Signature Campaign Appeal: Release All Imprisoned Labour Activists,

Stop Violent Repression of Workers Fighting for Their Rights

 

 

As Chinese workers become aware of their legal rights, they are more militant in their struggles, which are also becoming more frequent. In the meantime, apart from forcing labour organisations to close down their offices, local governments are gradually turning to the use of violence and detention as repressive means against workers, who are often forced to accept resignation compensation which is much lower than what is stipulated in the law. In the first six months of 2015, there were at least three cases of labour disputes in which police broke into the venues where workers were meeting. They beat up and arbitrarily arrested staff of labour organisations and workers’ representatives. They were detained compulsorily for 1 to 20 days under the charge of “sabotaging production and operation”.  At least 7 labour activists are now in prison (see name list below). They were sentenced to either life or long-term imprisonment. There are also innumerable but undocumented or covered-up cases of labour activists who are detained or criminalized.

 

Since the second half of 2014, the Chinese government has been tightening its surveillance of mainland NGOs that receive overseas funding and are stifling the development of the civic society and the labour movement. The draft Foreign NGOs Management Law and the National Security Law will be reviewed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress this year. The purpose of the new laws is to block mainland NGOs from building connection and receiving support from overseas. Under the new laws, Chinese people’s right to free association will be further curtailed.

 

The CTU calls upon the Chinese government to immediately:

1. Release all imprisoned labour activists and stop violent assault and repression targeting labour organisations and representatives of workers who are fighting for their rights;

2. Become a signatory of the No. 87 and No.98 International Labour Organisation Conventions which guarantee citizens’ right to organise trade unions and to collective bargaining, and to repeal the stringent measures imposed on mainland NGOs and safeguard citizens’ right to free association, as well as establishing the three labour rights;

3. Investigate rigorously any enterprise that makes profit by violating the rights of workers, and to enforce laws rigorously to safeguard workers’ rights.

 

Name

Occupation

Sex

Residence

Date of Detention

Cause of Detention

Penalty

Liu Jian

Electronic worker

male

Hunan

1989/mm/dd

Took part in a labour strike during which the workers allegedly ransacked the city government office when a worker died after being beaten up by security guards.

Life imprisonment

Zhu Fangming

Worker in a wheat flour mill plant

male

Hunan

1989/06/11

Organised independent trade unions in 1989

Life imprisonment

Jiang Cunde

Mechanical worker

male

Shanghai

1999/mm/dd

Advocated the organization of independent trade unions

20 years

Wang Miaogen

Factory manual worker

male

Shanghai

1999/05/dd

Detained in labour reform camps after organising independent trade union in 1989, he was later imprisoned.

Unknown

Xing 

Shiku

Former worker in state enterprise

male

Heilongjiang

2007/2/15

Held for petitioning to the State Bureau of Letters and Calls to protest violation of workers’ rights by the state enterprise

Imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital

Zhou 

Decai

Human rights activist

male

Henan

2012/02/28

Helped workers and peasants to safeguard their rights and monitored rural elections.

5 years

Liu 

Jianjun

Railway worker

male

Shanxi

2008/06/28

A labour activist and human rights advocate, Liu was imprisoned when he went to Beijing to petition.

Unknown

Source: ITUC/GUF Hong Kong Liaison Office (IHLO), The Dui Hua Foundation, Human Rights in China, etc.

 

 

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Help us gain justice for workers  Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions bank account for receiving donations:
Hang Seng Bank 295-164578001

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