Statement: Stop Repressing Independent Labour Movement Global Support for Detained Workers and Labour Activists

Labour groups protest before the Liaision office of PRC government in HONG KONG, urge the PRC government to release all labour rights activists. 

26/3/2019

In July 2018, workers from Jasic Technology in Shenzhen were dismissed by the company for organizing their own trade union and were later criminally detained by government officials on charges of "Gathering a Crowd to Disturb Social Order". Waves of mass arrested were undertook by the city government targeting the workers and supporting activists. As of today, more than 40 people are still under criminal detention, including worker representatives, student supporters, community centre and labour NGO staff. Most of the detainees were deprived from their legal rights to meet their lawyers and communicate with their families.

The arrest targeting labour activists has not been stopped since August 2018. On 20 January 2019, five labour activists, Wu Guijun, Zhang Zhiru, He Yuancheng, Song Jiahui, and Jian Hui were taken away in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Changsha respectively. Except He who were allowed to meet his lawyers once when he were first arrested, the others were deprived from their right to meet with their lawyers. Their families were also repeatedly assaulted by the authority. On 26 Feburary, families of Zhang Zhiru and He Yuancheng received officially notices that the two were being formally charged with “Gathering a Crowd to Disturb Social Order”. Wife of Wu Guijun also received the same notice the next day.

Three editors of Xinshengdai, a pro-labour rights online media, were also taken away by the authorities. Yang Zhengjun, the chief editor was taken away by the Guangzhou police on 8 Jan. Wei Zili, another editor, was taken away in Guangzhou when he was on the way his parents’ home on 20 March. On the same day, Ke Chengbing, also an editor of the media, went missing and likely to be detained by the authority.

Under the suppression from the Chinese government, a large number of workers, labour right defenders and activists are still detained by the authority. The government is not only depriving workers from their freedom of association, but also violating the basic civil rights of the detainees. We therefore call for a global action to demand the Chinese government to:

  1. Immediately release and drop charges against all workers, labour rights activists, and their supporters who are criminally detained for exercising their basic rights to freedom of association;
  2. Put an end to the repression and harassment of all labour rights activists and their supporters;
  3. Bring all relevant laws of the country in line with international standards and comply with the ILO fundamental principles of freedom of association.

Co-signed by:

Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions|Globalization Monitor

Asia Monitor Resource Centre|Legislative Councilor Office of Dr. Kwok Ka Ki

Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehaviour|Labour Education and Service Network

Worker Empowerment|Demosistō|China Labour Bulletin|Left 21

District Board Councilor Office of Wong Yun Tat|District Board Councilor Office of Leung Kam Wai

Justice & Peace Commision of The H.K. Catholic Diocese|New School for Democracy

China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group|League of Social Democrats

BU Movement|Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China