June Fourth Special Edition 2017
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.
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.
“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.
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.