subject of discontent for citizens. Protests and demonstrations have taken place which has worried the government thus resulting in the attempt to limit these movements and to deter other people from becoming activists.
The large number of people missing without question or detained without legal representation, has angered people, not just in China but all over the world. The U.S have spoken out condemning the abuse of human rights in China. They asked China to “respect the rights of all its citizens and to release all those who have recently been detained for seeking to protect the rights of Chinese citizens”.
Amnesty International has also called the UK to sign petitions for investigations into the treatment of lawyers and activists. Will the Chinese ever be free?