Special Editions

Commemorating the Fifth Anniversary of Li Wangyang’s Death:

I am not a hero, I just want to be a man

 

Li Wangyang, a man who lived up to his words, once said that for freedom and democracy, “I won’t retreat even if I am beheaded”.  For his belief, Li endured decades of hardship and finally was “suicided”. His suspicious death shocked many Hong Kongers and caused public uproar.

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Imprisoned labour activists:

Liu Shaoming –– Liu was a member of Beijing’s Workers Autonomous Federation during the Tiananmen Square Protests in 1989 and played an active role to support the students. After the June Fourth Massacre, he was sentenced to one-year imprisonment and deprivation of political rights for one year, and put under surveillance for one year, for “crime of instigating counter-revolutionary propaganda”. In recent years, Liu has participated in various labour actions and organized a team of volunteers to safeguard workers’ rights. They were involved in a dozen of labour actions, such as actions of cleaning workers in Higher Education Mega Centre in Guangzhou, Xinsheng Shoe Factory, Guangzhou Citizen Watch Co. Ltd. and etc. In April 2015, he published two articles to commemorate the victims of June Fourth Massacre and recollect his memories of the Tiananmen Square protests. These two articles and his WECHAT messages became materials for the authorities to charge him with “inciting subversion of state power”. In mid-April 2016, he was tried at the Guangzhou Intermediate Court. Over a year has passed since his trial and no verdict has been delivered. In other words, Liu Shaoming has been given an endless imprisonment in disguise. Read more

 


 

“Rule by Law” & “Television Trials”:
a Double Strategy to Mute the Civil Society

In the past, the Chinese Government took a low-profile approach to conduct its political repression. Yet, the trend has changed. Extensive media coverage and television trials have been recently adopted to crack down human rights activists. Despite international community’s condemnations, repression grows in China. Between September 2016 and January 2017, China passed three laws, namely: Cyber Security Law, Charity Law and Law on the Administration of Activities of Overseas Non-Governmental Organizations within the Territory of China (hereafter: Foreign NGOs Law), using legislations as a weapon to further restrict the growth of civil society and freedom of expression. Read more

 


 

June 2016 – May 2017

Major Human Rights Violations in China

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 2 August 2016,

activist Zhai Yanmin, who had been detained in connection with the Fengrui Law Firm, was convicted of “subversion of state power” and sentenced to 3 years with 4 years suspended.

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June Fourth Special Edition 2016

06

Jun 2016

 

 

Chinese and Hong Kong civil societies are interconnected beyond borders

Shortly before the 27th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Hong Kong Federation of Students decided to quit the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China despite being one of its founding members. The Alliance is the chief organizer of the annual vigil and march in Hong Kong to commemorate the Tiananmen Square Massacre and has been upholding “building a democratic China” as one of her principal goals. But such a goal is no longer a collective aspiration shared among all student organizations. Many students believe that Hong Kong people should prioritize their goal in building a democratic Hong Kong rather than a democratic China since Hong Kong is in dire straits. So, is “building a democratic China” really outdated? Read more

 


Xi Jinping’s Battle to Rule: Interview with senior journalist Bruce Lui

Mr Bruce Lui, is a prominent journalist and a senior lecturer at the Hong Kong Baptist University. He used to serve as the Principal China Reporter of the Hong Kong Cable TV before switching to train the next generation of journalists. He continues to stand out for persistently seeking the hidden truths of contemporary Chinese politics. So when HKCTU invited him to speak at our “June 4 Forum”, Mr Lui immediately granted our wish as he has a clear conscience to expose the truths of the Xi Jinping’s regime to the Hong Kong people. Read more

 


Chronicle of Suppression against Civil Society in Recent Years

Since 2014, top provincial official, Xia Bolong, strictly implemented a “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign in Zhejiang Provincial, which was the centre of Chinese Christian Churches, to demolish crosses or churches. Up to date, more than 2000 crosses were demolished or removed, influencing several hundred religious sites. Read more

 


Liu Shaoming was Charged for “Inciting Subversion of State Power” with Articles Memorizing June 4th

57 year-old labour activist, Liu Shaoming, was charged for “inciting subversion of state power” by the Chinese Communist Party. His indictment was based on his two articles related to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Movement which were published in April 2015, as well as some messages posted on WeChat (Weixin). He was tried at an Intermediate People's Court in Guangzhou in mid-April of 2016. The trial ended within one day and a verdict is still pending. Until now, Liu has been taken away and criminally detained by the Guangzhou police for more than a year. Liu is not allowed to meet with his lawyer by the authority due to claims that he is a “repeated offender” and should be punished harshly. Liu’s defense lawyer objected all such allegations. Read more
June Fourth Special Edition 2015

14

Jun 2015

Editor’s note

The theme of this special edition  issue  is the struggles of the labour movement under authoritarian regimes. In Hong Kong, we have been trying to gain the support of the larger society to demand the immediate release of all imprisoned labour activists in China. We also demand that the Chinese government stop the violent repression and arbitrary detention of workers who are fighting to safeguard their rights. To learn from the experience of other countries, we have asked Dr. Chan Kalok, scholar and Civil Party legislator, to write about Solidarity, the Polish independent labour movement that fought against the dictatorial regime of the Soviet Union in the last century.  

 

How many Li Wangyangs are there in the prisons of China?

Li Wangyang 

Known as the “iron man of June 4th” -  was a labour activist from Hunan. He was imprisoned for 22 years during which he lost his sight and hearing and was paralysed in the legs due to torture. When he was interviewed by Cable TV in May, 2012, he said he never regretted taking part in the democratic movement. “For the actualization of a multi-party system in China, even if I were beheaded, I would not regret it.”

On June 6, a few days after the interview was broadcast, Li was found dead in the hospital under strange circumstances. The Chinese authorities claimed that he had committed suicide. Li’s story drew publicattention to the situation of imprisoned labour activists in China. The CTU appealed to trade unions and civic societies around the world to write to the President and the Premier of China to strongly demand an investigation into Li’s death and to immediately cease persecuting labour activists.

This issue features the stories of three other labour activists; Liu Jian, Wang Miaogen and Zhu Fangming, all still in prison because of their participation in the June 4 democratic movement. Please continue to fight for their release and political rehabilitation. Read more


 

The Labour Movement and Dictatorial Regimes Can Never Coexist

According to the communist regimes of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, “the working class and the proletariat” were in charge in socialist societies.But in reality, the communist regimes had hijacked “democracy” in the name of  the “People’s Republic”. After they had seized power, the leaders of the communist parties completely  forgot their goal of liberating the oppressed. The first generation of revolutionary leaders replaced bottom-up grassroot democracy and decision making with totalitarian rule. Human dignity, individual rights and freedom were perpetually suppressed: personality cult, brainwashing education, official propaganda with only one voice, controlling and maneuvering the mass media, secret police, labour reform, concentration camps, violent suppression, embezzlement and corruption. To control the society, the dictators used both sticks and carrots to impose submission. Read more

 

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. Read more